Softbank Group’s Vision Fund has made $110 million investment in Switzerland-based energy storage company Energy Vault.
Energy Vault says its technology enables renewable energy to be stored in 35-ton bricks and delivered as baseload power for less than the cost of fossil fuels at any hour of the day.
Most rival solutions focus on some form of battery storage, be it lithium ion, sodium-sulphur, lead-acid, among others. While costs have been falling – by nearly 40 percent since 2015 according to Wood Mackenzie – most degrade over time.
Akshay Naheta, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “Energy Vault is highly complementary to SoftBank’s existing energy portfolio and we are pleased to further the company’s global development.”
Energy Vault launched in 2018 and has already partnered with Mexican materials company CEMEX and India’s The Tata Power Company as it looks to complete a test phase and then build its first commercially functioning site.
The global energy storage market is expected to reach 22.2 GW in 2023, from nearly 5 GW at the end of 2018, according to a report in May by data and analytics company GlobalData.
Robert Piconi, chief executive and co-founder of Energy Vault, said despite planning to grow the business country by country, the scale of pent-up global demand for a scaleable solution convinced them to move faster.