BEIS grants £10M for ‘liquid air’ plant to provide 250MWh of storage at Trafford Energy Park

Carlton Power has entered into a joint venture agreement with Highview Power Storage Inc to build and operate a 50MW, 250MWh long-duration ‘liquid air’ (cryogenic) energy storage system.

The two companies have created a joint-venture company, named Carlton Highview Storage, to build the system, known as the CryoBattery™, at the Trafford Energy Park near Manchester. It will be supported by a £10 million grant from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The joint venture plans to co-develop up to four further projects in the UK, totalling over 1GWh.

Highview Power recently received a £35 million investment from Sumitomo Heavy Industries, part of which will be used for the development of this project. It says that a larger CryoBattery (a 10-hour, 200MW / 2GWh system) would offers a competitive levelised cost of storage for large-scale applications, at £110/MWh.

Carlton Power already has development consent for a gas-fired power plant on the Trafford Energy Park. It wants to develop a ‘Hybrid CCGT’ that combines the gas turbine with long term, high volume storage. Keith Clarke, chief executive of Carlton Power, said: “We looked at a variety of energy storage technologies for utility-scale, long-duration services, and selected Highview’s liquid air energy storage because it is scalable, clean, can deliver the grid services we need, and can be deployed now. 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.”

BEIS energy and clean growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng MP said: “This revolutionary new CryoBattery facility will form a key part of our push towards net zero, bringing greater flexibility to Britain’s electricity grid and creating green collar jobs in Greater Manchester. Projects like these will help us realise the full value of our world-class renewables, ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy, even when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing.”

Construction at Trafford Energy Park is expected to start later this year with the plant entering commercial operation in 2022.  It will use existing substation and transmission infrastructure, with its income derived coming from several markets, including arbitrage (buying electricity when prices are low and selling it when prices are high), grid balancing, the capacity market, and ancillary services such as frequency response and voltage support.