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Highview Power is taking its unusual cryogenic or liquid air storage from demonstration to commercial scale.
The company is developing its first large-scale system in the northern part of the U.K., it revealed Monday. The first project will have a capacity of 50 megawatts/250 megawatt-hours and could be up and running by 2022.
It’s not a done deal: Highview is still looking for offtakers to secure contracted revenue that could balance merchant activity in Britain’s wholesale markets. But Highview has a location locked down at a retiring thermal plant site and is working on procurement for the construction phase.
If built as described, this project would mark a milestone for the exotic technologies challenging mass-market lithium-ion batteries for longer-duration grid storage. Battery plants have begun supplying several hours of power in certain markets, but they are not economic for storing days’ or weeks’ worth of renewable power. A motley crew of technologies is vying to fill that gap, including flow batteries of various chemistries, giant block-stacking cranes and some mysterious but well-funded designs.