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Liquid air energy storage demonstrator to start operation this winter

The main components of Highview’s Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) 5MW pre-commercial demonstrator have been delivered to the site in Greater Manchester.

Recycling, resources and distributed energy partner Viridor is hosting the pre-commercial LAES technology demonstrator at its Pilsworth landfill gas generation site, where the waste heat from the GE Jenbacher landfill gas engines will be used to convert waste heat to power.

In February 2015 the ground was broken and civils work started at the project, preparing the site for the arrival of the main components.

Over the summer the equipment was delivered, which includes: the turbine and generator from GE; heat exchangers from Heatric; thermal storage tanks from Metalcraft; and cryogenic storage tanks from BOC.

All components are currently being set in place and grouted on to their platforms, which marks the end of the major plant installation phase.

Viridor capital projects and engineering director Alan Cumming said: “Viridor is transforming waste and giving the world’s resources new life. This exciting, pioneering project is an excellent example of the type of partnership that is today driving sustainability, resource and energy security.”

The project was awarded more than £8m in funding from the Department of Energy & Climate Change for the design, build and testing of the LAES system.

This is the first pre-commercial scale LAES plant of its kind and the largest new energy storage technology project in the UK being built to satisfy the requirement for long-duration storage.

It  will  operate  for  at  least  one  year  and  will  demonstrate that LAES  can provide a number of grid-balancing services, including short-term operating reserve and support of the grid during the winter months with peak tariff management (Triad avoidance), as well as testing for frequency regulation performance against standards required by one of the large US system operators.

KiWi Power was selected to arrange the commercial aspects of the plant’s interaction with the National Grid. The plant is due to be operational towards the end of this year.

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