America’s first long duration, liquid air energy storage system given green light

America’s first long duration, liquid air energy storage system given green light

December 31, 2019 1 By Bret Williams

Highview Power Storage and Encore Renewable Energy have partnered to develop the system.

The two companies recently announced that they would partner to develop the first long duration, liquid air energy storage system in the United States. The facility, which is to be built in northern Vermont, is expected to be a least 50 megawatts (MW) and will deliver in excess of eight hours of storage (400 MWh).

Highview Power plans to develop many energy storage projects throughout the US.

A worldwide leader in long duration energy storage solutions, Highview Power Storage plans to develop a number of utility-scale, liquid air energy storage projects across the United States. The purpose of these clean power facilities is to help boost renewable energy deployment in the country.

The energy storage system at the Vermont facility will help to resolve the energy transmission challenges that have long plagued the state’s Sheffield-Highgate Export Interface (SHEI). It will also help to enable efficient transport of excess electricity from renewable power sources like wind and solar energy, aiding in the integration of this clean electricity on the power grid.

The facility, which is also being developed by Encore Renewable Energy, a developer of renewable power generation and storage projects, will also offer valuable services to the area’s transmission system. It will help to integrate renewable energy, stabilize the regional electric grid and guarantee future energy security during storms and other potential power disruptions.

The new liquid air energy storage system has the ability to store energy for weeks at low cost.

The system can store power for weeks at the lowest levelized cost of long duration storage in the industry, according to the Highview Power press release. It also provides “grid-synchronous inertia,” which is able to balance electrical demand and supply, helping to prevent blackouts.

Beyond these benefits, the facility can deliver market arbitrage, reserve, frequency management, and grid constraint management services.

Highview Power’s proprietary liquid air energy storage system is called CRYOBattery. How it works is excess or off-peak power is used to clean and compress air that is then stored in liquid form in the insulated tanks at temperatures nearing 320 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. When electricity is in high demand, the pressurized gas is warmed. As the gas expands, a turbine is turned and generates electricity that can be utilized at peak times when the wind isn’t blowing and/or the sun isn’t shining.

The CRYOBattery solution relies on technology that is low-risk, proven and produces no emissions, has no water impact and can be delivered at cost of about half of the current price of standard liquid air energy storage - light bulbs and skylithium-ion batteries. When this energy storage system is used in conjunction with renewables at utility-scale, it can perform as well as nuclear baseload power and fossil fuel-powered thermal power.