Gravitricity to enter US energy storage market

25 April 2023

Energy storage specialist Gravitricity is to partner with US infrastructure conglomerate IEA Infrastructure Construction to take advantage of funding being offered by the US government to support energy projects at former mines.

Gravitricity has signed an agreement with the Illinois-based construction company to seek funds jointly for renewable energy schemes, including those at disused mines. Gravitricity is an energy storage company which is developing below ground gravity energy storage systems in the UK and mainland Europe.

Earlier in April the Biden administration made $450 million available for clean energy projects at the site of current or former coal mines, as part of his administration’s efforts to combat climate change.

Gravitricity is already advancing proposals for a mine project in the Czech Republic, where they plan to store energy by lowering and raising a single massive weight suspended in the former Darkov mine.

The company has already demonstrated a smaller scale version of their technology in Edinburgh – built in partnership with Dutch winch specialists Huisman – and now plan to build full-scale schemes in the UK and worldwide. Future systems could have a capacity of 25 MWh or more. Gravitricity estimates there are around 14 000 mines worldwide that could be suitable for gravity energy storage.

Up to five clean energy projects will be funded at current and former US mines, through the $1 trillion 2021 infrastructure law, with demonstration projects expected to “… provide knowledge and experience that catalyse the next generation of clean energy on mine land projects,” the Energy Department said.

The White House also said it will allow developers of clean energy projects to take advantage of billions of dollars in new bonuses being offered in addition to investment and production tax credits available through the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The bonuses will “incentivise more clean energy investment in energy communities, particularly coal communities,” that have been hurt by a decade-plus decline in US coal production, the White House said.

Applications are due to be in by the end of August, with grant decisions expected by early next year.

Image courtesy of Gravitricity

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