Greater Manchester to house to world’s largest liquid air battery

The world’s first commercial liquid air battery project planned for Trafford, Greater Manchester aims to help the UK make the most of its solar and wind energy.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has awarded Highview Power £10m towards the company’s CryoBattery project. The 50 MW cryogenic energy storage facility is designed to help the UK make the most of the energy generated from its solar and wind sectors.

The goal is to power as many as 200,000 homes for 5 hours a day

The goal is to power as many as 200,000 homes for 5 hours a day, giving the UK far greater flexibility in helping meet the country’s electricity needs from the grid.

In 2020 solar has so far contributed to a record period of 67 coal-free days and counting, generating over 4TWh since lockdown began. The UK is also now home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, and overall a third of the country’s electricity needs are now met from renewable sources.

However, the unpredictable nature of wind and solar power means that energy can be produced when it is not needed by the grid.

The CryoBattery stores excess energy and will do so on a far larger scale and for longer than existing batteries. It works by using electricity to cool and compress air, turning it into liquid and storing it in industrial sized containers. It then feeds the liquid through a turbine, turning it back into electricity and pumping it back into the grid when it is needed.

Javier Cavada, Highview Power CEO, said, “This new cryogenic energy storage plant will deliver much needed long-duration energy storage and provide valuable services to the National Grid. We are delighted to have been chosen to assist the UK in achieving its goal of a 100% clean, carbon-free energy future.”

Harnessing storage technologies is a key part of meeting the UK’s legally-binding target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Featured image credit:

James Johnstone, Media City, Manchester (CC By 2.0)

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