Czech State enterprise DIAMO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Scottish company Gravitricity for a pilot energy storage project in an old coal mine.
Gravitricity claims to have developed a new underground energy storage technology that harnesses the power of gravity and that could play a significant role in Europe’s transition to renewable energy sources.
The Memorandum aims to verify the project’s feasibility and possibly prepare Europe’s first full-scale gravity energy storage at the former Darkov deep mine, where coal mining ended two years ago.
The system developed by Gravitricity stores electricity by raising and lowering heavy weights. These can be moved by exploiting the surplus of electricity produced by renewable sources, like solar power plants. One block can produce up to 2 megawatt-hours (MWh), while future multi-weight systems could have a capacity of 25MWh. The simple block of 2 MWh could supply electricity to more than 16,000 households.
“Our main task is to provide the liquidation of mines, but at the same time we are looking for new uses for the mine sites according to the needs of the region,” stated the director of DIAMO, Ludvík Kašpar. “Gravitricity’s project is an opportunity for mines, but also for our experts who can try working on new projects and cooperating with a foreign entity.”
“A low carbon world will require massive amounts of energy storage and at Gravitricity we have developed a long-life energy storage technology that can deliver super-fast energy and offers some of the best features of lithium batteries and pumped hydro storage,” said Gravitricity CEO Charlie Blair.
At the same time, Gravitricity also signed a Memorandum with the Technical University of Ostrava, whose specialist mining expertise will support the implementation of the company’s project.
Worldwide, Gravitricity estimates there are around 14,000 mines which could be suitable for gravity this type of energy storage.