Energy Storage

07 Jun 2021

Latin America’s First Liquid Air Storage Project

07 Jun 2021  by   

Highview Enlasa, a joint venture between Highview Power, a UK-based provider of long-term energy storage solutions, and Chilean energy company Enlasa, is planning to invest $150 million in a liquid air storage project to be developed in Diego de Almagro, in Chile's northern region of Atacama.

A scheme of the project planned for the Atacama region.  Image: Highview Power

The 50 MW facility, which is currently in the pre-feasibility engineering development phase, will be able to provide 10 hours of storage.

This project is scheduled to enter into environmental proceedings in August, with construction expected to start in the second half of 2023 with the support of SK Engineering and Construction, a subsidiary of Chilean conglomerate Koppers group.

This technology is based on a simple principle: air in a gaseous state turns into a liquid when cooled to -196 ° C, being stored very efficiently in thermally insulated tanks at low pressure. Subsequently, its heating to room temperature causes rapid regasification and a volume expansion of 700 times, which is used to drive a steam turbine associated with a generator and create electricity without combustion, all this with a total efficiency that reaches 60 %, but which can reach much higher values ​​if the system is complemented with other industrial processes that generate cold or residual heat.

Highview Power is also developing several energy storage projects throughout Spain, with an aggregate capacity of up to 2 GWh and an estimated investment of about $1 billion.

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