Culture 3 min read

British Company Offers new Energy Storage Technology to Vermont

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A British company has proposed a new energy storage technology to relieve congested transmission lines in places like Vermont.

Back in 2011, Vermont adopted a plan to get 90 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2050. And to a large extent, the idea is in motion.

Along with shutting down an aging nuclear plant, the state invested heavily in solar and wind-generated power. Vermont seems to be on its way towards achieving its renewable energy goal.

There’s just the energy storage and transmission issue.

Transmission lines in the sparsely populated parts of the state have a significantly low capacity, and this leads to congestion. As a result, much of the renewable energy remains unavailable in some areas of the state.

Speaking to the press on the issue, vice president of a British company, Highview Power‘s affiliate in the U.S., Salvatore Minopoli explained:

“Vermont has transmission issues. It’s a situation that many places in the U.S. are dealing with where renewable energy is being deployed more and more. It’s power that’s intermittent. They need something to balance their system out.”

So, Highview proposed a new way to “balance their system out.” It involves freezing air.

A Novel Energy Storage Technology To Decongest Transmission Lines

According to Highview Power, the storage system would use renewable electricity from wind and solar to freeze air into a liquid state. That way, it can be kept in insulated storage tanks for hours or even weeks.

Warming up the frozen air turns it back into gas. However, the expansion would be so quick that it’ll generate enough power to spin a turbine for an electric generator.

That way, energy companies can feed the resulting electricity into transmission lines when they’re less congested.

Back in December 2019, Highview announced that it could locate its first energy storage facility in northern Vermont. The press release suggested that the company intends to capture up to 400 megawatts of electricity that might otherwise remain unused.

According to vice president of the U.S. Energy Storage Association, Jason Burwen, this is huge! It would be the equivalent electricity required “to power as much as 50,000 residences for eight hours,” he said.

With that said, further negotiation is necessary to determine the exact location of Highview’s first facility. In the utility business, such talk could be a long, complicated process.

Several companies have proposed various energy storage technologies to meet the growing demand. For example, IBM recently announced a sizeable electric storage battery for power plants that’s reportedly safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

However, Highview Power’s proposal may be the most intriguing yet.

Read More: Global Renewable Energy Capacity to Rise by 50% in 5 Years

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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