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Video | World's first liquid air energy storage plant opens in UK

The world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant has opened in the UK today.

LAES technology works by storing air as a liquid, before converting it back into gas, which releases energy to drive a turbine and generate electricity. The project has been led by Highview Power and Viridor. 

The plant in Bury, near Manchester, can power 5,000 homes for three hours, and is a demonstration of how the technology can provide reserve, grid balancing and regulation services. 

Highview Power chief executive officer Gareth Brett said: “Support from Government, our partners and our supply chain, has enabled Highview Power to successfully design and build the world’s first grid-scale LAES plant here in the UK.

“The plant is the only large scale, true long-duration, locatable energy storage technology available today, at acceptable cost. The adoption of LAES technology is now underway, and discussions are progressing with utilities around the world who see the opportunity for LAES to support the transition to a low-carbon world.”

“The innovative LAES technology which has been developed through the Highview Power project could play an important role in supporting UK growth in low carbon, renewable energy sources and in maintaining the security of the United Kingdom’s electricity supply,” said Viridor energy managing director Richard Pennels. 

“Sustainability and innovation has been at the heart of this project and it is this focus which is required to reduce our carbon footprint and deliver the long-term energy security the UK requires.”

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