Under the terms of the agreement, Energy Vault agreed to provide 1.6 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy storage to support DG Fuels across multiple projects, with the first project slated for 500 megawatt hours (MWh) in Louisiana. This initial project will be followed by additional projects in British Columbia and Ohio. DG Fuels has developed a carbon conversion fuel production process that is targeting a 93% carbon conversion efficiency, which reduces the amount of feedstock required to produce SAF and lowers cost of production.
DG Fuels will deploy Energy Vault’s gravity storage systems to provide green electricity in conjunction with photovoltaic solar to firm and shape the renewable energy to match the demand load of the green hydrogen production. The renewable power will be used to power HydrogenPro water electrolysis for both hydrogen and oxygen feedstock production.
Energy Vault’s advanced gravity energy storage solutions are based on the proven physics and mechanical engineering fundamentals of pumped hydroelectric energy storage, but replace water with custom-made composite blocks, or “mobile masses”, which do not lose storage capacity over time. The composite blocks can be made from low-cost and locally sourced materials, including the excavated soil at the construction site, but can also utilize waste materials such as mine tailings, coal combustion residuals (coal ash), and fiberglass from decommissioned wind turbine blades.
Additionally, the Energy Vault systems are intended to minimize environmental and supply chain risks, which was a critical factor in the final selection by DG Fuels. The systems are automated with advanced computer control and machine vision software that orchestrate the charging and discharging cycles while meeting a broad set of storage durations starting from 2 hours and continuing to 12 hours, or more.
Energy Vault expects this agreement to provide up to $520 million in revenue across the three projects, the first of which expected to commence in mid-2022.
Robert Piconi, CEO and Co-Founder of Energy Vault, commented, “We are proud to collaborate with DG Fuels and its partners to economically enable 24/7 renewable power, supporting DG Fuels to execute against their plans to efficiently deliver green fuel to the aviation industry. Our energy storage systems are designed to maximize the use of local materials and stimulate local job creation, thus amplifying the sustainability benefits of DG Fuels’ deployment plans. These projects will play a critical role in reducing our reliance on fossil-based fuels while further advancing our country’s decarbonization goals.”
Michael C. Darcy, CEO of DG Fuels said, “We are pleased to be partnering with Rob and the Energy Vault team to deploy their innovative energy storage system which best meets our needs for reliable, cost effective, safe and sustainable energy storage. Energy Vault’s system will play a critical role within our technology and vendor ecosystem to efficiently deliver SAF to the transportation industry.”