The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has awarded £10 million from its Energy Innovation Programme to help build the world’s first commercial liquid air battery in Trafford, Greater Manchester.
The new CryoBattery project is expected to create 200 jobs and will be run by energy storage company Highview.
The CryoBattery works by using electricity to cool and compress air, turning it into liquid and storing it in industrial sized containers. It then feeds the liquid through a turbine, turning it back into electricity and pumping it back into the grid when it is needed.
Kwasi Kwarteng, Energy and Clean Growth Minister, said: “Projects like these will help us realise the full value of our world-class renewables, ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy, even when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing.”
When the CryoBattery is up and running could be used to power as many as 200,000 homes for five hours a day.
The UK is now home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, and a third of the country’s electricity needs are now met from renewable sources.
The unpredictable nature of wind and solar power means that energy can be produced when it is not needed by the grid.
Harnessing storage technologies is a key part of meeting the UK’s legally-binding target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.