The UK’s Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has announced the award of funding for an innovation aimed at energy storage.

A British partnership between Viridor and Highview Power Storage has been awarded over £8m to help drive the project as part of DECC’s strategy to support energy storage technology research and development.
Greg Barker
Viridor, one of the UK’s leading recycling, renewable energy and waste management companies, will work with Highview Power Storage, a designer and developer of Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) systems, to build and operate a 5 MW/15MWh energy storage demonstration project at Viridor’s landfill site in Canterbury, Kent. 

Viridor and Highview will use the funding to develop a technology to store air in a liquid format, which can then be used to supply electricity at times of high demand.  The technology will be connected to the National Grid, and will be used to test the balancing of supply and demand using stored energy.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Storing energy will become increasingly important in the move towards a low carbon economy, and has the potential to save the energy system over £4bn by 2050.

“Energy storage systems are potentially revolutionary technologies – just imagine how much the energy system will change if we’re able to manage supply and demand better by storing energy cost-effectively, not to mention the benefits for British research and manufacturing industries.”

In addition to providing energy storage, the LAES plant will convert waste heat to power using heat from the on-site landfill gas engines. The project is scheduled to be operational by mid-2015.

At present, almost all electricity is generated when required and networks are designed to accommodate highest demands, even if they are of very short duration.

The innovative technology being supported, could play an important role in supporting UK growth in low carbon, renewable energy sources and in maintaining security of electricity supply.

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