Highview Power Teams with TSK to Build Out Gigawatt-hour Scale Cryogenic Energy Storage Plants
*Courtesy Highview Power
- March 20, 2019
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Highview Power is taking its proprietary, cryogenic energy storage technology a big step up scale, partnering with Spanish engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company TSK to develop systems that will store energy at gigawatt-hour (GWh) scales, enough to power as many as 200,000 houses for an entire day.
"Beside being the most suitable solution to balance renewables and enable reliable renewable baseload power, cryogenic energy storage plants support and accelerate the energy transition when combined with traditional thermal power plants. The plants can optimize operations utilizing waste heat and cold into their process which enables even more affordable and sustainable power production," Highview Power management says in a press release.
Dubbed Highview TSK, the new joint-venture company aims to develop multiple projects in Spain, the Middle East and South Africa. The partners have identified a first set of projects totaling several gigawatt-hours of energy storage they intend to develop from 2019 through 2022.
Weeks worth of large-scale energy storage capacity
Highview says that its cryogenic energy storage systems are capable of storing energy at unparalleled scale— weeks' worth of energy storage as compared to hours or days for lithium-ion battery or flow battery systems. In addition, according to management, they "are the only long-duration energy storage solution available today that are 'locatable' and offer multiple gigawatt-hours of storage...
"Grid operators are turning to long duration energy storage to help improve power generation economics, balance the grid and increase reliability. At giga-scale, energy storage resources paired with renewables are equivalent in performance to, and could replace, thermal and nuclear baseload in addition to supporting the electricity transmission and distribution systems while providing additional security of supply."
Highview's cryogenic energy storage technology is based on freezing and compressing air to convert it into a liquid, then decompressing it to release and use the resulting energy to power a turbine generator. Notably, the technology can be used for co-generation, or combined heat and power (CHP) systems, opening up opportunities for it to be applied widely in industrial processes or thermal power plants, such as those fueled by coal or natural gas.
"Unlike chemical-based technologies, our system operates using a thermodynamic cycle that can interface with collocated thermal processes such as LNG re-gasification plants, peaking plants and industrial applications," according to the company. "This means we can utilise waste heat and cold streams, improving the efficiency of our customers’ main processes by converting their waste thermal energy into a useful resource for our system."
Two Highview Power cryogenic energy storage facilities with a total capacity of 17.5 MWh are already connected to the U.K. grid. The first, a 2.5 MWh plant in Slough, Greater London, was commissioned in 2014. The second was commissioned last year and is up and running in Bury, Greater Manchester.
"The Bury plant shows in real time how cryogenic energy storage provides all possible balancing services, including Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) and supports the grid during winter peaks. Highview is currently developing several large projects that will be hundreds of MWhs in scale across the United States and Europe," management says.
"As markets around the world focus on drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions, there is an accelerated shutdown of traditional coal-fired power stations and massive deployment of intermittent renewable energy plants (mostly solar PV and wind)," Highview notes.
"This is causing grid reliability issues that are dependent on weather conditions, which drives demand of long-duration energy storage in all major geographic markets in order to ensure a stable and reliable grid. When shutting down and dismantling old power stations, the existing infrastructure and connections left behind become the perfect location to install cryogenic energy storage plants, solving the challenge of integrating massive amounts of renewables while retiring traditional assets."
TSK has built more than 20 GW of traditional and renewable power— solar, wind and biomass— generation and 10 energy storage projects in 35 countries, knowledge and experience it brings to the joint venture.
“After looking at a number of storage technologies, we have come to the conclusion that Highview’s cryogenic energy storage is the ideal solution to deliver long-duration, large-scale storage services to our customers.
"The technology is not only cost effective, it is scalable, clean, has a long lifespan and can be deployed now,” TSK CEO Joaquín García Rico said. “As a result of the joint capabilities of Highview Power and TSK, we expect to progressively grow our footprint and sales to reach target revenues of over 1 billion euro by 2021.”