The Anonymous Widower

Highview Power’s Advantages

I have said before that I like Highview Power’s system for storing energy by liquifying air.

This article on CleanTechnica is entitled Shell Signs PPA With Largest Storage Battery In Europe.

But it also has a section entitled Other Storage Plans For UK Are In The Works, which gives more details on Highview Power.

Replacement Of Decommissioned Power Plants

Highview are proposing that their systems can replace an existing fossil-fuel power plant, by using the existing site and grid connections. Connecting a power station to the grid, is often an expensive process, but if you can use an existing one, it must be more affordable.

Cost Versus Lithium-Ion

Highview are claiming that they can provide power at $143 per MWh, which compares with a cost of $187 per MWh, as quoted by Bloomberg.

That is nearly 24 % more affordable.

February 18, 2020 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

How Good Is ‘Freezing Air’ The Solution For Electricity?

The title of this post is the same as that for this article on Energy News 24.

The article discusses Highview Power’s proposed 400 MWh installation in Vermont, where they are installing lots of renewable power sources and need a way to store the energy, which is partly wasted.

Read the article and especially the last sentence.

Vice President Jason Burwen Energy Storage Association said the capacity of the plant would be “on par with today’s largest grid energy storage projects under construction.” He said it would be the equivalent electricity needed “to power maybe 50,000 homes for eight hours.”

Are the British coming?

The Highview Power system to me is a blindingly obvious simple idea, based on proven technology, that has been used for many decades. Add in clever computing technology to control it and blend it with renewable energy and every wind or solar farm, tidal power station and sizeable town or city should have one, where there is a site the size of a football pitch.

January 19, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Modern Energy Systems Have A Secondary Role?

Close to where I live is a small heat and power system, that I wrote about in The Bunhill Energy Centre.

I first went over the centre during Open House.

Several of these modern systems are very good demonstrations of the principles of maths, physics and engineering.

So do these innovative energy systems do their bit in educating the next generation of scientists and engineers?

Some of the modern systems, that are in development like Highview Power’s energy storage using liquid air would be ideal for a secondary education role!

Most too, are very safe, as there are no dangerous processes or substances.

And in the next few years, there will be more systems all over the country and many in the hearts of towns and cities. Some schools, colleges and especially universities, will have their own innovative energy sources.

Liverpool University already has a system, which is described here.

January 16, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prowling for Solutions To Unleash Renewable Energy

The title of this post, is the same as this article on Toolbox.

It is a good summary of the best methods of storing renewable energy without using chemical batteries.

Gravitricity, Energy Vault and Highview Power are all mentioned.

This last paragraph, explains some of the philosophy behind Vermont looking seriously at Highview Power.

Vermont may well be tempted by liquid air energy storage because of its flexibility — simply requiring a two-acre site anywhere. One possible location could be near an abandoned power station. That’s a beautiful solution because the transmission lines that once transported the electricity from the plant are built and ready to use in the renewable era.

Note that a two-acre site is slightly smaller than a football pitch.

It is rather elegant to replace a coal- or gas-fired power-station with an environmentally-friendly energy storage system on the same site, which effectively does the same job of providing energy.

The article doesn’t mention employment, but surely many of the existing workforce can be easily retrained for the new technology.

January 16, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Gore Street Contracts NEC For 100 MW Of Storage

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Solar Power Portal.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund has awarded NEC Energy Solutions both EPC and long-term O&M contracts for 100MW of storage in Northern Ireland.

What I find most comforting, is the matter-of-fact tone of the article.

Although, the author does seem to think that MW and MWh are the same, when in fact MW is used to define the rate of energy used or transferred and MWh the quantity.

If you use one MW for an hour, that is one MWh.

Gore Street appear to have needed two 50 MW energy storage systems for Drumkee and Mullavilly in Northern Ireland to back up a solar farm investment.

And they appear to have just ordered them off the shelf from NEC, in much the way, an individual might buy a Tesla Powerwall for their house.

According to this article on OVO Energy, the average European house uses 3,600 kWh per year.As there are 8760 hours in a year, the average consumption for a year is 0.4 kW per hour.

So if we assume that these two energy storage systems can deliver 50 MW for an hour, the following can be said.

  • The total capacity of each system is 50 MWh.
  • Each system can supply  125,000 houses for an hour or 25,000 houses for five hours.
  • As each housing unit has an average occupancy of 2.66 people, this means that a 50 MWh battery could supply a town of 66,500 people, for five hours.

Note that Lowestoft in Suffolk has a population of 71,000.

These batteries are not small.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Are The British Going To Rescue Vermont?

This article on the Scientific American is entitled To Store Renewable Energy, Try Freezing Air.

This is the sub-title of the article.

Such energy storage technology could help relieve congested transmission lines in places like Vermont.

It certainly is a must read, about the possibilities of energy storage and Highview Power in particular.

January 3, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

What Is A Pimby?

We all know that a Nimby (Not In My Back Yard!) doesn’t want fracking, a nuclear power station or a new railway to be built or something similar near to where they live.

But I believe, we could see the rise of a new type of protestor – the Pimby or a Please In My Back Yard!

I was reading this article on CleanTechnica, which is entitled Coal-Killing Long-Duration Energy Storage For Vermont (Vermont?!?).

The article is about Highview Power’s planned energy storage facility in Vermont, which I wrote about in Encore Joins Highview To Co-Develop Liquid Air Energy Storage System In Vermont.

This paragraph is from Highview.

“Unlike competing long-duration technologies, such as pumped hydro-power or compressed air, Highview Power’s CRYOBattery™ can be sited just about anywhere. The CRYOBattery has a small footprint, even at multiple gigawatt-levels, and does not use hazardous materials.”

You could imagine a community, , perhaps miles away from the nearest power station, where jobs and economic prospects are being held back by a dodgy power supply.

So the community might start to protest not about building perhaps a gas-fired station to satisfy their electricity needs, but in favour of a Highview Power system and some renewable wind or solar power.

Pimbys might also protest in favour of a new railway station or electrification of their branch line. The latter would be a good use for a Highview system.

December 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Encore Joins Highview To Co-Develop Liquid Air Energy Storage System In Vermont

The title of this post is the same as that as this article on Vermont Biz.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Northern Vermont facility will help put more renewable energy on the region’s electric grid, establish first such facility in United States

According to the article, the planned system will be able to supply 50 MW for eight hours and store up to 400 MWH of electricity.

I do think that Highview Power could have a very viable solution to storing energy.

  • The system is based on well-proven process technology, that Lord Kelvin would have understood.
  • No exotic or difficult to obtain materials are needed.
  • In the future, I believe systems of over a a GWh will be possible.

It is the best idea, I’ve seen, that could be the Holy Grail of energy storage.

December 20, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Gates, Bezos Bet On Flow Battery Technology, A Potential Rival To Big Bets On Lithium-Ion

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on CNBC.

This is the first paragraph.

The U.S. energy storage market is expected to grow by a factor of 12 in the next five years, from 430MW deployed in 2019 to more than 5GW and a value of more than $5 billion by 2024, says Wood Mackenzie Energy Storage Service.

Those are big numbers and it makes me ask the question of whether Planet Earth has enough lithium.

The title of the article says that Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are looking at flow battery technology, as a possibly alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

What Is Flow Battery Technology?

This is the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry for flow battery.

A flow battery, or redox flow battery (after reduction–oxidation), is a type of electrochemical cell where chemical energy is provided by two chemical components dissolved in liquids contained within the system and separated by a membrane.

Wikipedia’s explanation is comprehensive.

  • There are seven different types.
  • There are around twenty different chemistries.
  • They have various advantages and disadvantages.
  • They seem to be less efficient than lithium-ion batteries.

Applications include; load balancing, uninterruptible power supplies, power conversion, electric vehicles and standalone power supplies.

It looks like they are a lithium-ion replacement.


This technology is one to watch.

With all those types and chemistries someone could strike extremely lucky!


December 11, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Highview Power To Build Europe’s Largest Battery Storage System

The title of this post is the same as that as this article on The Chemical Engineer.

This is the first two paragraphs.

HighView Power, the designer and developer of the CRYOBattery, is to build what it claims will be Europe’s largest battery storage system, in the North of England. The project will also be the UK’s first commercial cryogenic energy storage facility at large scale.

The 50 MW/250 MWh clean energy storage facility could help the UK to achieve its goal of decarbonising industry, heat, power, and transport, as CRYOBattery emits zero emissions and could dramatically contribute to emissions savings compared to fossil fuel plants.

I spent long hours in my past modelling chemical plants and processes for ICI and my experience tells me, that this could be the Holy Grail of energy storage.


  • All of the technology needed is proven and much would have been understood, by Victorian collossi like Brunel, Kelvin and Reynolds.
  • There are no expensive rare earths, chemicals or explosive gases.
  • The system is scalable.
  • There is no combustion and no emissions.
  • The system can be built on any suitable site, thus opening up the possibility of distributed energy storage.
  • Once the technology is working, this type of system, will be an ideal investment for a Pension Fund or Insurance Company, to get a good long-term return

I can see systems able to store a GWh of electricity being built, that can supply 200 MW of power for five hours.

I also feel non-battery storage like this and mechanical will make chemical batteries redundant for mass energy storage for grid applications.

After all, there’s only so much lithium and other important chemicals and that will be needed for energy storage in transport, like buses, trains and planes.

The Amount Of Energy Storage Needed In The UK

This is also a paragraph from the article.

According to early findings of the Storage and Flexibility Model (SFM) launched by the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC), to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels by 2050 the UK would need nearly 1,400 GWh of electric and thermal storage volume.

1,400 GWh of electricity storage is a very large amount. It would probably need a large proportion of all the lithium in the world, if conventional batteries were used. Highview will need none.

When you consider that the largest energy storage facility in the UK is Electric Mountain, which can only handle 9.1 GWh, building the 1,400 GWh of energy storage will be a massive undertaking.

But building perhaps a hundred or two of larger versions of this type of system and distributing them all over the UK might be a very practical way of providing the energy storage.

Provided the UK economy is good with a healthy City of London, these systems should be easy to fund, as they are the sort of investment, that provides an adequate long-term return, that is ideal to fund pensions and insurance.




December 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , | Leave a comment