Manchester gets £300m energy storage plant

Richard Butland, Co-Founder & CEO of Highview Power

The first commercial-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant in the UK is to be built in Carrington, Manchester, marking a significant development in Britain’s move towards clean, renewable power. 

Energy equipment company Highview Power said it has secured £300 million in investment for the plant from the UK Infrastructure Bank and energy firm Centrica, along with a syndicate of investors including Rio Tinto, Goldman Sachs, KIRKBI and Mosaic Capital.

The investment will enable the construction of one of the world’s largest long-duration energy storage facilities, using Highview Power’s proprietary LAES technology that can store renewable energy for up to several weeks, longer than battery technologies. 

By capturing and storing excess renewable energy, which is now the cheapest form of electricity, storage can help keep energy costs from spiralling, and power Britain’s homes with renewable clean energy.

Once complete, the plant will have a storage capacity of 300 MWh and an output power of 50 MWs per hour for six hours. 

Highview said construction will begin on the site immediately, with the facility operational in early 2026, supporting over 700 jobs in construction and the supply chain.

The company said it will now also start planning for the next four larger scale 2.5 GWh facilities located at strategic sites across the UK, which will ensure a fast roll-out of the technology to align with UK LDES support mechanisms and enable the ESO’s Future Energy Scenario Plans.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “My vision is for Greater Manchester to be a leader in the green transition – and Highview Power’s decision to build one of the world’s largest long duration energy storage facilities at Carrington is a huge boost for the region.

“This new plant will deliver renewable energy to homes and business across our region and bring world-leading technology, jobs, skills and investment to Greater Manchester. I’m delighted to welcome Highview Power.”

Richard Butland, Co-Founder & 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.”