Switzerland-based Energy Vault has closed a $110 million funding round with investment from SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund.
The energy technology firm says that the investment will enable it to accelerate global deployment of its innovative long-duration energy storage technology.
The investment is SoftBank’s first in the energy storage sector, it said.
“As we pursue our mission to enable renewable energy to replace fossil fuels 24 hours a day, we’re thrilled to partner with SoftBank Vision Fund as we expand our global presence,” said Robert Piconi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Energy Vault. “The Vision Fund shares our passion to combat climate change through innovation in energy storage technologies and, with its support as a strategic partner, Energy Vault is well positioned to meet the large and currently unmet demand for sustainable and economical energy storage worldwide.”
Energy Vault’s storage technology is a gravity-based solution using concrete blocks that can be raised and lowered to store or generate energy. The movement of the blocks is controlled autonomously by software that responds to changes in power availability in the electrical grid – storing up energy when electricity is abundant and creating electricity when needed.
Energy Vault is planning a test phase with India’s Tata Power Company, and has also signed an agreement to demonstrate the first 35 MWh storage tower in the north of Italy in 2019. The technology is designed to enable renewable energy plants to provide baseload energy 24 hours a day.
“Energy Vault solves a long-standing and complex problem of how to store renewable energy at scale,” said Akshay Naheta, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers. “The company’s integration of proven technologies with 21st century material science and machine vision software provides a solution that reshapes the unit economics of renewable energy while being restorative to the environment.
“Energy Vault is highly complementary to SoftBank’s existing energy portfolio and we are pleased to further the company’s global development.”