Energy Vault will now be able to bring its revolutionary technology for renewable energy storage solutions to a global audience. According to a press release, SoftBank Vision Fund from Japan has invested in the Lugano-based company to the tune of 110 million dollars. This is the venture capitalist’s first investment in the area of energy storage technology.
According to information from the company itself, the Swiss pioneers in this area have successfully developed the world’s only cost-effective energy storage system not dependent on topography or special geological subsoil features. The hub storage power station from Energy Vault comprises a huge tower made from affordable composite bricks, each of which weighs in at 35 metric tons. A centrally integrated innovative crane design moves these bricks from top to bottom. The downwards motions allows stored energy to be reconverted into electrical energy with practically no energy loss. This energy efficiency is the key difference between this technology and hydro storage systems.
Specialist software is used to autonomously control this charge/discharge process within the energy storage tower. Proprietary algorithms regulate a variety of variable factors such as energy supply and demand volatility, grid stability and meteorological influences.
Energy Vault was founded in 2018. In collaboration with Tata Power Company Limited, Energy Vault will this year be putting a prototype of a 35MWh storage tower into operation in northern Italy. Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power firm. Moreover, the company also maintains a tight-knit partnership with the US construction materials manufacturers CEMEX and CEMEX Research Group AG, which is based in Switzerland.
“Energy Vault solves a long-standing and complex problem of how to store renewable energy at scale”, comments Akshay Naheta, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers. Naheta further explains how the company’s technologies “provide a solution that reshapes the unit economics of renewable energy while being restorative to the environment”.
Robert Piconi, CEO and Co-Founder of Energy Vault, underlined the importance of this investment in the press release: “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. The Vision Fund shares our passion to combat climate change through innovation in energy storage technologies”. This ensures that “Energy Vault is well positioned to meet the large and currently unmet demand for sustainable and economical energy storage worldwide”.