Construction begins on the world’s largest liquid air battery, which will store renewable electricity and reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels, power plants.
The project near Manchester, UK, will use alternative green energy to compress air into a liquid and store it. When the demand is higher, the liquid air is released into a gas, which powers a turbine that puts green energy into the grid.
A great expansion of wind and solar energy is essential to meet the climate emergency, but they are not always available. The storage is therefore the key and the new project will be the largest in the world outside of pumped hydro storage schemes, which require a mountain reservoir to store the water.
This revolutionary new facility will form a key part of our efforts towards zero
The new air liquid of the battery, developed by Highview Power, expected to be operational by 2022 and will be able to power up to 200,000 homes for five hours, and store energy for many weeks. Chemical batteries are also required for the transition to a zero-carbon world and are in free fall in the price, but can only store relatively small amounts of electricity for short periods of time.
Liquid Air batteries could be built anywhere, ” said Highview ceo, Javier Cavada: “Air is everywhere in the world. The primary competitor is really not the other storage technologies, but fossil fuels, as people always want to continue to build gas and coal-fired power plants today, oddly enough,” he said.
The BRITISH government supported the project with a £10m grant. The energy and growth minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “This revolutionary new facility will be an essential part of our efforts toward zero, bringing more flexibility to the great Britain of the electricity distribution network and the creation of green jobs in the Greater Manchester.
“Projects like this one, help us to realize the full value of our world-class renewable energy, to ensure homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy, even when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow,” he said.
The government of the united KINGDOM is invited to make the economic recovery from the sars coronavirus pandemic green. “We owe it to future generations to build better” said the prime minister, Boris Johnson, recentlywhile the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is reported to be planning a “green industrial revolution”.
Alex Buckman, an energy storage, an expert in Energy Systems Catapult group, said polluting gas power plants have been the primary means in the united KINGDOM an electricity system has been balanced. But a net zero carbon system would need more than 30% renewable energy today and, therefore, more storage.
“It’s probably going to be a need for one or more of the medium to long term electricity storage technologies to fill a gap in the market, and liquid air energy storage (LAES) is just there as an option,” he said. Pumped hydro storage is limited by the need of a mountain reservoir, while gravity storage where you lift a weight, then the drop in power of a generator is less developed, as is the large-scale production of hydrogen from green energy.
“The combination of being more developed and more scalable, provides LAES the opportunity to be competitive, if they can prove that they can reduce the costs with the increase of the scale,” Buckman said.
The Highview farm store 250MWh of energy, almost double the amount stored by the largest chemical of the battery, built by Tesla in South Australia. The new project is located at the Trafford Energy Park, also home to the Carrington gas, the energy of the plant and closing coal-fired power.
The project will cost £85m, and Highview received £35m of investment by Japanese machine giant Sumitomo in February. Air liquid of the battery is the creation of 200 jobs, primarily in construction, and using the old oil and gas engineers, with a few dozen in the continuation of the operation. The plant life should be 30 to 40 years. “It will pass to the next generation,” said Cavada.
Highview is developing other sites in the united KINGDOM, continental Europe and the united states, including in Vermont, but the Manchester project will be the first. “The first is certainly the most important and that is why we really appreciate the government of the united KINGDOM daring the UK to use the technology to solve the UK problems and after the export of the technology on a global scale,” said Cavada.