Plans are underway to build the world’s largest commercial-scale liquid air battery in Trafford, which will create 200 jobs and power as many as 200,000 homes for 5 hours a day when needed.
The cryogenic energy storage facility, known as the ‘CryoBattery’, will work by using electricity to cool and compress air, turning it into liquid which is stored in special tanks at -196°C. When needed, the ‘liquid air’ can then be released through a turbine at high pressure to generate electricity.
The technology has been piloted by developer Highview Power in Bury since 2018, but the new facility in Trafford Park outside Manchester will be ten times bigger - providing industrial-scale energy storage for the first time anywhere in the world.
‘Green collar jobs for Greater Manchester’
The project has been backed by £10 million of government investment. Energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This revolutionary new CryoBattery facility will form a key part of our push towards net zero [emissions], bringing greater flexibility to Britain’s electricity grid and creating green collar jobs in Greater Manchester.
“Projects like these will help us realise the full value of our world-class renewables, ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy, even when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing.”
Balancing supply and demand
Energy storage is set to play a key role in balancing electricity supply with demand as more and more intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar are added to the electricity grid. The benefit of liquid air technology over traditional batteries is that it can store weeks’ worth of energy storage, rather than just hours or days.
Construction of the CryoBattery is due to start later this year with a view to beginning commercial operation in 2022. Highview Power said it was already developing plans for up to four additional facilities to be built across the UK.
Posted under General Interest, Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy and Energy and Renewables on 24 June 2020