British battery pioneers plan to build Europe’s largest energy storage project using a cryogenic battery that can store renewable energy for weeks rather than hours.
The device will be built on the site of an old fossil fuel plant in the north of England to power up to 50,000 homes for up to five hours.
Unlike traditional lithium-ion batteries, which typically store electricity for a few hours, the “cryobattery” will be able to store energy for months.
The UK’s first full-scale cryobattery, developed by Highview Power, uses renewable electricity to chill air to -196C, transforming it into a liquid that will be stored in large metal tanks.
When renewable electricity levels are low the liquid can be turned back into gas, which is used to turn a turbine and generate electricity – but without burning the gas and releasing emissions. Highview Power claims its cryobattery will be the largest project in Europe capable of long-term energy storage. The full-scale “liquid air” battery has a capacity of 50MW or 250MWh over a five-hour release time. It follows the success of a 5MW pathfinder project built next to a landfill site in Bury, Greater Manchester, in summer 2018 with £8m of funding from Innovate UK.

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