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US-Swiss startup Energy Vault will build the world's first commercial energy storage facility using gravity and a mechanical crane system in the United States.
For energy storage, 35-ton blocks made of composite material will be used, which when "charging" such a storage will rise to a great height, and when "discharged" will fall. According to the startup, just 20 cranes will be able to store enough energy to power 40,000 households for 24 hours, according to Siliconcanals.
Startup Energy Vault hopes to become the world's first supplier of energy storage facilities based on gravity. EVx towers use the same physics and kinetic energy as hydraulic accumulators, but replace water with cylindrical blocks. The modular design offers power from 10 to 35 MWh and output powers up to 5 MW. Each tower, the company says, is designed to last over 30 years without losing power.
An important feature of the Energy Vault technology is the environmental friendliness of startup projects. According to CEO Robert Piconi, the company produces blocks on site from soil and local waste, reducing supply chain costs and making it easier to transport towers. Energy Vault also claims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and a "fully renewable world" through the use of environmentally friendly materials.
The company has already implemented several test projects in its homeland - Switzerland - and is now seeking to expand to the United States. The first towers in North America will be installed in the fourth quarter of this year and launched in early 2022. To implement the project, the startup attracted $ 100 million in venture capital investments.
The Series C round was led by Prime Movers Lab venture capital fund with the participation of SoftBank Vision Fund, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Helena and Idealab X. They were joined by past startup investors - Energy Equity Opportunity Fund, SailingStone Global Energy Transition, AT Gekko, Crexa Capital Advisors LLC. Green Storage Solutions Venture I and Business Angel Gordon Crawford. The raised capital will enable Energy Vault to implement client agreements in the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.