Carlton Power and Highview Power are partnering to build a massive cryogenic liquid-air energy (LAES) plant in Manchester.
Carlton has been trying to build a combined cycle gas turbine power station at Trafford for years. It now hopes to finally build that CCGT alongside the 250MWh LAES storage plant, creating a new kind of hybrid.
The two firms have formed a joint venture and intend to build four ‘CryoBatteries’ totalling 1GWh.
The Trafford plant, which has £10m grant funding from Beis, is expected to be delivering power within two years.
Highview commissioned its first large scale plant last year, a 5MW/15MWh plant in Bury, greater Manchester.
Then CEO, Gareth Brett, told The Energyst that it intended to build a 50MW plant and bid it into the Capacity Market – and that building large plants was actually much easier than the 5MW Bury development because parts are easier to come by.
“At 50MW scale, the refrigeration plant and turbo expander are at a size that suits all of the big machinery manufacturers,” said Brett.
He added that LAES technology, while not as quick as lithium-ion batteries, “can do anything pumped storage can do.”
Later that year, Javier Cavada joined the firm as CEO and president to scale and commercialise Highview’s technology.
Strong and stable
The plants will provide capacity and stabilisation services for both national and regional grids, as well as make money from arbitraging power prices.
Carlton Power CEO Keith Clarke said the firm had reviewed numerous long-duration, utility-scale storage technologies, but selected Highviews LAES system “because it is scalable, clean, can deliver the grid services we need, and can be deployed now”.
He added: “We were also keen to work with Highview Power to explore the opportunity to deploy the CryoBattery in tandem with a gas-fired power plant that we have permitted to be built on the Trafford Energy Park. This type of hybrid CCGT would be an important tool to enable the UK to reach Net Zero.”
Highview CEO and president, Javier Cavada, said Carlton’s commitment to multiple LAES projects, “speaks volumes about their confidence in our technology. We are on a fast-track to develop our cryogenic energy storage systems around the globe and this partnership will help accelerate momentum in the European markets”.