New York, New York–(Newsfile Corp. – February 7, 2022) – On the evening of February 6th, China Tianying, an A-share listed environmental protection and new energy company, disclosed that its holding subsidiary, Atlas Renewable LLC (“Atlas”), signed a Technology License Agreement with Energy Vault, Inc. (“EV”), a global developer of advanced gravity energy storage technology, on January 30th 2022, under which EV granted Atlas the rights to use the licensed technology to construct and operate gravity energy storage facilities in China (including Hong Kong and Macau).
An important example of U.S.-China cooperation in climate change technology innovation
This is an important example of U.S.-China cooperation in the proven and sustainable grid-scale gravity energy storage technology, and an important outcome of the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s signed by the U.S. and Chinese governments,” said Shi Dinghuan, former Counsellor of the State Council of China and Chairman of the Energy Investment Professional Committee of the China Investment Association. “It represents a strong collaboration between different countries in technological innovation. We thank all parties for their efforts to make this agreement possible and look forward to the success of the first demonstration project, making an important contribution to the U.S., China and the world in response to climate change!”
On this collaboration, Yan Shengjun, Chairman of China Tianying Inc., commented: ” The critical energy storage technology will provide a solution for China and the world to store renewable energy that would otherwise go to waste. It will play an increasingly important role. This solution is based on gravity and is zero carbon. We have a core strategic synergy with EV. EV designed its system in a sustainable way, recycling waste materials to reduce landfill, which will be a strong advantage of our partnership.”
He also stressed that EV’s world-class innovative energy storage technology will be deployed in China this year. As China’s green new energy industry booms, this partnership is of great importance to China and will contribute to the early achievement of China’s 2030 carbon peak and 2060 carbon neutrality targets. “We believe we can help to accelerate China’s decarbonization.”
Neil Bush, Chairman of Atlas, is the Chairman of Neil Bush Global Advisers LLC and son of the former US President George H. W. Bush. He has strong confidence in China-US cooperation in carbon neutrality and technological innovation. Neil Bush’s participation has played an important role in promoting the international development of China Tianying.
“We are excited to partner with Energy Vault to establish the first commercial licensing agreement of the company’s innovative gravity storage technology platform, which we look forward to deploying in China, the world’s largest market for renewable energy development,” said Neil Bush. “We see broad applications for implementing Energy Vault’s unique gravity energy storage and power generation system. Energy Vault’s novel solution lifts large mobile masses into position using excess power from solar, wind, or other power generation facilities and generates electricity by lowering blocks using natural gravitational forces when it is needed most.”
On the same day, Atlas also announced a US$50 million investment to the NYSE-listed Novus Capital Corporation II (“Novus”). Novus has entered a definitive agreement with EV to merge their businesses and the new company is expected to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol of “NRGV” within this month.
“Our agreement with Atlas Renewable and broader relationship with China Tianying marks a significant new milestone representing the company’s first licensing agreement and also the expansion of our global footprint into what will become the largest renewable energy storage growth market in the world over the next 10 years,” said Robert Piconi, CEO and Co-Founder, Energy Vault. “While entering the China market was not originally a part of our five-year business plan, the global imperative to arrest the growth of GHG’s in a country which releases the highest amount of CO2 emissions in the world by a factor of two required our action and priority. The incremental investments and licensing fees of $100 million this year create tremendous financial flexibility for Energy Vault to execute our plans across the globe to progress our mission of decarbonizing the planet. I applaud the leadership of Atlas Renewable and Chairman Yan of China Tianying in moving with speed and agility to forge a partnership with Energy Vault that seeks to minimize the current planned growth of GHG’s through 2030 in China while accelerating China’s broader transition to full net carbon neutrality.”
Strong partnership to help achieve China’s two carbon targets
As a well-known listed company in environmental protection, China Tianying’s main business includes environmental protection technology R&D, urban environmental services operation, waste disposal and resource recovery, environmental protection equipment manufacturing, etc. In recent years, the company has accelerated transformation around the implementation of the country’s two carbon targets, actively expanding to new energy, and has formed a strategic layout of “environmental services+ new energy”.
The signing of the technological cooperation agreement and the subscription agreement marks a milestone in China Tianying’s development in the new energy business. According to the company, the strategic partnership will largely facilitate its efforts to introduce and promote Energy Vault’s world-leading gravity energy storage technology, and accelerate the efficient implementation of the Rudong gravity energy storage project, help building a demonstration project for the company’s Regional Zero-Carbon Energy Center, developing new business models for the renewable energy sector and making important contributions to achieving the country’s carbon targets.
Collaborating with Energy Vault to introduce innovative gravity energy storage technology
China’s 3060 carbon targets have made the development of renewable energy increasingly important, and strengthening the capacity of energy storage has become a major trend. However, current storage solutions are insufficient; pumped hydroelectric energy storage (pumped hydro) – which is currently 90% of the market – and chemical batteries, both face significant issues with scalability, economics and environmental risks.
Energy Vault’s gravity-based, long duration storage technology is transforming the way electricity is stored and distributed, making it possible – for the first time – for renewable energy to be dispatchable all day, every day. The company’s advanced gravity energy storage solutions are based on the proven physics and mechanical engineering fundamentals of pumped hydro, but replace water with custom-made, environmentally-friendly composite blocks which do not lose storage capacity or degrade over time. The blocks can be made from low-cost and locally sourced materials, including the excavated soil at customer construction sites. Importantly, waste materials that traditionally must be remediated at considerable costs, such as mine tailings, coal combustion residuals (coal ash), and fiberglass from decommissioned wind turbine blades, can also be used to make the blocks, creating a circular economy that is both more economical and sustainable.
Energy Vault’s gravity-based solutions are built on the proven core storage technology for pumped hydro and feature a simplified building design that is modular, flexible, and not constrained by the same geological conditions as pumped hydro storage plants. Energy Vault’s EVx and Energy Vault Resiliency Center (EVRC) solutions apply the fundamental principles of gravity and potential energy, combining advanced materials science and proprietary machine vision software to autonomously coordinate charging, storage and discharge in grid-scale applications.
To achieve this, Energy Vault combines technology from four established industries: cranes/lifts, shipping, motors/generators and materials science. Combining potential and kinetic energy cycles, the Energy Vault gravity energy storage system is automated with advanced computer control and machine vision software to create a gravity storage innovation designed to meet the market demand for 2-12 hour storage. Energy Vault’s EVx and EVRC systems are designed to economically provide 2-4 hours of auxiliary service for higher power/shorter duration applications, while being scalable to meet medium (4-10 hours) and longer (10 hours or more) requirements.
Building the first 100MWh gravity energy storage demonstration project
With this technology partnership established between EV and China Tianying, Atlas will pay a license fee of US$50 million in 2022 to build and operate gravity energy storage system (“GESS”) facilities exclusively in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) using the licensed technology. At the same time, EV will be supporting the working capital for the construction of a 100MWh gravity energy storage demonstration project in Rudong, Jiangsu Province, to be completed and put into commercial operation during 2022. This is also the first gravity energy storage project in China. This move marks a big step forward for China Tianying to “enter the energy storage field and explore the new energy industry”.