Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank has announced an investment of $110 million (£91m) in a Swiss energy storage start-up firm.
The investment in Energy Vault was made through the company’s Vision Fund and will be used to accelerate the global deployment of the Swiss firm’s gravity-based energy storage systems.
Inspired by the physics and mechanical engineering used in hydropower plants, Energy Vault’s technology enables renewable energy to be stored in 35-tonne composite bricks, which are lifted to the top of purpose-built towers when power from solar and wind farms is abundant.
The weight is then lowered to release the stored electricity when required by the grid.
The start-up claims its technology enables renewables to deliver baseload power for less than the cost of fossil fuels 24 hours a day.
Robert Piconi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Energy Vault said: “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 and, with its support as a strategic partner, Energy Vault is well positioned to meet the large and currently unmet demand for sustainable and economical energy storage worldwide.”