Gravitricity explores former Czech coal mine for 8MW storage

by Jonathan Adams
Czech coal mine

If successful, the project could be a ‘pathfinder’ for other such deployments of the company’s technology in Europe, Gravitricity said

Scottish energy storage outfit Gravitricity is exploring the potential to transform a former Czech coal mine into an energy storage plant with a capacity of up to 8MW.

Gravitricity is exploring a shortlist of sites Europe-wide, which include a recent mission to the Staric mine in the Moravian Silesian region of Czechia, where six deep mining sites were formally transitioned into a post mining phase earlier this year.

The Staric mine lies within a large coal field which extends across the border into Poland.

The mine shaft extends to a depth of over one km underground.

In the visit to the mine, Gravitricity met state-run mine owner DIAMO, along with the regional government and local stakeholders including VSB Technical University of Ostrava.

A final site decision is planned for early next year.

If successful, the project could be a “pathfinder” for other such deployments of the company’s technology in Europe, Gravitricity said.

Gravitricity specialises in gravity energy storage, which stores and discharges energy by lifting and lowering massive weights in a shaft.

The storage outfit has already demonstrated a scale version of its technology in Edinburgh, built in partnership with Dutch winch specialist Huisman.

This single weight system could deliver up to two megawatt hours (MWh) of energy storage, while future multi-weight systems could have capacity of 25MWh or more.

Gravitricity project development manager Chris Yendell said: By utilising former coal mines as massive energy stores, we can find new uses for existing infrastructure and help mitigate the social impact on mining communities.

He said: We received a very warm welcome in Czechia and have received a formal letter of support from the region’s governor.

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