ABB and Gravitricity: Mining Shafts into Energy Reservoirs

ABB and Gravitricity join forces, repurposing disused mine shafts for innovative gravity energy storage systems. The collaboration
GravistoreImage Source: Gravitricity

ABB and Gravitricity join forces, repurposing disused mine shafts for innovative gravity energy storage systems. The collaboration leverages ABB's hoist expertise and Gravitricity's GraviStore technology, tapping into former mines to offer long-duration energy storage, bolstering renewable energy solutions.



In a groundbreaking collaboration, ABB and UK-based Gravitricity have forged an alliance to explore the utilization of retired mine shafts for innovative gravity energy storage systems. Gravitricity's GraviStore, a gravity energy storage system, employs the unique concept of lifting and lowering heavy weights within underground shafts, amalgamating the best attributes of lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro storage.

Unlike conventional batteries, the GraviStore system boasts exceptional longevity, enduring decades without performance degradation. With plans to store over 20MWh, these future GraviStores promise extended-duration storage and swift power delivery to address network constraints, serving distribution networks and significant power consumers.

Abbreviating decommissioning costs and expanding renewable energy capabilities, Gravitricity's revolutionary system has already undergone successful trials with a scale demonstrator, exploring its deployment potential in decommissioned mines globally.

Leveraging their prowess in mine hoists, ABB, a prominent market leader with a vast portfolio of over 1,000 hoist solutions globally, aims to contribute expertise in research, development, product engineering, and operation technologies related to mine hoists.

Martin Wright, Gravitricity's Co-founder and Executive Chairman, highlighted the symbiotic collaboration's significance, emphasizing how ABB's extensive electrification and mine hoist system expertise will accelerate their commercialization endeavors.

This partnership aligns with ABB's strategic ambition to augment its lifecycle service business by collaborating with entities offering value-adding technologies in adjacent domains. Charles Bennett, ABB Process Industries' Global Service Manager, emphasized the collaborative spirit, acknowledging the diversification potential of ABB's technology through such synergistic alliances.

The MoU signifies ABB's commitment to exploring the next frontier in renewable energy storage systems, capitalizing on disused mine shafts. Gravitricity's specialization in grid compliance and control systems complements ABB's strengths, facilitating joint feasibility studies and site identification for GraviStore deployment.

Repurposing retired mine shafts for energy storage extends their productive lifecycle by up to 50 years, concurrently alleviating decommissioning expenses while contributing to sustainable job creation and facilitating the green energy transition.

ABB's established prowess in delivering top-tier hoisting solutions positions customers to benefit from enhanced reliability, shortened project timelines, low lifecycle costs, and comprehensive support, reaffirming their commitment to pioneering innovative solutions.

The ABB-Gravitricity partnership heralds a transformative leap in renewable energy storage, capitalizing on disused mine shafts to foster efficient, long-term energy solutions. This collaboration underscores the transformative potential of repurposing former mines, aligning with sustainability goals and pioneering innovation in the renewable energy landscape.

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