Liquid air energy storage gets full demonstrator funding 14 February 2014

A liquid air energy storage (LAES) technology is to be demonstrated at multi-MW, grid scale following the provision of £8 million funding by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

LAES designer and developer Highview Power Storage is to work with recycling and renewable energy firm Viridor on the 5MW/15MWh energy storage demonstration project.

The funding follows the Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition, run by DECC. It will support design and testing of a pre-commercial demonstrator alongside one of Viridor's landfill gas generation plants in the UK.

Highview CEO Gareth Brett says the LAES system will be connected to the national grid to demonstrate the technology providing balancing services to the electricity system.

In addition to providing energy storage, the LAES plant will convert waste heat to power using heat from the on-site landfill gas engines. The project is scheduled to be operational by mid 2015, he explains.

"This is a great opportunity to showcase a British innovation that has the potential to make a major contribution in terms of helping balance electricity systems in the future," states Brett.

"With our pilot plant tested and fully operational on the UK's national grid, this new project will provide Highview with the opportunity to demonstrate the technology at commercial scale."

The initial Highview pilot plant (350kW/2.5MWh) is being hosted by SSE (Scottish & Southern Energy) at its Slough Heat & Power 80MW biomass plant.

Brett says the technology can be scaled to deliver large-scale, long duration energy storage from around 5MW output and 15MWh of storage capacity to more than 50MW output and 200MWh of capacity.

He says that in that sense it is similar to medium-scale pumped hydro, but without the requirement for mountains and reservoirs.

Welcoming the decision, Viridor's landfill energy director Ian Morrish says: "We are pleased to have secured funding for this important project. With ever growing pressure on natural resources, it is essential that we develop innovative and sustainable methods to generate energy not only to cut down our carbon footprint but to ensure long-term energy security."

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Highview Power Storage
Viridor Waste Management

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