General Electric Company (GE 0.43%) announced today that it has licensed a unique large-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) system from U.K.-based Highview Power Storage.

General Electric Company is known for having its fingers in many pots, and this latest move is a clear signal that the corporation is eyeing energy storage opportunities.

Highview's system allows power plants to store long-term energy, while also increasing their efficiency through the conversion of low-grade "waste heat" into additional electricity.

The technology is especially useful for peaker power plants (those used only to boost supply during high demand hours), since General Electric Company expects to integrate it with its gas turbines and engines.

GE 6FA gas turbine. Source: General Electric Company.

"Highview's LAES technology and access to an operational pilot plant makes it an ideal partner for GE Oil & Gas to provide fully integrated energy solutions to our customers," said Luca Maria Rossi, product management general manager for GE Oil & Gas' turbomachinery solutions business, in a statement today.

In General Electric Company's press release, it noted the increasing importance of energy storage systems as a way to smooth power supply and demand, which could also enable utilities to add on more "intermittent" renewables like wind, solar, and biogas energy.

linkAccording to today's press release, "the Highview LAES technology is scalable from around 5 MW to significantly greater than 50 MW and unlike other large-scale storage technologies, such as pumped hydro and compressed air, does not require mountains or caverns to operate."