Centrica Invests in Liquid Air System to Store Power for Weeks

image is BloomburgMedia_SEZ794T0AFB400_13-06-2024_09-00-10_638538336000000000.jpg

The headquarters of Centrica Plc at Windsor, U.K., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Centrica are due to report earnings on July 22. Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

A plant that will use liquid air to store energy for weeks has received £300 million ($385 million) from investors including energy giant Centrica Plc and the UK Infrastructure Bank.

Developed by Highview Power, the plant will cool and compress air, storing it in tanks. When electricity is needed, the air will be turned back into a gas and used to drive a turbine. The plant in Manchester will be capable of delivering 50 megawatts of electricity for six hours.

Energy storage has become key to decarbonizing electricity grids, backing up the variable output of wind and solar power plants. Highview’s plant, which could be operational as soon as early 2026, will be the UK’s first commercial-scale storage facility using liquid air. The London-based company also plans four larger liquid-air plants across the UK.

Centrica made up £70 million of the investment round, with the Infrastructure Bank and other investors including Rio Tinto Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. contributing the remaining.

“Not only are we bringing capital to the table to support rollout and expansion, but we’ll be also sharing our expertise on the energy transition and power storage,” said Centrica Chief Executive Officer Chris O’Shea, in a statement.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Eamon Akil Farhat


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