June 21, 2024
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Energy Vault and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) Announce Exclusive Global Gravity Energy Storage Partnership

Energy Vault Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: NRGV) (“Energy Vault”), a leader in sustainable, grid-scale energy storage solutions, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), a leading architecture and engineering firm, today announced a global exclusive gravity energy storage partnership.

Responsible for designing many of the world’s most well-known buildings, including Burj Khalifa, Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Willis Tower, and One World Trade Center, SOM’s widely-acclaimed architectural, technological, and structural innovations have paved the way for tall buildings around the world for nearly a century.

As part of this strategic partnership, SOM will be the exclusive architect and structural engineer for the next generation of fixed frames and deployable structures for all new Energy Vault gravity energy storage systems (GESS), including incorporating gravity energy storage technology into tall buildings in urban environments and deployable structures in natural environments, to maximize sustainability, accelerate carbon payback and lower the levelized cost of energy consumption. Energy Vault began working with SOM during the last 12 months to optimize the structure, architecture and economics of its GESS technology, which is playing a critical role globally in the deployment of renewable energy.

G-VAULT™, Energy Vault’s family of gravity-based solutions, combines time-tested energy storage principles, modern engineering, an AI-enabled software orchestration platform and cutting-edge materials science to deliver long-duration storage. G-VAULT products decouple power and energy to enable full customer flexibility to design the optimum storage system while maintaining a leading performance in round trip efficiency versus any other mechanical or thermo-dynamic energy storage systems. The result is a flexible, low-cost, 35-year (or more) infrastructure asset designed for shifting power delivery without any energy storage medium degradation. Utilizing eco-friendly materials with the ability to integrate waste materials for beneficial reuse, Energy Vault’s gravity-based energy storage technology is facilitating the shift to a circular economy while accelerating the global clean energy transition for its customers.

To date, Energy Vault’s G-VAULT product suite has focused primarily on the Company’s EVx™ platform, originally grid connected (5 MW) and tested in Switzerland, which features a highly scalable and modular architecture that can scale to multi-GW-hour storage capacity. The EVx is currently being developed and deployed via license agreements in China (3.7 GWh announced projects), Egypt, Greece and the 16 country South African Development Community, as previously announced. Through this partnership, Energy Vault and SOM are designing a new platform of G-VAULT GESS solutions focused on improved economics, energy density and sustainability, including EVu™, EVc™, EVy™, and EV0™.

  • EVu is a superstructure tower design, which improves unit economics and enables GESS integration into tall buildings through the use of a hollowed structure with heights over 300 meters, and up to 1,000 meters tall. These structures will have the capacity to reach multi-GWh of gravity-based energy storage to power not only the building itself but also adjacent buildings’ energy needs. This innovative design which integrates leading GESS technology within superstructure building design and engineering will, for the first time in building construction and operation history, enable a carbon payback within accelerated timeframes of 3-4 years.
  • EVc for the first time enables the deployment of large scale pumped hydro energy storage systems integrated within tall building structures using a modular water-based system. Primarily a standalone GESS, EVc can also be integrated into tall buildings that form the basis of the EVu design. EVc’s cylindrical shape is an optimized design to withstand environmental factors such as wind and seismic events.
  • EVy applies Energy Vault’s core gravity technology to pre-existing slopes and topography to store energy with minimal environmental impact and reduce the need for manmade structures, which can achieve ultra-low cost capital expenditures through eliminating the construction of the fixed frame structure.
  • EV0 allows for all of the technical and economic benefits of traditional pumped hydro storage, while eliminating negative consequences associated with concrete production and disruption to existing wild-life eco-systems. This innovative, “modular pumped hydro” system leverages a unique and low cost fabric vessel (the “Water Tree”) to store the water in pre-manufactured modules that can be deployed quickly while leveraging proven pump-turbines and penstock designs for existing pumped hydro systems.

“We are extremely pleased to begin this exclusive global partnership with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a firm with an unparalleled track record in developing some of the world’s most remarkable structures,” said Robert Piconi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Energy Vault. “Our strategic partnership with SOM opens a new multi-billion dollar market segment for Energy Vault focused on the future of sustainability in new building design and energy efficiency. The combination of our pioneering work in gravity energy storage technology with the global track record and expertise of the most widely renowned engineering, design, and architecture firm in the world will provide the first platform toward delivering accelerated carbon payback in building construction and operation for the first time.”

The partnership is led by SOM Partners Adam Semel and Scott Duncan with Structural Engineer Bill Baker. Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading structural engineers, Baker has spent his career crafting elegant solutions to complex structural challenges, from the 828-meter-tall Burj Khalifa to the netted installations of artist Janet Echelman. Architects Semel and Duncan have delivered many of SOM’s most impactful recent and upcoming projects, including supertall mixed-use towers across China, the largest private development in Thailand’s history, and a $5B electric vehicle manufacturing campus.

“Since our founding, SOM has pushed the boundaries of architecture and engineering, redefining what buildings can do for cities and communities,” said Semel. “This partnership with Energy Vault is a commitment not only to accelerate the world’s transition away from fossil fuels, but also to explore, together, how the architecture of renewable energy can enhance our shared natural landscapes and urban environments. Given the transformative nature of Energy Vault’s technology, we’re especially excited to launch this unique, global partnership.”

Partnering with Energy Vault extends SOM’s legacy of innovation in sustainability, which has expanded beyond individual buildings to encompass research, material development, and industry leadership as a carbon-neutral company. Recent examples of this include the carbon-absorbing Urban Sequoia presentedat the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP), the development of a bio-based carbon-neutral alternative to concrete in partnership with Prometheus Materials, and a new standalone service assessing whole life carbon emissions for buildings and portfolios.

Energy Vault’s growing portfolio of GESS deployments is highlighted by recent expansions of its global footprint into the African and Asian markets. In 2023, Energy Vault announced the commissioning of the world’s first EVx™ gravity storage system in China, the largest energy storage market in the world. Energy Vault also recently announced three additional EVx™ GESS deployments of 368 MWh in China through a license and royalty agreement announced in early 2022, bringing total announced projects in China to 3.7 GWh. Earlier this year, Energy Vault announced a new license and royalty agreement for its gravity technology portfolio with grid partners in South Africa covering the 16-country Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The 10-year agreement is expected to result in multi-GWh of long duration Energy Vault GESS deployments to contribute to SADC region’s energy storage needs estimated to be 25 GW/125 GWh by 2035.

Last Updated on 3 weeks by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

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