£1.5m UK project for hybrid high frequency response power system

August 11, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
UK power systems developer Highview Power Storage has been awarded £1.5 million to add flywheels and supercapacitors to its existing Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) system.

The hybrid LAES system will respond to grid frequency events within 1 second and meet the requirements of National Grid’s new Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) service. 

The funding from the Innovate UK agency sees the hybrid system to be added to Highview’s 5MW/15MWh Pre-Commercial Demonstration plant at project partner, Viridor’s, Pilsworth landfill gas plant in Bury, Greater Manchester, UK. This will allow the plant to meet Firm Frequency Response (FFR) timescales that help keep the UK grid balanced within the +/- 1% of nominal 50Hz system frequency. 

The project was awarded funding of more than £8 million from the UK government in 2014 and is currently in commissioning, due online at the end of the year.

 “A hybrid LAES system provides the powerful combination of instant start and long duration storage and is an important step for Highview as it broadens the range of services which LAES can supply and will help enhance the economic case for its adoption, ” said Gareth Brett, CEO of Highview.

The LAES Technology takes excess electricity and using it to turn air into a liquid by refrigerating it to -196 ªC and storing it in insulated tanks at low pressure. When power is required, liquid air is drawn from the tanks and pumped to high pressure. Heat harnessed from the liquefaction process is applied to the liquid air via heat exchangers and an intermediate heat transfer fluid. This produces a high-pressure gas in the form of air that is then used to drive the turbine and create electricity.

“We are pleased to see this initiative by Highview Power, which takes a truly whole system approach to energy storage.  Our electricity system requires both flexible response and longer duration energy storage. This project will address both these important topics,” said Georgina Penfold, CEO of the Electricity Storage Network. “Battery energy storage has made the headlines recently, but other electricity storage technologies are also of high