The Gravity Power Plant is effectively a Water Battery. We dig a deep shaft, using standard technology from the mining industry. We build a piston of reinforced rock in the shaft. We add water and cap it, creating a closed loop system, with no additional water required.
A conventional pump/turbine forces water down the penstock into the shaft, lifting the piston. With highly efficient hydropower equipment and low piston speed, system efficiency is high. Thousands of megawatt-hours can be stored in each plant.
As the piston drops, it forces water up the penstock and through the turbine, spinning the generator to produce electricity.
Gravity Power returns energy to the grid at about 6¢ per KWh, less than half the cost of lithium ion, including the cost of energy lost in the round trip. The big difference is in CapEx. Gravity Power is the only storage solution that achieves dramatic economies of scale.
PNNL conducted a study to calculate the LCoE (levelized cost of energy) for 14 storage technologies, grouped into Pumped Storage Hydroelectric, Hydrogen, Flow, and Lithium Ion. The Gravity Power technology is by far the most cost-effective.
(Data for PSH, H, Flow, Li+ from Pacific Northwest National Lab. Data for GP from management.)
© Crossrail Ltd 2021
Denis Egan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
EPC Partner: Underground Engineering and Construction
Leading company worldwide specializing in underground engineering. Has supported more than 200 tunnelling projects worldwide. Core area of expertise in mechanized tunneling with tunnel boring machines. Further focus are special projects requiring customized solutions and trouble shooting for TBMs in difficult situations. Spun off Tunnelsoft with TPC (Tunneling Process Control), an encompassing software to manage all tunneling related data and to allow efficient visualization and automated data evaluation.
Supplier & Seal Expertise
Leading specialist worldwide in sealing applications, serving customers in a wide variety of industries. Combines longstanding engineering and market know-how with unique material expertise. Focused is on serving our customers’ most progressive (or cutting-edge) industrial opportunities and needs. The company also works collaboratively with customers on the design and validation of custom sealing systems.
As utilities deploy more renewable energy, Gravity Power can offer a storage solution that protects the environment, lowers cost for ratepayers, and provides local jobs.
Renewable energy producers require storage to maximize market share and profitability. Most producers are moving away from chemical-based storage technologies, because of cost and environmental impacts.
Builders are essential to our next-generation storage solutions. Gravity Power Plants provide a pathway to more projects, more revenue, and more contributions to their regional economies.
Local, state, and national governments need to set energy policies to achieve a carbon-free energy sector. We provide a path for this, while protecting the environment, keeping consumer costs low, and providing local jobs.