Manchester to begin construction of the World’s biggest liquid air battery
Construction on the world’s largest liquid air battery is set begin in Greater Manchester, following the £10m grant from the UK Government being secured.
The 50MW project will take excess renewable energy from the adjacent Trafford Energy Park and use it to compress air into a liquid for storage. Then, when electricity demands rise, the air will be converted back into a gas and used to power a turbine. Existing substation and transmission infrastructure will be used to facilitate this process.
Using liquid air as opposed to lithium-ion batteries allegedly enables longer storage times and increased storage capacity, while mitigating issues relating to longevity and the circular economy.
Developers Highview Power and Carlton Power expect the project to come online in 2022, providing power to up to 200,000 homes for up to five hours at a time. It will initially have a 50MW capacity and a minimum output of 250MWh. The two firms are hoping to jointly bring 1GW of cryogenic liquid air capacity online in the UK.
“This new cryogenic energy storage plant will deliver much needed long-duration energy storage and provide valuable services to the National Grid,” Highview Power’s chief executive Javier Cavada said.
“We are delighted to have been chosen to assist the UK in achieving its goal of a 100% clean, carbon-free energy future.”
According to CCC (Committee on Climate Change), the UK will have to quadruple its renewable energy generation capacity by 2050 if it is to reach its net-zero target. Due to the intermittency of renewable generation methods, a significant increase in energy storage capacity will be needed to complement this transition.
In related news, Thurrock Power has this month submitted plans to build a 600MW battery on land adjacent to Thurrock’s Tilbury substation.
Thurrock Power is a subsidiary of Stratera, which last year struck a deal with Statkraft to bring a gigawatt of new battery storage projects online by 2025.