Cryogenic storage plant is next leap forward for UK renewables

A 5MW plant to be sited in Manchester

cryogenic plant

Manchester is to host the world’s largest cold-energy storage plant. Sited next to a landfill gas-generation facility, the 5MW plant will have the capacity to power up to 5,000 homes for around three hours.

It works by harnessing renewable or off-peak power to chill air to -190°C, at which point the air turns into liquid and is held in an insulated tank. The liquid is then warmed when power is needed and, as it expands – by a factor of 700 – it drives a turbine to generate electricity.

The scheme developer, Highview Power Storage, said the technology could be scaled up for long-term use with a range of green energy sources, as part of the UK’s strategy for supporting the grid with large-scale storage systems.