Construction commences at green energy storing liquid air battery in UK

Energy storage company Highview Power has started construction of its first grid-scale liquid air battery in the UK, which will store renewable electricity and reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants.

The project, located near Manchester, is the largest of its kind and will use spare renewable energy to compress air into a liquid and store it. When demand is higher, the liquid air is released back into a gas, powering a turbine that puts the green energy back into the grid.

Highview’s liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant will become operational in 2022 when it will be able to power up to 200,000 homes for five hours, with a storage capacity of 250MW – almost double the amount stored by the biggest chemical battery, built by Tesla in South Australia.

“Air is everywhere in the world,” said Highview’s chief executive, Javier Cavada. “The main competitor is really not other storage technologies but fossil fuels, as people still want to continue building gas and coal-fired plants today, strangely enough,” he added.

The project has been supported by the UK government with a £10 million grant. Energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “This revolutionary new facility will form a key part of our push towards net zero, bringing greater flexibility to Britain’s electricity grid.”