Highview Power Storage is a privately-funded UK company, (working since 2005). It is led by Gareth Brett, CEO, a veteran of the independent power sector and previously head of new nuclear build for British Energy. One of the company’s original founders/technology co-inventors, Toby Peters remains involved as Head of Strategy/COO. The company has raised £11m of equity investment to date. The pilot project is supported with a £1.1m grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Highview has a strong team of experienced personnel covering technology development, IP management and power project financing, development and deployment expertise. NTR plc, an international developer and operator of renewable energy (wind, solar and ethanol), is a major investor and shareholder.
The company was founded by an engineer, Peter Dearman, (the inventor), and ex-Director of Shell, Ferd Berger, (the businessman) in 2002 to develop a piston engine which ran on liquid nitrogen (the Dearman Engine). In 2004, Toby Peters joined the founder team with the brief to explore the national and global commercial potential of liquid nitrogen powered engines.
The founders took a strategic decision to position the company into industrial and utility scale electricity storage as the first market; now recognised as one of the primary global market opportunities.
They began work with a research team from the University of Leeds on the development of a turbine-based utility-scale liquid air energy storage system. In 2008, the joint team succeeded in building a lab-scale proof of concept system and began working on its pilot unit.
With a pilot plant in development, Ferd Berger took a non-executive role in December 2008, when he invited utility expert Gareth Brett to become CEO; Ferd retired as Chairman in October 2009.