Australian renewable energy startup Green Gravity has partnered with underground mining contractor RUC to accelerate the commercialization of its gravitational energy storage technology.
Green Gravity and Western Australian mining contractor RUC have agreed to collaborate on technical capabilities, data insights and commercial arrangements related to gravity energy storage systems.
Green Gravity aims to use gravity to produce clean, transmittable energy. Its technology is based on lifting and lowering very heavy weights in old mine shafts while turning a turbine that generates electricity – essentially an alternative to pumped water or batteries without the need for water or chemicals.
Green Gravity chief executive Mark Swinnerton said the company’s energy storage technology “represents a breakthrough in the search for economical long-term storage of renewable energy”.
“Green Gravity brings new technology to the existing population of mine shafts,” he said. “By reusing mining assets, costs can be kept low. By using gravity as a fuel, we avoid the critical consumption of water, land and chemicals that other storage technologies depend on.
Swinnerton said the partnership with RUC combines the mining contractor’s capabilities in shaft sinking and mine shaft lifting operations with Green Gravity’s technology, a combination he believes has the potential to significantly accelerate and improve the deployment of gravity energy storage systems in mine shafts… Detailed design underway for our commercial scale energy storage system where RUC’s global scale and innovative thinking is integrated into areas such as vertical transport system and mine cutter design, brings superior results to the technology.
The signing of the contract follows Green Gravity’s recent announcement that it is partnering with BlueScope to build a 12m high prototype steelmaker at its Port Kembla steelworks. The research and development center will also have a digital twin that can be used to test new components or hypotheses before they are tested in the physical world.
“(The) lab will enable validation of power generation capacity and efficiency in addition to the data that supports Green Gravity technology to connect to the power grid at scale,” Swinnerton said. “This allows us to have confidence in the operation of the mine and to have the mine operators say, ‘Here it works,’ and that’s a way to build trust.”