The Edinburgh storage firm is working on plans to transform the former Darkov deep mine in the Czech Republic into a gravity energy store – which it hopes could be a pathfinder for projects Europe-wide.

The Gravitricity concept envisages a single massive weight suspended in the Darkov mine shaft.

“Gravitricity’s technology is able to respond to grid fluctuations very quickly and flexibly in terms of megawatt volume”, said Stanislav Chvála, CEO of Nano Energies. “We could thus involve them in our virtual power plants, which help balance the grid in the way that nowadays primarily coal and gas-fired power plants are able to do.

“It is a long-life technology, well suited to integration with existing grid infrastructure. It can cycle rapidly from charge to discharge without any loss of performance over many years, and it delivers extremely fast response times of less than a second. This makes it a very attractive package to grid operators seeking grid balancing and fast frequency response services.”

In February, Gravitricity signed a memorandum with DIAMO, the Czech state enterprise charged with mitigating the consequences of coal mining in the republic, under which the two parties committed to work in tandem to seek funds to turn the decommissioned Darkov mine into a 4 MW/ 2 MWh energy store.