Highview Power Storage has been awarded £8m ($13.3m) by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to build a grid-scale liquid air energy storage demonstration project.
DECC awarded the money as part of the Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition to find innovative UK energy storage ideas and bring them to demonstration level.
Highview Power’s liquid air energy storage technology was awarded the money together with recycling and waste management company Viridor. Highview will design, construct and run a 5MW/15MWh demonstration project next to one of Viridor’s gas generation plants at a location to be confirmed in the UK (either Manchester or Canterbury).
“This is a great opportunity to showcase a British innovation that has the potential to make a major contribution in terms of helping balance electricity systems in the future,” Highview’s CEO, Gareth Brett said. “With our pilot plant tested and fully operational on the UK’s national grid, this new project will provide Highview with the opportunity to demonstrate the technology at commercial scale,” he added.
The site will be connected to the national grid to provide load-balancing services from mid-2015. A pilot 350kW site has been operational at Slough Heat & Power in southern England since 2011 to demonstrate the technology. It generated sufficient interest to go-ahead with the grid-scale demonstration project. BEST visited the pilot site in November 2013, see Winter BEST for a report.
The announcement comes several months after the winners were due to be named. In November 2013 five demonstration projects received £8.2m between them, with the Viridor-Highview award a total of £16.2m of the £20m allotted for the competition has been awarded. The delay was blamed on red tape.