Chile's 50-MW/600-MWh LAES project wins approval

5MW/15MWh LAES plant at Bury. Source: Highview Power (www.highviewpower.com)

September 2 (Renewables Now) - UK-Chilean joint venture (JV) Highview Enlasa on Thursday secured the environmental approval to build a 50-MW/600-MWh liquid air energy storage (LAES) facility in Chile’s region of Atacama, according to public records posted on the Chilean environmental agency’s web service.

With an investment of USD 160 million (EUR 130.1m), UK storage solutions company Highview Power and Chilean backup power supplier Energia Latina SA (Enlasa) will build a plant that will liquefy atmospheric air at minus 196 degrees Celsius (-320 degrees F) using a Claude cycle before storing it in thermally insulated tanks. When energy is required, the air is heated and regasified to produce a high-pressure airflow to drive a turbine and generate electricity.

The project is named ENSICOM, an acronym that stands for “energia sin combustion”, or energy without combustion, Highview Enlasa said in its environmental impact statement (EIS).

The LAES plant will be hooked to Chile’s SEN grid from which it will be able to draw up to 100 MW to power the cooling and energy storage process. Highview Enlasa said it wanted to site the project in the Atacama region to take advantage of the solar PV build-out there that is only going to grow in the coming years.

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024. The plant would initiate operations in 2026 and run for an estimated period of 40 years.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 1.000)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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