Swiss Storage Firm Energy Vault Commissions First Gravity Energy Storage System In China

Highlights :

  • The system will be the world’s first commercial, grid-scale gravity energy storage system.
  • Constructed just outside of Shanghai adjacent to a wind turbine farm, the 25 MW EVx system will be one of the largest long duration energy storage systems in the world
Swiss Storage Firm Energy Vault Commissions First Gravity Energy Storage System In China

The world’s first grid-scale EVx™ gravity energy storage system (GESS) has entered the first phases of commissioning. Energy Vault Holdings, a firm that delves in sustainable, grid-scale energy storage solutions, has announced the commissioning of the project, along with its partners Atlas Renewable and China Tianying (CNTY).

Energy Vault Announces Commencement of Commissioning of World’s First EVx™ Gravity Energy Storage System (Photo: Business Wire)

Located outside of Shanghai in Rudong, Jiangsu Province, China, the 25 MW/100 MWh EVx GESS is built adjacent to a wind farm and a national grid interconnection site to augment and balance China’s national energy grid through the storage and delivery of renewable energy.

Commissioning began in June 2023 on the power electronics and new ultra-efficient “ribbon” lifting systems. The system is expected to be fully grid interconnected in Q4 as planned with local state grid authorities, making EVx the world’s first commercial, utility scale non-pumped hydro gravity energy storage system. Building on the excellent round trip efficiency (RTE) results (above 75%) of the first 5 MW EV1 tower that was grid interconnected in Switzerland in mid-2020, the new EVx system with its efficiency chain design enhancements is expected to have RTE above 80%, placing the new gravity system as a leader in energy storage efficiency versus all other forms of mechanical, thermodynamic processes, compressed air or flow battery systems.

“Happy to share our continued progress and a critical milestone achieved with our partners Atlas Renewable and China Tianying related to commencement of commissioning activities of the world’s first EVx gravity energy storage system,” said Robert Piconi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Energy Vault. “The team’s pace and quality of development since the start of construction in March 2022 has been extraordinary, especially when considering the backdrop of two COVID related work stoppages in the first year of construction alone. While this represents a significant milestone, our work in China is just beginning given recent local announcements of multi-GW hours of gravity energy storage buildouts, including projects announced in 2022 supporting China’s “Zero-carbon parks” initiative with Energy Vault’s gravity energy storage technology. Look forward to sharing more on this first EVx deployment and our planned future gravity technology deployments globally as we see increasing demand for longer duration energy storage.”

Eric Fang, Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Renewable, stated, “This milestone could not have been achieved without the unprecedented collaboration between the collective teams in the U.S. and China, as the world’s two largest economies have joined forces to meaningfully address climate change. Energy Vault’s breakthrough, innovative technology is on the cusp of playing a critical role in supporting China’s clean energy transition and 30-60 decarbonization policy. We remain focused on an efficient system commissioning process in order to begin storing and dispatching renewable energy to China’s national grid in full alignment with local and state grid authorities. This first deployment of Energy Vault’s EVx technology will serve as a model for global decarbonization technology partnerships, and as we have previously announced, are already working on multi-GWh deployments of Energy Vault’s gravity technology in China to support and ideally accelerate China’s current 30-60 net carbon neutral plans.”

New Gravity Energy Storage Project in Offing

Highlighting the market adoption of Energy Vault’s gravity technology, China Tianying’s subsidiary, Jiangsu Nengying New Energy Technology Development Co., Ltd., announced last week that it has entered into an agreement with the People’s Government of Huailai County to build an additional 100 MWh gravity energy storage project in Huailai County, Hebei Province, China. The project, to be located in Cunrui Town, will provide stable and eco-friendly green electricity to data centers in the region.

Energy Vault will provide more details on this expansion during the Company’s second quarter 2023 earnings conference call scheduled for August 8, 2023.

Additionally, on July 26, the National Energy Administration of China released a comprehensive roster of significant technical equipment projects scheduled for 2023 within the energy sector.

GESS In India 

The concept of GESS is making inroads into India with several initiatives coming up in this direction.

NTPC Limited, the largest power generating utility in India, announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Energy Vault Holdings, Inc in April, 2022.

The objective of the MoU is to collaborate and formalize a long-term strategic partnership for the deployment of Energy Vault’s EVx™ gravity-based energy storage technology and software solutions based on the outcome of a joint feasibility study. The technology also offers beneficial utilization of coal ash for manufacturing of composite blocks for Energy Vault’s gravity based energy storage system.

Last year, in November, Gravitricity, a Scotland-based energy storage firm initiated a project to show the viability of its GESS technology in India.

As per Gravitricity, its system can work for for up to 50 years while also storing energy at a cost that is half that of lithium-ion batteries. The firm had joined hands with Panitek Power on the year-long project.

Among the first instances of GESS being introduced to India came to light in 2018 when Tata Power joined hands with Energy Vault to buy 25 MWh of GESS.

How Does Gravity Energy Storage System Work?

Gravity based solutions employ a proprietary mechanical process and energy management system to store and discharge electricity. When renewable energy generation is high, EVRC uses that energy to raise 30 ton bricks to an elevated position. Potential energy is stored in the elevation gain of the brick. When energy is needed, EVRC releases kinetic energy back to the grid while controlled lowering of the bricks under gravitational force. Specially engineered control software ensures the bricks are placed in exactly the right location each time.

In short, the Energy Vault® EVx platform utilizes a mechanical process of lifting and lowering composite blocks to store and dispatch electrical energy. Applying the fundamental principles of gravity and potential energy, Energy Vault® GESS brings together advanced materials science and proprietary machine-vision software to autonomously coordinate balanced storage and dispatch of electricity for grid-scale applications.


EVx is the modular building brick of the EVRC system that can be built to scale in increments of 10 MWh units. This helps meet energy demand, support grid resilience, manage energy disruptive climate events and extreme weather.

The systems can be co-located with renewables and/ or built as stand-alone storage to support grid stability.

The integration of these advanced technologies with conventional physics of gravity enables the firm to address a large, unmet need for energy storage solutions that manage the intermittent supply of renewable energy at utility scale to deliver dispatchable energy on demand, accelerating broader market adoption of renewable energy sources.

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