Average reading time for this story is 1 minutes
Energy Vault, a Swiss innovator in energy storage, has started construction of its first commercial-scale gravity-based energy storage system. It is located in Jiangsu Province in China.
The company called the project a “world-first”, and the contract worth $US50 million with Atlas Renewable and China Tianying was signed earlier in the year.
The Energy Vault Resiliency Center is located next to Rudong’s wind farm. It will deploy its gravity-based EVx energy storage to store and supply renewable energy to China’s State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), which is the largest utility in the world.
Although gravity-based storage technology isn’t new, it is the foundation for pumped hydro storage. Energy Vault hails its technology as a potential game changer.
Energy Vault offers custom-made composite blocks that can be made from water. Each block can be made with a variety of materials and provides a long-term recycling solution to wind turbine blades or coal combustion residuals.
The composite blocks of 30-tonne weight are charged and elevated to an elevated position. They are then stored. When energy is required, kinetic energy is released back into the grid through a controlled lowering under gravitational force.
It can be constructed in increments of 10 MWh that can scale up to multi-gigawatt hours storage capacity. The Energy Vault technology uses electricity to lift the blocks.
Robert Piconi (chair, co-founder and CEO of Energy Vault) stated that China’s first commercial EVx(tm), deployment was a major milestone for Energy Vault as well as the People’s Republic of China in pursuing its decarbonization goals.
China is increasing its use of renewable energy and implementing annual mandates for energy storage to help it meet its decarbonization goals.