Sumitomo backs UK cryobattery developer in $46m deal

Sumitomo backs UK cryobattery developer in $46m deal

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) is moving into the global clean energy business with a $46m investment in UK developer of cryobattery technology Highview Power.

SHI’s subsidiary Sumitomo SHI FW (SFW) will become the technology centre and hub for the CRYOBattery business, thereby expanding the technology’s geographical footprint in Europe, Asia, and Americas. Shaun Dean, Vice President at Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Tomas Harju-Jeanty, CEO at SFW will join the Board of Highview Power.

“One of the biggest barriers to a carbon-free future has been the ability of renewables to perform as reliably as, and as cost-effectively as traditional fuel sources. 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. SHI has been able to operate for over a hundred years because of our dedication to innovation and ability to adapt to changing markets, and with this partnership, we believe that SHI/SFW is well-positioned to drive our leadership position in energy markets of the future,” said Harju-Jeanty at SFW.

“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,” said Javier Cavada, President and CEO of Highview Power.

Highview has already been expanding in the US through a deal with Encore Renewable Energy for the first long duration, liquid air energy storage system. This will provide a minimum of 50MW, provide in excess of eight hours of storage (400MWh) and will be located in northern Vermont.

The company has strategically sought partners in the U.S. that are renewable energy market leaders with experience in developing large-scale projects says Salvatore Minopoli, vice president of Highview Power USA. “With their expertise in community-scale solar PV systems, traditional battery storage applications and solutions for the redevelopment of under-utilized properties, Encore Renewable Energy is a perfect partner for us as we continue expanding our technology in the United States,” he said.

The cryobattery cleans and compresses air using excess energy from renewable sources and stored at -196ºC. When electricity is in high demand, the pressurized gas is allowed to warm, turning a turbine as it expands and thus generating energy that can be used at peak times when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. This can deliver power at a cost of approximately half of the current cost of traditional lithium-ion batteries, says Highview Power.

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