Bevan Brittan's Green Energy Team have advised Viridor Waste Management (Viridor) on the development of a demonstration project to showcase the potential of new energy storage technology.

The project involves over £8 million funding being provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to assist Viridor and their project partner, Highview Power Storage (Highview), in setting up a demonstration plant at a Viridor site in Kent to showcase Highview's revolutionary technology - the Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) system. 

Once developed, the 5MW/15MWh LAES demonstration plant will be connected to the National Grid and will be used to test balancing supply and demand using stored energy which will generate information to provide evidence of the potential widespread use of the technology.

In addition to providing energy storage, the plant will convert waste heat to power using heat from the on-site landfill gas engines. The project is scheduled to be operational by mid-2015.

The funding is pursuant to DECC's £17 million Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition which was set up to encourage the development of innovative energy storage technologies capable of addressing grid-scale storage and balancing supply and demand in the UK electricity network.   

Bevan Brittan advised on a number of aspects to the project, including support on the DECC competition and negotiation of the contract arrangements with DECC and Highview.  Lead Bevan Brittan partner for the project, Nadeem Arshad commented:

"We are very pleased to have advised Viridor on this deal.  Energy storage will be a key component of the way in which UK energy is managed in the future.  This project will help demonstrate how to store surplus electricity capacity and then make it available when the electricity system has a shortage."

Commenting on the project, Andrew Evans, Senior Legal Counsel at Viridor's parent company, Pennon Group PLC said:

“We are pleased to have secured funding for this important project. The development of innovative and sustainable methods to generate and store energy to contribute to long-term energy security is essential for the UK. Bevan Brittan are a key partner in this progress.”

Energy storage is also one of the technologies highlighted in the new Strategic Framework which was published on 14 February by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG).  The LCICG brings together UK public funded investors in low-carbon innovation, such as DECC and other similar organisations.  The new publication, Coordinating Low Carbon Technology Innovation Support, sets out LCICG’s assessment of new technologies that need government support up to 2020.   

Bevan Brittan is a leading legal adviser in the low carbon sector and is involved with many of the technology focus areas contained within the Strategic Framework including energy storage, bio-energy, heat and marine.