Feb 2, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Startup Energy Vault reaches deal to develop gravity storage tech in China

Picture of Energy Vault's EVx modular system and it's exposed

Artist rendering of Energy Vault's EVx modular system. Image courtesy of Energy Vault.

Energy Vault, one of a few startups looking to commercialize gravity-based storage tech using solid materials, has reached a deal to develop projects in China.

Driving the news: The company on Tuesday announced a $50 million licensing agreement with Atlas Renewable, which is majority-owned by the Chinese company China Tianying.

  • Atlas is also increasing its existing investment in Energy Vault's move to go public via a SPAC deal.

Why it matters: Energy storage is important for helping high levels of intermittent renewable power penetration. The companies said the technology can help China meet its decarbonization goals.

How it works: The idea is a system that raises 30-ton composite bricks and "potential energy is stored in the elevation gain of the brick," a primer on their site notes.

  • When power is needed, the system "releases kinetic energy back to the grid via controlled lowering of the bricks using gravitational force."

Yes, but: Gravity storage has its skeptics.

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