Energy storage firm Highview Power has secured £300m (€355m) in funding for the construction of the first commercial-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant in the UK.

Highview Power said energy firm Centrica is contributing £70m and will act as a strategic partner for the development of the 300MWh plant which is also being backed by the UK Infrastructure Bank and a group of investors including miner Rio Tinto, Goldman Sachs, Danish investment company Kirkbi and private equity firm Mosaic Capital.

Highview Power said the £300m raised will be used to construct a long-duration energy storage facility in Carrington, Manchester expected to be operational in early 2026.

The long-duration energy storage firm said it will also commence planning on the next four UK larger scale 2.5GWh projects, expected to cost £3bn to develop.

Highview Power has spent the past 17 years developing its LAES technology. This technology offers long-duration energy storage for renewable energy, potentially lasting for several weeks, exceeding the capabilities of battery storage.

Richard Butland, co-founder and CEO of Highview Power, said: “UKIB and Centrica and our partners have today backed our ambitious plan to bring renewable energy storage into the UK economy at scale, liberating the potential of what is both the greenest and by far the cheapest energy source for the UK economy and provide energy security.

“Our first project in Carrington will be the foundation for our full scale roll-out in the UK and expansion with partners to share this British technology internationally.” 

Chris O’Shea, group CEO at Centrica said: “Not only are we bringing capital to the table to support rollout and expansion, but we’ll be also sharing our expertise on the energy transition and power storage.

“Through partnerships like this, we can manage the challenges net zero might present while providing cleaner, greener power to customers.”

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