Japanese heavy industries specialist SHI is investing in UK-based Highview Power, developer of the CRYOBattery
The global rollout of cryogenic energy storage technology received a boost yesterday as Japanese manufacturing giant Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) announced a $46m investment in British clean tech firm Highview Power.
Highview is a developer of the CRYObattery, a cyrogenic energy storage system that uses liquid air as an energy storage medium. The firm currently operates a plant in Bury, which became the world's first liquid air energy storage plant when it opened in 2018, bringing online a 5MW/15MWh system. It is now developing a 50MW/250MWh project at a decommissioned thermal power station in the North of England.
SHI's investment will support the expansion of CRYOBattery technology to a global scale, the firms said. The technology works by cooling air to -196C to turn it into liquid form, allowing it to be stored in high pressure tanks, giving it an extended lifespan of more than 30 years. The liquid air can then be released on demand to drive turbines and generate power.
Advocates of the approach argue that it can provide long term, large scale energy storage that is likely to be increasingly important as modern grids become more reliant on variable renewable energy sources, such as wind and soilar farms.
"Highview is proud to have a partner like Sumitomo Heavy Industries next to us as we further our global expansion," said Javier Cavada, president and CEO of Highview Power. "By partnering with a large technology company with the reputation of SHI, we will be able to benefit from their vast know-how, resources, and operating experience in diversified markets."
Following the investment, SHI's subsidiary SHI FW (SWF) will provide a technology hub responsible for driving forward the CRYOBattery business, SHI said. SFW currently specialises in combustion and steam generation technologies, including fluidized bed technologies, waste heat boilers, and a spectrum of aftermarket services.
"One of the biggest barriers to a carbon-free future has been the ability of renewables to perform as reliably and as cost-effectively as traditional fuel sources," said Tomas Harju-Jeanty, CEO at SFW. "Highview Power's long duration energy storage technology not only solves the problems that enable dispatchable renewables, but will be a catalyst in bringing the energy transition forward."
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