Highview Power to build UK’s first large scale ‘cryogenic’ energy storage facility

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London-based Highview Power will install the first commercial, large scale ‘cryogenic’ energy storage system in the United Kingdom as part of broader plans to build a fleet of 50 MW/250 MWh “liquid air” facilities.

Highview will install its first CRYOBattery at an unidentified decommissioned thermal power station in northern England to provide grid stability services to electricity network operator National Grid, the company said in an emailed statement. Highview claims its cryogenic storage facilities will help decarbonize industry, power, transport and heat and the company said it is securing sites throughout the United Kingdom.

Javier Cavada, CEO of Highview Power, claimed at a recent BloombergNEF (BNEF) summit in London, the first installation would be the “largest battery storage system in Europe”. The technology can store energy for weeks at a time at a cost of around £110/MWh ($143) in a 10-hour, 200 MW/2 GWh system, according to the company.

“This CRYOBattery plant will provide the critical services needed to help maintain a stable and reliable grid,” Cavada said. “Long-duration, giga scale energy storage is the necessary foundation to enable baseload renewable energy and will be key to a 100% carbon-free future.”

Grid services

The company’s first project will help National Grid integrate renewables and provide additional electricity supply security. Highview expects the system to provide other services, such as market arbitrage (buying and selling energy on different priced markets simultaneously), frequency management and grid constraint management. The energy storage company said it is talking to potential electricity off-takers about the services it could provide.

Highview Power claims its CRYOBattery systems feature only “benign materials” with “zero water impact”. The technology has been tested with successful demonstration projects in Slough and in Pilsworth, Greater Manchester.

In March, Highview revealed plans to work with Spanish engineering, procurement and construction specialist TSK to develop gigawatt-scale, long-duration cryogenic energy storage systems. The resulting venture, Highview TSK, plans to develop projects in Spain, the Middle East and South Africa through 2022.

BloombergNEF expects global energy storage installations to hit 1,095 GW/2,850 GWh of capacity by 2040. It estimates such build-out will require $662 billion of investment.