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UK’s Highview Power bags £300 mn for 6-hour duration liquid air energy storage facility

Image: Highview Power

British firm Highview Power, which specializes in liquid air energy storage, has raised £300 million ($384 million) to set up its first large scale project, and the largest liquid air energy storage battery in the world.

The funds were raised from the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB), the utility Centrica (£70 million of the £300 million), and a syndicate of investors that includes mining company Rio Tinto, investment bank Goldman Sachs, and Mosaic Capital, a private equity player.

The £300 million will support a 50 MW, 300 MWh (six-hour) long-duration energy storage (LDES) facility in Carrington, Manchester that will run on Highview's proprietary liquid air energy storage (an) technology.

Liquid air storage is an energy technology that uses power to compress and refrigerate air, turning it into a liquid for storage. When energy is required, the liquid air can be expanded into a gas that is then used to generate power.

Highview Power announced that construction would commence immediately with commercial operation beginning in early 2026.

The company said it would now start planning its next facilities, which will be larger in scale, totaling 2.5 GWh capacity and requiring £3 billion in funding.

Highview said it had developed its LAES technology in the UK over the last 17 years. Its systems can store renewable energy for up to several weeks, longer than battery technologies, the company said in its release.

Richard Butland, Co-founder and CEO, Highview Power, said in a statement: "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 grids transformation.

Nigel Steward, chief scientist, Rio Tinto, in a statement supporting the Highview investment: "The investment … 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."

"We believe long duration energy storage can play a critical role in firming renewable energy sources," he added. 

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