£300m energy storage plant in Trafford ‘could make Greater Manchester a leader in the net zero transition’

Jun 17, 2024 | Uncategorized

You are here: Home > £300m energy storage plant in Trafford ‘could make Greater Manchester a leader in the net zero transition’

Highview Power has secured the backing of the UK Infrastructure Bank and the energy industry leader Centrica with a £300 million investment for the first commercial-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant in the UK which is set for Carrington, Trafford.

The £300 million funding round was led by the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) and the British multinational energy and services company Centrica, alongside a syndicate of 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 Power’s proprietary LAES technology. Once complete, it will have a storage capacity of 300 MWh and an output power of 50 MWs per hour for six hours. Construction will begin on the site immediately, with the facility operational in early 2026, supporting over 700 jobs in construction and the supply chain.

The consortium says work on the scheme will start immediately with the aim of completing it by early 2026. The scheme could support 700 jobs in construction and the supply chain while under construction.

The plant uses that energy to chill and liquefy air before storing it in insulated tanks. When power is needed, the air is heated and expanded and the resulting high pressure gas drives a turbine to generate energy that can be sent out of the plant again. No fuel is burned during the process.

Highview says its plant can store energy for longer than current batteries could. It plans to develop a network of storage plants across the UK, starting in Carrington,to provide a stable supply of green energy to the National Grid.

Richard Butland, co-Founder & CEO of Highview Power said: There is no energy transition without storage. The UK’s investment in world-leading offshore wind and renewables requires a national long duration energy storage programme to capture excess wind and support the grid’s transformation.

“UKIB and Centrica and our partners have today backed our ambitious plan to bring renewable energy storage into the UK economy at scale, liberating the potential of what is both the greenest and by far the cheapest energy source for the UK economy and provide energy security. Our first project in Carrington will be the foundation for our full scale roll-out in the UK and expansion with partners to share this British technology internationally.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:My vision is for Greater Manchester to be a leader in the green transition – and 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.”

Chris O’Shea, group chief executive at Centrica said:The energy transition is an opportunity that could transform lives across the UK. But with a 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. Low carbon storage is an essential part of the solution when looking at how we manage peaks in demand.

“That’s why I’m delighted that Centrica is investing in Highview Power. Not only are we bringing capital to the table to support rollout and expansion, but we’ll be also sharing our expertise on the energy transition and power storage. Through partnerships like this we can manage the challenges net zero might present while providing cleaner, greener power to customers.”

Julian Leslie, director & chief engineer at National Grid, said: “Integrating long duration energy storage into the grid is going to be vital to delivering the UK’s long term energy strategy.”

Nigel Steward, chief scientist at Rio Tinto said:We believe long duration energy storage can play a critical role in firming renewable energy sources. The investment from us and other partners marks a significant step in helping to build a greener, more resilient and more stable energy infrastructure for generations to come in the UK and beyond”.

Richard Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs International, said:We are proud to partner with clients to drive the energy transition, by helping to scale the commercialisation of cutting edge energy storage technologies with financing and trading services”.

Kasper Trebbien, vice president and head of energy transition investments at KIRKBI said: “KIRKBI is dedicated to drive a positive impact on climate challenges through our investments. With this important investment and the dedicated team behind Highview Power, we are looking to support the UK’s first commercial-scale liquid air energy storage facility and play a positive role in the UK’s energy transition. Our investment aligns with our commitment to advance green energy, bolster global renewable energy production, and further mature long duration energy storage solutions.”

Tomas Harju-Jeanty, CEO of Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI), said: “As a long-term partner of Highview Power, SHI warmly welcomes today’s announcement, which will cement Highview’s position as the leading provider of long duration energy storage in the UK. Through our license we have a commitment to Highview Power’s innovative liquid air energy storage technology, and we are excited to continue to support the company as it realises its ambitious programme of infrastructure investment.”

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