The Anonymous Widower

Can Highview Power’s CRYOBattery Compete With Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity?

In this article on the Telegraph, Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive and ex-head of the satellite company Inmarsat, discloses this.

Highview is well beyond the pilot phase and is developing its first large UK plant in Humberside, today Britain’s top hub for North Sea wind. It will offer 2.5GW for over 12 hours, or 0.5GW for over 60 hours, and so forth, and should be up and running by late 2024.

The Humberside plant is new to me, as it has not been previously announced by Highview Power.

  • If it is built it will be megahuge with a storage capacity of 30 GWh and a maximum output of 2.5 GW.
  • Humberside with its connections to North Sea Wind, will be an ideal location for a huge CRYOBattery.
  • The world’s largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station is Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China and it is 40 GWh.

Pumped storage hydroelectric power stations are the gold standard of energy storage.

In the UK we have four pumped storage hydroelectric power stations.

With two more under construction.

As energy is agnostic, 30 GWh of pumped storage hydroelectric power at Coire Glas is the equivalent of 30 GWh in Highview Power’s proposed Humberside CRYOBattery.

Advantages Of CRYOBatteries Over Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power

I can think of these advantages.

  • Cost
  • Could be build on the flat lands of East Anglia or Lincolnshire
  • Factory-built
  • NIMBYs won’t have much to argue about
  • No dams
  • No flooding of valleys
  • No massive construction sites.
  • No mountains required
  • No tunnels
  • Small footprint

I suspect that a large CRYOBattery could be built well within a year of starting construction.

Rupert Pearce’s Dream

The Telegraph article says this and I suspect it’s a quote from Rupert Pearce.

Further projects will be built at a breakneck speed of two to three a year during the 2020s, with a target of 20 sites able to provide almost 6GW of back-up electricity for four days at a time, or whatever time/power mix is optimal.

6 GW for four days is 576 GWh, which if it were spread around twenty sites is 28.8 GWh per site, which is just under the 30 GWh of the proposed Humberside CRYOBattery.


You can just imagine the headlines in The Sun!

Man In Bishop’s Stortford Shed Saves The World!

This story on the BBC, which is entitled Meet The British Inventor Who Came Up With A Green Way Of Generating Electricity From Air – In His Shed, explains my suggested headline.

Now that’s what I call success!


July 29, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , ,


  1. On the issue of Highview Power, I’m rather suspicious of the Daily Telegraph article. Currently Highview have three projects of note, Manchester Carrington, a 50 MW/300 MWh renewable energy power station at Trafford Energy Park, a second commercial renewable energy power station of 200MW/2.5GWh in Yorkshire, and a project in the Canaries which would be a 300 MWh system being developed in the Canary Islands together with Endesa a subsidiary of the Italian utility company Enel.
    Nowhere in Highview’s literature is their any mention of any planned installations with storage capacity in the GW scale.
    It is true that they foresee energy systems around the world increasing in size exponentially, reaching “1.095/2.850GWh by 2040” but to suggest that that such levels are imminent seems to be mistaken. Perhaps someone is conflating power station capacity and storage capacity?

    Comment by fammorris | July 30, 2022 | Reply

  2. One of my reservations about Highview is that they don’t do websites well and I suspect that Rupert Pearce has been brought in to sort management out. I also suspect he killed the Vermont project as the company was trying to do too many things at the same time.

    From my experience of the dynamics of vessels in chemical plants, I wouldn’t be surprised, if the system will scale up.

    Two friends have given me good reports of his time as head of Inmarsat.

    Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2022 | Reply

  3. Batteries currently have a life in the order od 1,000 charge/discharge cycles without singnificant loss of capacity and have a fire risk.

    Comment by Ben | July 30, 2022 | Reply

    • These are not traditional batteries, but a series of tanks and turbomachinery, that store the energy as liquid air. I’ve never tried to set fire to liquid air, but I suspect you need an accelerant.

      Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2022 | Reply

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