UK cryogenic energy storage plant shifts closer to commercial operation

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Energy storage solutions company, Highview, is currently constructing a 50MW liquid-air, energy-storage (LAES) facility at Carrington Village, Greater Manchester, in the UK.

The facility, with a minimum capacity of 250MWh, will make use of MAN Energy Solutions’ liquid-air energy-storage turbomachinery solution, after the recently signed contract with Highview.

Wayne Jones OBE, Chief Sales Officer and Member of the Executive Board of MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Carrington is a unique project and a litmus test for the future of zero-carbon storage technology, not just in the United Kingdom but globally.

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“Indeed, many interested parties will be watching developments closely. Simply put, the technology’s potential is limitless – we already see multiple opportunities for its further application beyond this project’s successful conclusion. For the first project to happen in my home town is even better.”

The LAES plant uses cryogenically liquefied air as a medium for storing energy. Off-peak or excess electrical energy is used to compress ambient air and liquefy it in the charging cycle. The liquefied air is stored at low temperatures in insulated tanks.

When power is required, liquid air is drawn from the tanks and evaporated again in the discharging cycle to generate electricity. The system efficiency is increased by using the stored cold and the compression heat.

Graphical rendering of the CRYOBattery plant. Credit: Highview Power

LAES is especially suitable for special applications that require large amounts of energy over a discharge time of several hours, and enables fluctuating, renewable sources to bear base-loads.

The MAN turbomachinery train will form the core of the CRYOBattery facility that, upon completion, will form one of Europe’s largest battery-storage systems. This will ultimately supply clean, reliable, and cost-efficient long-duration energy storage – primarily from renewable sources.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham added: “We know that there are good green jobs in new industries just waiting to be created right across Greater Manchester and the North West, and we hope that the Carrington storage facility will help us pioneer those skills and give a boost to our ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2038.”

Commercial operation of the CRYOBattery™ is set to commence during 2022. Highview Power will operate the facility in partnership with Carlton Power, a UK independent power-station developer.