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Renew Economy:

Swiss energy storage innovator Energy Vault says it has begun construction of its first commercial scale gravity-based energy storage system, a 100MWh facility located in Jiangsu Province outside of Shanghai in China.

The Energy Vault Resiliency Center will be built next to a wind farm in Rudong and deploy its gravity-based EVx energy storage system to store and provide renewable energy to the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the world’s largest utility.

While gravity-based storage is not a completely new technology – it is the foundation of pumped hydro storage – Energy Vault is hailing its technology as a potential game-changer.

Instead of using water, Energy Vault proposes custom-made composite blocks – each of which can be made using a range of materials, providing a long-term recycling solution for wind turbines blades or coal combustion residuals (coal ash), mine tailings, and local soil.

The 30-tonne composite blocks are elevated (charged) into an elevated position, where they are then stored, and when energy is needed kinetic energy is released back to the grid via a controlled lowering of the bricks under gravitational force.

[Joshua Hill]

More: Energy Vault starts work on 100MWh gravity-based storage system in China

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