You are currently viewing SoftBank-backed gravity-based energy storage startup Energy Vault raises €85M

SoftBank-backed gravity-based energy storage startup Energy Vault raises €85M

Switzerland and US-based Energy Vault offers a utility-scale, gravity-based storage solution for renewable energy. The company aims to help power companies store energy for use to make up for the wind and solar intermittency.

In a recent development, Energy Vault announced that it secured $100M (approx €85M) in its Series C round of funding. 

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Investors in this round

The round was led by existing investor Prime Movers Lab with additional participation from SoftBank Vision Fund, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Helena, and Idealab X. 

New investors also participated in the current round. They include Pickering Energy Partners through its Energy Equity Opportunity Fund, SailingStone Global Energy Transition, A.T. Gekko, Crexa Capital Advisors LLC, Green Storage Solutions Venture I LLC, and Gordon Crawford.

Zia Huque, general partner at Prime Movers Lab, says, “To truly harness the power of renewable energy, the world needs to develop reliable, flexible storage solutions for when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow. Energy Vault has cracked the code with a transformative solution that is designed to fulfill clean energy demand 24/7 with a more efficient, durable and environmentally sustainable approach than other options.”

Energy storage system

Energy Vault, dual-headquartered in Westlake Village, California, and Lugano, Switzerland, was founded by Andrea Pedretti, Bill Gross, and  Robert Piconi in 2017. The company is the creator of renewable energy storage products to help transform the world’s approach to utility-scale energy storage for grid resiliency.

Applying conventional fundamentals of gravity and potential energy, the system combines advanced material science and machine-vision AI software that autonomously organises the charging and discharging of electricity using low cost composite bricks and mechanical crane systems.

Energy Vault claims to be accelerating the shift to a circular economy and a fully renewable world by utilising 100 per cent eco-friendly materials with the ability to integrate waste materials for beneficial reuse at unprecedented economics. The company’s system is cost-efficient, reliable, safe to operate, and environmentally sustainable. It is deployed through a localised supply chain that maximises local job creation and economic impact.

Recent developments

Energy Vault launched its new EVx platform in April 2021, following the commercial deployment of its energy storage system in 2020. EVx offers 80-85 per cent round-trip efficiency, a more than 35-year technical life, and a flexible, modular design that is 45 per cent lower in height and can economically serve both higher power/shorter duration applications.

With zero degradation of storage capacity over time, the potential energy of the system can be stored with composite blocks in raised position for unlimited periods of time.

To maximise the sustainability elements of the storage system, Energy Vault implemented a circular economic approach to the supply chain that also maximises on site material production, thus reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the transport sector.

Further material science innovation was developed in the manufacturing of composite blocks. This enabled beneficial reuse of waste materials such as coal ash, waste tailings from mining operations, and de-commissioned wind turbine blades, integrating these waste materials into composite blocks to power its gravity-based storage system.

Funds for growth

The proceeds from this round will help Energy Vault to roll out its EVx platform, including fulfilling a pipeline of customer agreements across markets in the US, Middle East, Europe, and Australia. Deployments will begin in the US during the fourth quarter of 2021, with a broader global ramp up expected throughout 2022.

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