Scots company suggests dropping 12 000 tonne weights down a mine shaft to generate and store electricity

(c) E&T Magazine

Research by RSU/TUS ‘truffle hound’ Brian McGowan

In the Guardian yesterday:

Britain’s cheapest “virtual battery” could be created by hoisting and dropping 12,000-tonne weights – half the weight of the Statue of Liberty – down disused mine shafts, according to Imperial College London. The surprising new source of “gravity energy” is being developed by Gravitricity, an Edinburgh-based startup, which hopes to use Britain’s old mines to make better use of clean electricity at half the cost of lithium-ion batteries. Gravitricity said its system effectively stores energy by using electric winches to hoist the weights to the top of the shaft when there is plenty of renewable energy available, then dropping the weights hundreds of metres down vertical shafts to generate electricity when needed. The scheme mimics hydropower projects which have played a key role in helping to balance the electricity grid since the Dinorwig project in Wales began operating in the mid-1970s.

Previous reports here on battery development in Scotland:

Scotland’s renewable power moves toward constant supply with battery twice the size of current (sic) biggest in UK

June 11, 2019

Tesla’s giant battery in Australia In the Guardian yesterday: ‘Scottish Power is to undertake the most ambitious battery power project in Europe in an attempt to unlock the potential of the UK’s wind and solar farms. The company will connect an…

First battery-powered hotel in UK is in Scotland

January 5, 2019

In Insider yesterday: An Edinburgh hotel has become the first in the UK to be battery-powered. The Gyle Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park has installed a five-tonne battery which will charge from the national grid during off-peak…

Storing Scotland’s over-production of electricity in 100Mw batteries

November 23, 2017

We’ve had numerous reports of Scotland’s wind-farms producing more than 100% of the country’s demand and, twice recently, doing so for whole months. See, for example: Scotland’s wind turbines provide enough energy for 189% of Scottish homes on nearly every…

How to use Scotland’s massive renewables output for a sustainable supply

March 9, 2019

As you know, we’ve had many days, weeks, of electricity supply from wind power at well over the 100% demand level. However, we remain susceptible to the Trumpian critique that we cannot rely on wind every day, even in Scotland.…

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

One thought on “Scots company suggests dropping 12 000 tonne weights down a mine shaft to generate and store electricity

  1. This scheme uses the same basic concept I saw several years ago, some where in America, (i wasn’t there, saw it on the telly) Electric motors were used to pull loaded rail carriages up a mountainside on rail tracks. Electricity was generated when carriages rolled back down. .

    The mineshaft scheme is perfectly suited for use in Britain as there’s plenty of mine shafts, and any additional land required would be available in the vicinity of the disused mine. IMHO its a 10/10.

    On the same subject heard on Radio Shortbread (today) about a scheme funded by “UK gov” where excess electricity is used to pressurise air till it becomes a liquid . . . electricity is generated by heating the liquid, resulting expansion driving turbines. . . . Apparently lots of international interest, another Great British Success broadcast to Scotland by The BBC

    Liked by 1 person

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