A new joint venture company involving UK liquid air energy storage (LAES) system pioneer Highview Power is to develop “multiple projects” in Spain, the Middle East and South Africa.
Highview has entered into a joint venture agreement with Spain-based global engineering, procurement and construction group, TSK, to co-develop a series of “large-scale long-duration energy systems”.
The projects will use Highview’s cryogenic LAES technology, which the company said “can deliver anywhere from 20MW/80MWh to more than 200MW/1.2GWh of energy” at facilities with a lifespan of 30 to 40 years.
Newly formed Highview TSK will command a team of “over 1,000 skilled engineers and project managers”, with offices in Gijón, Madrid, Cologne, London, and New York, the partners said.
TSK’s CEO Joaquín García Rico said LAES was “the ideal solution to deliver long-duration, large-scale storage services”. “The technology is not only cost effective, it is scalable, clean, has a long lifespan and can be deployed now.”
In 2018, Highview launched operations of a 5MW/15MWh LAES demonstration facility in northwest England.
LAES can be compared to other large-scale technologies such as pumped hydro or compressed air energy storage, but it does not require specific geography and can be located at the point of demand.
The technology works by taking off-peak or excess electricity and using it to turn air into a liquid by refrigerating it to -196°C and storing it in insulated tanks at low pressure. When power is required, liquid air is drawn from the tanks and pumped to high pressure. Heat harnessed from the liquefaction process is applied to the liquid air via heat exchangers and an intermediate heat transfer fluid. This produces a high-pressure gas in the form of air that is then used to drive the turbine and create electricity.