A pioneer in gravity-based energy storage technology aims to make its US debut after linking with a major American construction group.
Gravitricity, which uses giant weights hung in deep shafts to store energy, will partner with IEA Infrastructure Construction to jointly seek US funding for projects at former mines.
The system winches the weights upwards when excess energy from a renewable generator needs to be stored, then allows them to fall to release it. The technology has previously been cited by researchers as operating at half the cost of lithium-ion batteries.
Recharge reported earlier in April how the Biden Administration will release up to $450m for clean energy projects at mining sites, which offer a ready-made environment for the gravity-based system.
Scottish start-up Gravitricity and Illinois-based IEA said storage could also tap incentives under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which will offer a wide range of support to green projects.
Gravitricity commercial director Robin Lane said: “Governments worldwide recognise the need for energy storage and also the requirement to find new futures for mining communities seeking alternatives.
“This mine-specific US initiative, on top of the already generous IRA provisions, make the States a particularly attractive destination for first-of-a-kind projects.”
Gravitricity has a scale-version pilot plant up and running in Scotland and is advancing plans for a 4MW/2MWh plant at a former coal mine in the Czech Republic.
Gravity-based systems are one of a range of long duration energy storage (LDES) technologies being investigated as options for long-term storage of large-scale renewable output.