‘World’s first’ liquid air storage site opens in UK

It says it will power around 5,000 homes for up to three hours while producing no emissions

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By Jonny Bairstow

Highview Power has launched what it claims is the world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant.

The 5MW LAES plant in Bury, which was developed in partnership with recycling and renewable energy company Viridor, aims to help ensure the UK has a secure, affordable and clean energy system.

Demand response aggregator KiWi Power will draw enough energy from the LAES plant to power around 5,000 average-sized homes for up to three hours.

LAES technology stores freely available air as a liquid – when this is converted back to a gas it releases stored energy, driving a turbine to generate electricity.

No rare metals or harmful chemicals are used in the process and it releases no carbon dioxide.

In addition, the steel making up an LAES plant can be recycled once it is decommissioned.

Richard Pennells, Managing Director of Energy at Viridor, said “The innovative LAES technology which has been developed through the Highview Power project could play an important role in supporting UK growth in low carbon, renewable energy sources and in maintaining the security of the UK’s electricity supply.

“Sustainability and innovation has been at the heart of this project and it is this focus which is required to reduce our carbon footprint and deliver the long-term energy security the UK requires.”

Innovative new technologies will be discussed at Energy Live Future this Thursday.