Compressed Air, Energy Storage

Liquid Air Energy Storage firm Highview Bolsters Leadership Team

Energy storage firm Highview Power has added industry veterans Mark Somerset and Mathew Brett to its executive leadership team, the company announced Thursday.

Somerset, the former managing director of InterGen, joins Highview Power as director of business growth and global strategy. Brett, the co-founder of Greenage Power and a NeuConnect director, will be business development director.

Together they bring more than 45 years of experience from the energy industry and have collectively overseen development and financing of more than $8 billion in projects.

“Mathew and Mark bring a tremendous amount of talent to the Highview Power team with deep knowledge of the energy industry and each having delivered impressive results over the course of their careers,” said Javier Cavada, president and CEO of Highview Power, who joined the company in September after 17 years in leadership positions at Wärtsilä Corporation, one of the top three technology companies in the energy market. “Mark and Mathew will lead the global expansion of Highview Power as we scale the development of our liquid air energy storage projects.”  

Company vice chairman Gareth Brett also was appointed as chief technology officer.

Highview Power is focused on long-duration energy storage, including its liquid air technology. In June, the company launched its first grid-scale liquid air energy storage plant near Manchester, England. The process turns air into liquid by cooling it to nearly minus-200 degrees Celsius (-320F), allowing storage and ultimately re-gasification and expansion to drive a turbine and create electricity without combustion.

The origin of using compressed air as an energy storage solution dates back to the 1970s, according to Highview Power.

Somerset was recently vice president of development for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at InterGen, an owner and operator of mainly thermal power plants. During his 21 years there, he also led the development and $1 billion in financing of 1,200 MW of gas-fired power generation and managed the UK/Dutch operations where he oversaw 3,500 MW of power projects. Prior to working for InterGen, he held various roles in the chemical, waste management, transport, voluntary services, and education sectors in the United Kingdom, China, and Africa. Somerset has a degree in geography from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Cranfield University.

Mathew Brett has more than 25 years of global experience having originated, developed, and financed over $6 billion of energy and infrastructure projects. Brett is the co-founder and director of Greenage Power Limited and a director and board member for NeuConnect Britain Limited, which originated a 1.4 GW interconnector between the UK and Germany. Previously with BrightSource Energy he served as SVP business development, leading the expansion of the company’s CSP business and as general manager of a CSP joint venture with General Electric (GE). As co-founder and CEO of Advanced Power, Europe, Brett directed the development of an energy project portfolio worth over $2 billion. He holds a degree in business studies from the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, United Kingdom.

Current Vice Chairman and former CEO Gareth Brett was also named chief technology officer. Gareth Brett is largely known as the godfather of liquid air energy storage and took Highview Power’s technology from development to demonstration, establishing the first two fully operational plants in the world.