Highview awarded £1.5 million for new Hybrid LAES system to respond to frequency response market

1 August 2017

Highview have been awarded funding of £1.5 million for a new hybrid configuration of its existing Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) system from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

The hybrid LAES system will demonstrate LAES’s ability to respond to grid frequency events within 1 second and meet the requirements of National Grid’s new Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) service.

The funding will enable Highview to use supercapacitors and flywheel technology to create the hybrid LAES system that will respond to EFR and also Firm Frequency Response (FFR) timescales that help keep the UK grid balanced within the +/- 1% of nominal 50Hz system frequency.

The funding was awarded for ‘Frequency Response from a Liquid Air Energy Storage facility’ as part of the ‘First of a Kind Deployment of Innovation’ competition.

Highview is the leading designer and developer of LAES, a large scale, long duration energy storage technology offering one of the only locatable technologies available at scale.

Gareth Brett, CEO of Highview said, “A hybrid LAES system provides the powerful combination of instant start and long duration storage and is an important step for Highview as it broadens the range of services which LAES can supply and will help enhance the economic case for its adoption.”


The hybrid LAES system will be added to Highview’s 5MW/15MWh Pre-Commercial Demonstration plant at project partner, Viridor’s, Pilsworth landfill gas plant in Bury, Greater Manchester, UK. The project was awarded funding of more than £8 million from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in 2014 and is currently in commissioning due online at the end of the year.

LAES is a proven technology after Highview built the world’s first Pilot Plant (350kW/2.5MWh) in 2011 which was connected to the grid at SSE’s biomass plant in Slough until 2014. Whilst LAES can be compared to other large scale technologies such as Pumped Hydro or Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), it does not require specific geography and can be located at the point of demand making it a very compelling solution.

Georgina Penfold, CEO of the Electricity Storage Network said “We are pleased to see this initiative by Highview Power, which takes a truly whole system approach to energy storage. Our electricity system requires both flexible response and longer duration energy storage. This project will address both these important topics. Battery energy storage has made the headlines recently, but other electricity storage technologies are also of high value. This Liquid Air Energy Storage solution is not only applicable to the British electricity system, but shows great potential for exporting British expertise into international markets.”


Whilst the hybrid LAES system will be designed to comply with the UK electricity market it can be transported to other markets ensuring all LAES systems can be deployed globally. The aim of the project is to test performance and economics and it will be operational by Summer 2018.


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