Last reviewed 12 November 2020

Construction work has started on a new “giga-scale” liquid air energy storage facility in Greater Manchester, creating 200 green jobs by 2023.

Backed by £10 million of government investment, the innovative CRYOBattery™ energy storage project will support the UK’s obligation to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Announcing the funding earlier this year, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng described the plans as “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,” he added.

The impressive 50MW liquid air battery will support a cleaner national grid by harnessing excess energy from renewables such as wind and solar, further reducing dependency on carbon-based fuels and strengthening the UK’s net zero ambitions.

The battery works by using air as its storage medium; air is pressurised and cooled to a liquid state down to roughly –196°C, before being attentively released through a turbine to produce electricity when needed. With a minimum of 250MWh, this facility will be capable of powering 200,000 homes for 5 hours per day.

The company plans to develop up to four additional facilities in the UK.

Highview Power, in partnership with Carlton Power, broke ground at Trafford Energy Park early this month, signalling the start of the construction phase. Launching the project, Javier Cavada, President and CEO of Highview Power, said:

“Our facility will deliver much needed clean, reliable and cost-efficient long-duration energy storage to the National Grid.” He continued, “the CRYOBattery™ will help the UK to integrate renewable energy and stabilize the regional electrical grid to ensure future energy security during blackouts and other disruptions.”

An adjoining visitor centre is planned to be opened at the site by the first quarter of 2021.