Japan’s Sumitomo invests £36m in cryogenic storage firm Highview Power


Liquid air energy storage firm Highview Power has landed a $46m (£35.6m) investment from Japanese manufacturing giant Sumitomo Heavy Industries.

Lancashire-based Highview has been seeking funds to extend its cryo battery technology, which can deliver long duration storage at scale.

In 2018 the company opened a 5 MW/15 MWh pilot in Bury. It is now developing a 50 MW/250 MWh project at a disused thermal power station in the north of England.

The companies say Sumitomo’s investment will enable Highview to hone its technology for deployment at global scale, citing strong demand in Asia and the US.

Highview’s technology works by purifying air and chilling it to -190 degrees. Releasing it under pressure, the multi-phase process enables generation of clean electricity, as well as creating secondary offloads of decarbonised energy for storage or distribution through heat networks.

Supporters say that LAES batteries lose little performance over working lives as long as 30 years. Components can be adapted and improved from existing piped infrastructure. Highview claims that sourcing is easier for larger projects than smaller ones, but has stated that economies of scale work at around 20MW upwards, making large industrial companies potential customers, as well as utilities.

Highview CEO Javier Cavada, hinted at the investment in a newsletter earlier this month, stating that 2020 will be “transformative” for the company.

Highview is also expanding its senior team. The company has hired Simon Richards as commercial director and Gary Preece as power systems development director. Both have joined from Drax.

Related stories:

Highview progresses 250MWh storage scheme 

Highview Power plans to bid 50MW/200MWh LAES unit into Capacity Market

15MWh liquid air energy storage plant opens, owners plot world domination

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