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Site found for cryogenic energy storage facility

UK: Highview Power has announced plans to construct the UK’s first commercial, large-scale cryogenic energy storage facility at a former thermal power station in the North of England. 

The developers say the 50MW/250MWh CRYOBattery project can help the UK achieve its goal of decarbonising industry, power, heat, and transport. 

In addition to this large-scale project, Highview Power is said to be developing a portfolio of projects in the UK and is in the process of securing sites. 

Highview Power CRYOBattery compresses and cools air until it becomes liquid at -194ºC. Electricity is drawn from the grid to do this, and some of the heat produced as a by-product is stored for later use in the expansion stage. 

When required, the liquefied air is evaporated and used to drive a turbine and generator as it warms up and expands – 1 litre of liquefied air expands to 700 litres of normal air. Some of the cold of the liquid air is captured during evaporation to make the next refrigeration cycle more efficient. 

Unlike other forms of storage, the CRYOBattery is said to be able to store energy for weeks, instead of hours or days, and costs approximately £110/MWh for a for a 10-hour, 200MW/2GWh system.

“We are excited to begin working on our first commercial UK project at scale to become the largest battery storage system in Europe and support the National Grid. This CRYOBattery plant will provide the critical services needed to help maintain a stable and reliable grid,” said Highview Power CEO Javier Cavada. “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.”

In addition to supplying energy storage, Highview Power’s facility will also provide services to the National Grid to help integrate renewables, stabilise the electrical grid, and ensure future energy security. Other services the facility could deliver include market arbitrage, frequency management, reserve, and grid constraint management services.

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