cryogenic storage
An artist's impression of the completed 50MW, 50MWh facility. Image credit: Highview Power

UK energy storage innovation firm Highview Power, has been awarded a £10 million grant from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for a 50MW cryogenic energy storage facility, just outside of Manchester.

The company has entered into a joint venture with Carlton Power, a UK independent power station developer, to build and operate the facility located in Carrington Village, which is expected to enter commercial operation in 2022.

It will use existing substation and transmission infrastructure, with its income derived from several markets, including arbitrage (buying electricity when prices are low and selling it when prices are high), grid balancing, and ancillary services such as frequency response and voltage support.

In addition, it will provide grid services to help integrate renewable energy, stabilise the regional electrical grid, and ensure future energy security during blackouts and other disruptions. Highview Power and Carlton Power plan to co-develop up to four additional CRYOBattery projects in the UK, totalling over 1GWh.

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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.”

“We are on a fast-track to develop our cryogenic energy storage systems around the globe, and this partnership will help accelerate momentum in the European markets,” added Cavada. 

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng, said, “This revolutionary new CRYOBattery facility will form a key part of our push towards net zero, bringing greater flexibility to Britain’s electricity grid and creating green collar jobs in Greater Manchester. Projects like these will help us realise the full value of our world-class renewables, ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy, even when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing.”

Highview’s cryogenic energy storage systems, which use liquid air as the storage medium, offer weeks’ worth of storage, and if paired with renewables are equivalent in performance to – and could replace – thermal and nuclear baseload power at a comparative cost of approximately £110/MWh for a 10-hour, 200 MW / 2 GWh system, according to the company.

The company has approximately 5GW of generation projects (CCGTs, OCGTS, and solar) planning or current works across the UK and Europe with more than 2.5GW already in commercial operation.