World’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage plant goes live

Image credit: Highview Power

Is this just another way of making renewable energy even more expensive, or what? The claim is that this “is a great step forward in the creation of a truly decentralized energy system in the UK allowing end-users to balance the national electricity network at times of peak demand”. Cranking up the boilers at the power station is going out of fashion along with the power stations themselves, but the price is high due to subsidies, and security of electricity supply is uncertain.

The world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage plant officially launched today, reports PEI.

The 5MW/15MWh plant near Manchester in England will become the first operational demonstration of liquid air energy storage (LAES) technology at grid-scale.

Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, officially switched on the plant, which has been developed by energy storage company Highview Power in partnership with recycling and renewable energy firm Viridor.

Professor Loughhead said: “The deployment of smart, flexible technologies, such as energy storage, will help to ensure the UK has a secure, affordable and clean energy system now and in the future in keeping with the priorities within UK government’s Modern Industrial Strategy.”

LAES technology stores air as a liquid and then converts it back to a gas, involving an expansion process that releases stored energy, and this drives a turbine to generate electricity. In addition to providing energy storage, the LAES plant at Bury converts waste heat to power using heat from the onsite landfill gas engines.

Highview Power chief executive Gareth Brett said the plant “is the only large scale, true long-duration, locatable energy storage technology available today, at acceptable cost. The adoption of LAES technology is now underway, and discussions are progressing with utilities around the world who see the opportunity for LAES to support the transition to a low-carbon world.”

After the launch, demand response aggregator KiWi Power will be able to draw energy from the LAES plant to power about 5000 average-sized homes for around three hours. The plant will demonstrate how LAES can provide a number of reserve, grid balancing and regulation services.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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June 6, 2018 at 09:24AM

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