GE and Highview Power sign energy storage agreement18 March 2014

GE Oil & Gas has signed a global licensing and collaboration agreement with liquid air energy storage (LAES) pioneer Highview Power Storage to explore opportunities for the technology where its gas turbines and gas engines are installed.

The goal, according to Luca Maria Rossi, product management general manager for GE Oil & Gas' Turbomachinery Solutions business, is to increase power plant efficiency, grid reliability and the distribution of renewable energy.

Highview's LAES technology uses liquid air or nitrogen as the storage medium to provide long-duration energy storage. The technology also converts low-grade waste heat into power, increasing the overall efficiency of host power plants.

Since 2011, Highview's LAES technology has been operating at a grid-connected 350kW/2.5MWh pilot plant hosted by SSE (Scottish & Southern Energy) adjacent to SSE's 80MW Slough Heat and Power biomass plant in Greater London.

In February 2014, DECC (the Department of Energy and Climate Change) awarded Highview and recycling giant Viridor £8m to build a new 5MW/15MWh LAES demonstration plant at a Viridor landfill gas-to-energy plant in the U.K.

Highview CEO Gareth Brett explains that the LAES facility will be powered by a GE Oil & Gas turbogenerator and will demonstrate the technology at commercial scale for the first time when it begins operating in the spring of 2015.

"Working with GE is a great opportunity for Highview to access a broader customer base," says Brett.

"The use of our LAES technology with GE's solutions for flexible peaker plants will help make a significant contribution to balancing the electrical network of the future," he adds.

"Operators increasingly need to integrate intermittent and non-dispatchable renewable energy sources into the current energy grid," comments Rossi. "Energy storage is an application that can help address this need."

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
GE Oil & Gas
Highview Power Storage

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