ABB assists Gravitricity in mine shaft reuse

Photo: Gravitricity

ABB has signed an agreement with UK-based Gravitricity to accelerate the development and implementation of gravity energy storage systems in former mines. The collaboration brings new sustainability opportunities beyond shaft decommissioning. 

“As the world generates more electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources, there is a growing need for technologies which can capture and store energy during periods of low demand and release it rapidly when required,” said Martin Wright, Gravitricity co-founder and executive chairman. 

“Our GraviStore underground gravity energy storage uses the force of gravity to offer some of the best characteristics of lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro storage – at low cost, and without the need for any rare earth metals.”

Gravitricity has already proven the system with a scale demonstrator and is exploring the potential to deploy the groundbreaking technology in decommissioned mines worldwide. ABB will assist the company by providing research and development, product development and engineering teams specializing in the design, engineering and operations of mine hoists and mechanical, electrical and control technologies for hoisting.

“ABB has 130 years of history with mine hoists, since we first electrified one in Sweden in the 1890s, but this collaboration with Gravitricity shows how we can continue to diversify and adapt our technologies,” said Charles Bennett, global service manager, Business Line Hoisting, ABB Process Industries. 

“We are eager to progress with our collaboration and explore the possibilities as we become part of the next generation of renewable energy storage systems and make use of mine shafts that are no longer in service.”

Gravitricity will bring specialist expertise in grid compliance and control systems and the teams will work together on feasibility studies to understand the application of existing hoisting technology in gravity energy stores. ABB will also offer mining industry consultation and work to identify suitable sites and shafts for the deployment of GraviStore.

Source: ABB

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