Cemex's VC unit invests in storage towers developer Energy Vault

Energy Vault's storage tower. Source: Energy Vault

May 17 (Renewables Now) - The corporate venture capital arm of Mexican cement producer Cemex SAB de CV (BMV:CEMEXCPO) has invested in energy storage company Energy Vault, with plans to support the rapid market adoption of its technology.

Cemex Ventures announced the investment on Thursday, but did not reveal the exact sum it spent or the size of the ownership stake it got in return.

Energy Vault is an IdeaLab-founded portfolio company that has developed a pumped hydro-inspired system enabling renewables to deliver baseload power below the cost of fossil fuels 24 hours a day. The firm’s technology relies on low-cost, custom-made concrete bricks rather than water. These bricks are being lifted by a crane to create a tower and in the elevation gain energy is being stored. Then, the bricks are returned to the ground, turning the kinetic energy from the fall into electricity.

Energy Vault’s system is suitable to most industrial and non-suburban locations. The system is modular, with one segment designed to have a capacity of 10 MWh to 35 MWh and a power output of 2 MW to 5 MW.

Cemex and Energy Vault already had a technology partnership in place before the investment was made, stipulating the provision of concrete and other composite materials for the storage towers. The Mexican cement producer will now give Energy Vault access to its strategic network to aid the adoption and deployment of the storage technology, the announcement says.

Energy Vault 2019 3D Tower Simulation 4K from Energy Vault Inc on Vimeo.

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