Highview Power Storage, a designer and developer of large-scale energy storage solutions for utility and distributed power systems, has agreed to enter ACRE, New York City’s business incubator for smart cities, smart grid and clean energy at the Urban Future Lab (UFL) located at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Highview offers a cryogenic energy storage solution that utilizes the basic principles of Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) and draws from established processes from the turbo-machinery, power generation and industrial gas sectors. The components of Highview’s process, according to the company, can be sourced from large OEMs and have established lifetimes and performance levels.
“We’re thankful for this chance to enter the New York energy ecosystem and look forward to continuing our success and growth in the United States market, anchored by the resources the Urban Future Lab community will provide,” says Gareth Brett, CEO of Highview. “Everything from its unique mentorship opportunities, the proximity to top talent at the university and access to capital will be invaluable as we continue to scale up our operations in this key market for LAES.”
LAES technology works by taking off-peak or excess electricity and using it to turn air into a liquid by refrigerating it to -196°C and storing it in insulated tanks at low pressure. When power is required during peak hours, liquid air is drawn from the tanks and pumped to high pressure. Heat harnessed from the liquefaction process is then applied to the liquid air via heat exchangers and an intermediate heat transfer fluid, producing a high-pressure gas in the form of air that is then used to drive the turbine and create electricity.
The UFL hosts several programs focused on educational, policy and market solutions to the issues of sustainability. In addition to ACRE, UFL houses a proof-of-concept center called PowerBridgeNY, and Clean Start, one of UFL’s educational programs.
“We’re excited to welcome Highview Power Storage to our growing portfolio of member companies that every day work toward clean energy solutions to the world’s most pressing energy challenges,” says Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives at the UFL. “A vital part of future innovation in the smart cities, smart grid and clean energy space is energy storage. Highview Power provides storage at no technology risk and very low cost, making easy attainable at grid scale. New York and the US are ready markets for a solution such as this.”
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering Future Labs ecosystem also includes the Data Future Lab in SoHo as well as the Digital Future Lab and Bunker Labs NYC for veterans, both located in Brooklyn. The Future Labs are the first public-private partnership with New York City tasked with creating a sustainable incubation program focusing on increasing the success rate of new ventures and generating economic impact.
Since its inception in 2009, the combined Future Labs have helped companies create more than 1,250 jobs, raise more than $145 million in capital and generated a local economic impact of $352 million.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent announcement to close the Indian Point Energy Center has been of significant interest to all members of the Urban Future Lab. Highview is uniquely positioned to address the closure and what it means for New Yorkers. “Replacing the amount of lost generation capacity from Indian Point nuclear power plant with renewable generation at a meaningful scale to tip the needle, is both a large task and a massive opportunity,” says Matthew Barnett, business development director at Highview. “To do this effectively a locatable, large scale, long duration and clean energy storage technology like our Liquid Air Energy Storage GigaPlant would help make this a reality and is something that could be built from a global supply chain today at low cost.”