Chile receives its first cryogenic energy storage facility

Image: Highview Power

Highview Enlasa’s first liquid air energy storage facility in Latin America will be a 50MW/500MWh CRYOBattery system in the Atacama region of Chile.

The system, a first for the joint venture between UK long duration energy storage solution developer Highview Power and Chilean backup generation provider Energàƒ­a Latina SA, marks its launch into the regional market with a long duration storage solution.

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The system will be located in Diego de Almagro, a city about 800km north of Santiago in the Atacama region. There it will be paired to the excellent solar potential and support the move towards 100% renewables supply in Chile with the delivery of solar as a baseload power.

The project, with an investment of approximately $150 million, is currently in the pre-feasibility engineering phase and is scheduled to enter environmental processing in August of this year. Construction is estimated to start in the second half of 2023.

Engineering, procurement, and construction will be carried out by Chilean engineering company SK Ingenieràƒ­a y Construcciàƒ³n.

“The objective of our company is to make this innovative technology available to the market and to all actors in the electrical and mining sectors,” says Fernando del Sol, president of Highview Enlasa.

“These plants can replace traditional coal plants, which will help us contribute to accelerating the decarbonisation process in Chile and to combat climate change.ࢀ

Highview Power’s proprietary cryogenic energy storage technology utilises air liquefaction, in which ambient air is cooled and turned to liquid at -196°C. The liquid air is stored at low pressure and later heated and expanded to drive a turbine and generate power.

The CRYOBattery has a small footprint and is scalable with no size limitations or geographic constraints. Potential capabilities that can be offered include voltage control, grid balancing and synchronous inertia that give grid operators the flexibility to manage power and energy services independently.

Highview Enlasa asserts that the CRYOBattery paired with renewable energy sources such as solar is equivalent in performance to thermal and nuclear power.

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