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  • Hanaa Siddiqi

Ørsted and Highview Power Champion Liquid Air Energy Storage for Offshore Wind Advancement

In the realm of sustainable energy solutions, Ørsted and Highview Power have unveiled a groundbreaking partnership, heralding the advent of liquid air energy storage (LAES) as a potent catalyst for offshore wind projects. This dynamic duo contends that marrying offshore wind farms with innovative LAES technology could usher in a new era of economic and environmental prosperity for the United Kingdom.

Picture this: Ørsted's towering offshore wind turbines standing sentinel over the majestic seas, synergizing seamlessly with Highview Power's cutting-edge LAES technology. The essence of LAES lies in its ability to transform electricity into frigid air, liquefy it, and store it within a cavernous tank. When the grid calls for an energy surge, the reserved liquid air metamorphoses into a potent gas, propelling a turbine to generate clean, sustainable electricity.

The National Grid's prophecy looms large, estimating demand for up to 100GW of energy storage by 2050, essential for sustaining a renewables-dominated grid. Ørsted and Highview Power believe that their collaborative vision of combining offshore wind farms with co-located LAES systems could be the linchpin to meet this burgeoning demand.

Today, as they unveil their meticulously researched findings, these visionary entities illuminate the boundless potential of fusing LAES technology with offshore wind turbines. Their argument is compelling: LAES systems act as guardians against the wastage of excess wind power during tempestuous weather, ensuring that every gust is harnessed to its fullest potential, optimizing the productivity of offshore wind farms.

What sets LAES apart from conventional battery storage solutions is its composition, primarily comprising steel, devoid of hazardous metals or chemical elements. With a projected lifespan exceeding 30 years, LAES outlasts the customary decade-long tenure of lithium-ion batteries, providing a compelling case for sustainability.

Richard Butland, CEO at Highview Power, said the "successful co-location" of the two solutions was a "step forward in creating a more sustainable and self-sufficient energy system for the UK."

"By enabling renewable energy to be stored and used on-demand, we are on an important journey to help accelerate the UK's journey towards energy independence and net zero emissions," he said.

To validate their conclusions, Ørsted and Highview embarked on a comprehensive exploration of technical synergies and conducted a rigorous evaluation of regulatory and economic feasibility, securing planning permissions and a market route. What's remarkable is that this ambitious LAES project can be developed and constructed on the same timeline as an offshore wind farm, a testament to their shared commitment to a green energy future.

"Our collaboration with Highview Power demonstrates what is possible in building a world that runs entirely on green energy," said Duncan Clark, managing director of UK and Ireland for Ørsted. "Together, our technologies can be a catalyst to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and help unlock the economic potential of that transition for the UK."

In a promising turn of events, Ørsted and Highview Power pledge to contribute their insights on the feasibility and advantages of liquid air energy storage to the government's ongoing long-duration energy storage consultation.

On a related note, the Labour Party has unveiled a bold plan to expedite grid connections across the UK, facilitating swift integration of renewable energy sources. This initiative aims to empower farmers and landowners to seamlessly connect their renewable energy projects to the grid, fostering a more sustainable future.

In a visionary move, the Labour Party also reiterates its commitment to the 'Warm Homes Plan,' a transformative endeavor designed to stimulate home retrofitting, generate employment opportunities, and reduce household energy costs.

"As well as cutting bills, Labour's Warm Homes Plan will bring thousands of new jobs - from the roofers to the metal workers, from glaziers to heating engineers," said Shadow Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Ed Miliband. "Creating these good jobs across every part of our country is a crucial part of building a stronger economy and making working people better off."

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