Enel and Energy Vault are building 18 MW/36 MWh gravity storage in the United States


Energy Vault and Enel have unveiled plans to build an 18 MW/36 MWh gravity storage system in the United States. It claims it will be the first large-scale gravity energy storage in a western country.

According to pv magazine International

Enel Green Power, the renewable energy unit of the Italian company Enel, and Energy Vault, The Swiss gravity storage specialistjointly announced plans to build a large-scale gravity storage facility in the United States.

The system will operate in the Ercot Electricity Reliability COuncil of Texas (Texas) market regulator and will also serve the Solutions Excellence Center, a research center for innovative storage technologies currently under construction. “This power plant is one of the first of its kind in the world,” Enel Green Power said in a statement. The validation of the technology, which has been tested in the US market, will provide our group with a foundation for future projects that could use gravity technology for long-term storage applications.”

The Energy Vault storage device lifts composite blocks using a solar-powered electric motor. The lifted blocks are stacked, creating potential energy. When the blocks are triggered, energy is collected and distributed for use.

The construction of the tower is based on the physics of pumping water reservoirs of energy. Composite blocks, however, as solid “moving mass” do not lose their storage capacity over time. Composite blocks can be made cheaply using excavated soil from construction sites, waste such as mine tailings and coal ash, and even fiberglass from decommissioned wind turbines, according to the company. The tower is controlled by computer systems and artificial vision software that control the charging and discharging cycles. Depending on the company, storage times from two to twelve hours or more can be achieved.

EVx, the Energy Vault system, demonstrated an efficiency of around 75% in a pilot project installed in Switzerland in 2020. The company said it expects this efficiency to improve to around 80%, which is in a similar range to pumped hydropower and even distribution networks. weighing batteries.

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