The POWER Interview: Cryogenic Energy Storage Technology

  • Sep 18, 2019
  • Power Magazine

Highview Power recently unveiled its modular, giga-scale cryogenic energy storage technology, the CRYOBattery. The company has announced a partnership with Tenaska to help develop four giga-scale plants in the U.S., with the first expected in in Texas. The company also is working on a fifth project in the Midwest.

The technology uses ambient air to store energy. Highview Power’s CEO, Javier Cavada, recently told POWER that the technology “can enable renewable energy baseload power … making 24/7 renewable energy a reality today.” Highview in a news release said the company’s “proprietary cryogenic storage technology … is currently the only long-duration energy storage solution that is locatable and offers multiple gigawatt-hours of storage, representing weeks’ worth of storage, rather than hours or days.”

Highview Power recently won the 2019 Ashden Award for Energy Innovation with the CRYOBattery. Ashden is a London, UK-based charity that works in the field of sustainable energy and development. Highview earlier this year announced a joint venture with TSK, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company, to co-develop CRYOBattery projects in Spain, the Middle East, and South Africa. The company also has partnered with Finland-based Citec to modularize the CRYOBattery system, helped by simplified design and streamlined engineering from Citec.

Javier Cavada of Highview Power

Highview said the modular cryogenic energy storage system is scalable up to multiple gigawatts of energy storage and can be located anywhere. It said the technology “reaches a new benchmark for a levelized cost of storage (LCOS) of $140/MWh for a 10-hour, 200 MW/2 GWh system.” The company has said the system “is equivalent in performance to, and could potentially replace, a fossil fuel power station,” and enables “renewable energy baseload power at large scale, while also supporting electricity and distribution systems and providing energy security.”

The technology uses liquid air as the storage medium. It provides time shifting, synchronous voltage support, frequency regulation and reserves, synchronous inertia, and black start capabilities. The CRYOBattery has a small footprint, even at multiple gigawatt-levels, and does not use hazardous materials, according to the company.

Highview Power has developed and optimized its own proprietary BLU2 core controller system, which integrates the control of all CRYOBattery components to provide optimal facility performance, which Highview said enables “managing the balance between flexibility, efficiency, and response. The BLU controller enables a system to be configured to a particular application through the selection of individual operational modes. It also provides operation and performance monitoring feedback, ensuring a facility’s optimal efficiency. The system’s embedded flexibility further ensures that the controller has the built-in capacity to adapt as a facility’s demand varies with market development.”

Cavada has said of the storage technology: “This is a pivotal moment for the renewable energy industry and for anyone who wants to deploy large amounts of renewables. As more and more renewables are added to the grid, long-duration, giga-scale energy storage is the necessary foundation to make these intermittent sources of power reliable enough to become baseload. Not only does our CRYOBattery deliver this reliability and allow scalability—it is proven, cost-effective, and available today.”

Cavada provided more details about his company and its technology in a recent interview with POWER.

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