Award-winning energy storage firm “Highview Power” is planning to build its first plant in the UK, which will also be the largest cryogenic energy storage plant in the whole of Europe.
As the company explained through a detailed technical plan, they will use their “cryobattery” technology to reach a capacity of 50 MW/250 MWh. The firm has already tested and even demonstrated the particular cryogenic storage technology at their Slough-based pilot plant, as well as in Manchester.
The cryogenic storage takes advantage of excess energy that is produced by renewable energy harvesting systems such as photovoltaic panels or wind turbines and uses it to liquefy air. This liquid air is then stored inside a cryo-tank. When power is needed, the conditions in the tank change so as to allow the liquid air to evaporate and expand, passing through a turbine-generator system that converts the kinetic energy to electricity.
Highview Power feels that the time to actually build their first full-scale plant has come, and they are promising to use only environmentally-friendly materials to do it. The plant will have no impact on the underground water reservoirs, nor will it emit any pollutants. The maximum energy storage times for cryobatteries can go up to weeks, while the plant will have an expected lifespan of about 35 years.
As we work towards a carbon-free future, developing systems that enable us to store the energy that we harvest from renewable sources is key. The Sun shines only within a very specific time range in the day, and the wind may be strong some days and weak during others. We are shifting to environmentally-friendly but also highly unreliable sources, and so we need to deploy batteries and facilities like Highview’s cryogenic storage plant almost everywhere.