African energy conglomerate Janus Continental Group (JCG) has increased its investment into Highview Power to over £20 million.
JCG’s subsidiary, Great Lakes Africa Energy Ltd (GLAE), previously licensed Highview technology to co-develop large-scale renewable energy generation and storage projects. Its investment is designed to help tackle the renewable energy storage gap that the company said currently exists across Africa, where nearly 600 million people live without access to electricity.
Highview Power’s CRYOBattery technology benefits from having no geographic constraints and a small footprint, even at gigawatt levels.
In the UK, the company is currently developing a 50MW/250MW liquid air energy storage (LAES) project in Greater Manchester, appointing MAN Energy Solutions to provide the turbomachinery for the project last month.
It secured a £10 million grant from the UK government to support the project's development last year, with Highview having been active in the UK for a number of years, kicking off a demonstrator project in 2015.
Highview Power also has ambitions and plans for developing similar large-scale LAES projects in territories including the US, Spain and Latin America.
"We believe that Highview Power will be a market leader in long duration energy storage," Mamadou Goumble, CEO of energy business at JCG, said, adding that dependable long-duration storage will be critical to creating a 100% renewable energy world.
The investment comes during a time where a number of companies developing alternatives to lithium-ion are securing new funding. Earlier this week, Energy Vault raised US$100 million (£72.7 million) through a Series C funding round for its energy storage solution, which uses cranes that lift, swing and lower 35-tonne blocks of a composite concrete-like material to harness gravitational and kinetic energy to store and release energy.
This came hot on the heels of iron-air long duration energy storage start-up Form Energy announcing the successful closing of a US$240 million Series D financing round, while liquid metal battery storage firm Ambri and zinc hybrid cathode battery storage company Eos Energy Enterprises have also recently seen new investment.