Switzerland-based gravity storage system provider Energy Vault announced it will build five storage projects with a combined storage capacity of 2 GWh in China.
The company said the projects will rely on its EVx gravity-based energy storage technology and that it will partner with US-based Atlas Renewable Energy, Chinese NGO EIPC, China-based telecommunications company China Tianying, and unspecified selected provincial and local governments for their construction.
“In February 2022, Energy Vault and Atlas Renewable signed a licensing and royalty agreement for the deployment of Energy Vault’s gravity energy storage technology in China which followed a US$50 million ($74 million) equity investment into the company as part of the IPO earlier this year on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE),” the company said in a statement. “The companies immediately commenced the construction of a first 25 MW, 100 MWh system outside Shanghai in the district of Pudong, which broke ground in March 2022 earlier this year.”
In April, Energy Vault signed an agreement with Indian utility NTPC Ltd aimed at forging a long-term strategic partnership. NTPC will deploy Energy Vault’s EVx gravity-based energy storage technology and software solutions based on the outcome of a joint feasibility study.
In January, Korea Zinc agreed to invest US$50 million in Energy Vault so it can use its energy storage technology at its Australian refinery. The South Korean smelting giant is the latest major company to back Energy Vault ahead of its listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
The new investment upsized previously announced private investment in public equity funding from US$100 million to US$150 million, in conjunction with Energy Vault’s agreement to become a publicly traded company through a merger with Novus Capital Corporation II. Its previous funding round included investments from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, BHP Ventures, Volta Energy Technologies, and Softbank Vision Fund, among others.
Energy Vault’s EVx storage system is comparable to pumped hydro, using grid-scale renewable energy when supply is abundant to drive motors and raise 30-ton blocks on a six-arm crane tower, rather than water, up to a height. When power needs to be discharged back to the grid, the blocks are lowered, harvesting the kinetic energy.
According to the company, there is zero degradation in the storage capacity of the composite blocks, which can remain in the raised position for unlimited periods of time. Its composite blocks are developed in cooperation with Mexico’s Cemex, using local soil at sites where it builds its storage systems, as well as other materials such as recycled coal ash, waste tailings from mining operations, and decommissioned wind turbine blades.
Energy Vault’s EVx tower features 80% to 85% round-trip efficiency and over 35 years of technical life. It has a scalable modular design up to multiple GWh in storage capacity.