UK-based Highview Power Storage has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Basil Read Energy (BRE) to deploy its energy storage technology in South Africa and the sub-Saharan Africa market.

Under the terms of the agreement, BRE will gain exclusive rights to deploy and implement Highview’s proprietary cryogenic energy storage technology and Highview will receive technology licence fees per MW installed.

In 2005, Highview piloted the world’s first Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) plant in Slough, London with Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE).

LAES is one of only a few technologies which can be delivered at the 50MW to 100MW scale with hundreds of MWh of energy stored.

Gareth Brett, Highview Power Storage CEO, said its partnership with BRE marks the first commercial agreement since the opening of this plant.

"With the very high quality of our international partners, I am confident that we shall see the ground being broken for the first multi-MW plants next year," added Brett.

"This market place plays to the technology’s key strengths and fits with our business model."

Ian Curry, BRE director, said using air in liquid form as the energy storage vector is an attractive solution, as air is in infinite supply.

"It means the plants can be located anywhere rather than being dependent on a specific type of geography or location of a specific resource, such as water," said Curry.

"Simultaneously reducing electricity demand and ensuring security of supply at peaktimes is a key challenge facing the African energy industry today."