Energy Vault has become the latest startup with a novel, non-lithium battery energy storage technology to attract significant investment, raising US$100 million through a Series C funding round.
The company’s giant systems use cranes that lift, swing and lower 35-tonne blocks of a composite concrete-like material, harnessing gravitational and kinetic energy to store and release energy. The technology is claimed by Energy Vault to be scalable for use in either shorter duration 2-6 hour applications or much longer 6 hour+ durations. The technology is designed to offer 80% to 85% round-trip efficiency.
Energy Vault has so far built one 5MW commercial demonstration project. The company claims its technology is non-degrading in storage capacity over time and can have more than three decades of operational life. It can easily be decommissioned, Energy Vault claims, and built using locally available materials and components.
This is part of an approach that could support local job creation for projects and reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to their deployment.