Compressed gas storage specialists Highview Power have raised £300 million from investors including Centrica & the UK Infrastructure Bank to build Britain’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant.

The £300 million funding round was led by the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) and multinational energy leviathan Centrica, supported by investors including Rio Tinto, Goldman Sachs, KIRKBI and Mosaic Capital.

The investment will enable the construction of one of the world’s largest long duration energy storage (LDES) facilities in Carrington, Manchester, using Highview’s proprietary LAES technology.

Once complete, Carrington – otherwise known as the location for Manchester United’s training complex – will have a capacity of 300MWh and an output power of 50MW per hour for six hours.

Construction begins on the site now.  Full operation is scheduled for early 2026. Over 700 jobs will be supported during construction and in the plant’s supply chain.

UKIB’s investment reflects its ambition to direct private finance to help new technologies reach commercial scale, as they aid Britain’s transition to Net Zero.

With its £70 million investment, Centrica comes on board as Highview Power’s strategic partner, supporting both Carrington & an accelerated roll-out of the firm’s technology elsewhere in the UK.

Highview believes its programme sets the bar for storage energy systems around the world, raising Britain to global leadership in energy storage and managing grid flexibility.

Highview Power is now at work planning four even bigger LAES plants elsewhere in Britain. The 2.5 GWh facilities, funded with an anticipated future £3 billion, will ensure a fast roll-out of the technology to align with the nation’s LDES (long duration energy storage) goals enabling the ESO’s Future Energy Scenario plans.

Highview Power has developed its LAES technology over 17 years. The technology can store renewable electricity for as much as several weeks, longer than electro-chemical batteries. The company says it is ready to be rolled out at scale, at key grid chokepoints.

Stability services to the National Grid including system balancing, feature among Highview’s business offers, speeding the redundancy of despatchable fossil fuelled power to manage demand volatility.

More manageable storage curbs curtailment costs, too. Last year British bill payers were caught on a £800 million hook, as stilled wind farms claimed compensation simply because the NG was too full to accept their low carbon output.

Highview Power seeks completion by 2035 of its larger UK installations, timed to meet one National Grid scenario of 2GW needed from LAES. That figure would represent nearly 20% of Britain’s energy storage for longer than two hours.

“There is no energy transition without storage” declared Richard Butland, pictured, Highview’s co-founder & CEO.

 “The UK’s investment in world-leading offshore wind & renewables requires a national long-duration storage programme to capture excess wind and support the grid’s transformation.

“UKIB, Centrica and our other partners are backing Highview’s ambitions to bring renewable energy storage into Britain’s economy at scale, liberating the potential of what is both the greenest and by far our cheapest energy source.

Centrica group chief executive Chris O’Shea enthused: “The energy transition is an opportunity that could transform lives. But with the UK’s changing energy mix, and more intermittency from renewables, we have to explore new, innovative ways to store energy so our customers have electricity available when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine”.

Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham weighed in too. “My vision is for Greater Manchester to be a leader in the green transition. Highview Power’s decision to build one of the world’s largest long duration energy storage facilities at Carrington is a huge boost for the region.

“This new plant will deliver renewable energy to homes and business across our region and bring world-leading technology, jobs, skills and investment to Greater Manchester. I’m delighted to welcome Highview Power”, Burnham declared.


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