Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Energy Vault goes for the big lift to tackle energy storage challenge

© Supplied by Energy VaultRendering of building in sunlit vista
Energy Vault has gone public with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), raising $235 million gross. Picture shows; The Energy Vault EVx system. NA. Supplied by Energy Vault Date; Unknown

Energy Vault (NYSE:NRGV) has gone public with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), raising $235 million gross.

The energy storage company first merged with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Novus Capital Corp. II, in October 2021.

Man in jacket perches on desk © Supplied by Energy Vault
Picture shows; Energy Vault CEO Robert Piconi. Supplied by Energy Vault Date; 23/08/2021

Energy Vault relies on hoisting 30 tonne “mobile masses” into the air using excess energy. When the need arises for the power, the mass descends. The concept is similar to pumped hydroelectric storage.

Energy Vault CEO Robert Piconi said the listing on February 14 was an “exciting new chapter” in the company. The cash from the deal, and other agreements, “provide a significant runway for us to drive shareholder value and execute against our growth strategy”.

At the time of going to press, Energy Vault shares are down around 20% at $9.86.

The company has secured support from a range of big hitters, including Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Enel Green Power. Energy Vault uses AI and algorithms, it said, to optimise the generation and storage.

Crunching numbers

The company’s vice president of sales Omar Aoun, speaking to Energy Voice in Abu Dhabi last month, said the technology had a round trip efficiency of around 80%.

“It’s second best to batteries, which offer around 90% for four hours of storage. Alternative storage options are around 60% or less,” he said. “It’s very scalable. The way to think of it is that width is what drives the MW and the depth of the building is what drives the MWh.”

To be cost effective, an Energy Vault project would need a minimum size of 25 MW with a duration of eight hours, he said. The company calculates that a two acre plot would provide 100 MW, with a height of 100 metres, so 1 GW would require 20 acres.

Crane with four arms lifting blocks © Supplied by Energy Vault
Picture shows; Energy Vault’s original crane system. NA . Supplied by Energy Vault Date; Unknown

Energy Vault has a demonstration project in Switzerland in operation, which it connected to the grid in July 2020. This plant is helping the company tackle efficiency while also driving costs down. This original design was similar to a crane, while the newer design, EVx, is more like a building.

“At scale, this becomes more economical than batteries. The foundation is a big part of the cost,” Aoun said. The company claims that its technology is 51% of the cost of lithium ion batteries.

“There’s a mix of customers, from independent power producers [IPPs], large utilities and through to large mining companies.” The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with BHP.

Power from an energy storage project can go to a variety of uses, whether simply providing electricity, or green hydrogen or pricing arbitrage.

On track for Texas

“The first commercial project will start up by the end of next year and it will be in Texas,” Aoun said. “Energy storage is a growing market and it will continue to grow. We’re only scratching the surface at this point.”

One area for growth will be in China. Atlas Renewable, backed by China Tianying, made a $50mn investment in Energy Vault before the listing. It will pay another $50mn to licence the energy storage technology this year.

In building the mobile masses, Energy Vault has raised the prospect of using combustion residuals from coal power plants and repurposing materials from wind turbine blades. Enel Green Power has signed up to back the latter.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts