Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
February 2, 2022
The following news reports focused on a first US-China joint venture based on the gravity-based energy storage technology in China. The project has been promoted in China via Neil Bush’s George Bush Foundation for US-China Relations in conjunction with Energy Investment Professional Committee (EIPC) under the Investment Association of China (www.iacorg.cn). EIPC Expert Chairman, Former State Counsellor Mr. Shi Dinghuan supported this project with excellent leadership, and he is quoted in the news release.
Business Wire reported today on the essence of the deal:
First gravity-based storage agreement between a U.S. and Chinese company to support China’s stated goals of Carbon Peak by 2030 and Carbon Neutrality by 2060
$50 million in technology licensing to be recognized in 2022 as part of a multi-year License and Royalty agreement signed with Atlas Renewable LLC toward future multi-GWh deployments of Energy Vault’s innovative EVx platform; first 100MWh EVx project to begin in 2022 at a pre-selected site in Rudong, Jiangsu Province, outside of Shanghai
Energy Vault and China Tianying, a China Fortune 500 public company, to collaborate to maximize the beneficial re-use of waste and recycling materials within the Energy Vault eco-brick composites leveraging China Tianying’s local leadership in the treatment and re-use of waste
Energy Vault officially welcomed the news with enthusiasm:
“Our agreement with Atlas Renewable and broader relationship with China Tianying marks a significant new milestone representing the company’s first licensing agreement and also the expansion of our global footprint into what will become the largest renewable energy storage growth market in the world over the next 10 years”
From VentureBeat, more details are revealed:
LUGANO, Switzerland & WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. & HOUSTON & BEIJING–(BUSINESS WIRE)–February 1, 2022–
Energy Vault, Inc. (“Energy Vault”), the company developing sustainable, grid-scale energy storage solutions, today announced a License and Royalty agreement for renewable energy storage with Atlas Renewable LLC (“Atlas Renewable”) and their majority investor China Tianying Inc. (CNTY) (CN: 000035), an international environmental management and waste remediation corporation engaged in smart urban environmental services, resource recycling and recovery, and zero-carbon clean energy technologies. The agreement supports the deployment of Energy Vault’s proprietary gravity energy storage technology and energy management software platform within mainland China and the Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of Hong Kong and Macau. In addition, Atlas Renewable is making a $50 million investment to upsize the current private placement investment (“PIPE”) from $150 million to $200 million, and paying an additional $50 million in 2022 licensing fees for use and deployment of Energy Vault’s gravity energy storage technology.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220201005530/en/
Atlas Renewable Signs Licensing and Royalty Agreement for Mainland China and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Major players in this project.
Energy Vault and Atlas Renewable have signed a $50 million licensing agreement for the use of Energy Vault’s proprietary gravity-based energy storage technology in China. The agreement includes terms governing volume-based deployment royalties and covers maintenance, monitoring and the beneficial re-use of waste materials within Energy Vault’s composite blocks. The payments of the $50 million licensing fees are scheduled to be made in 2022.
The agreement represents the first gravity-based storage partnership between a U.S. and Chinese company for the deployment of the technology in China. The licensing agreement, which also marks a first of its kind for Energy Vault, is for the use of its EVx™ and EVRC™ product platforms. The companies expect to start construction of the first 100MWh system in Q2 2022 at the selected site in Rudong, Jiangsu Province located outside of Shanghai. The companies will also assess the reuse of available waste materials such as coal combustion residuals, mine tailings, waste fiberglass and concrete debris as a beneficial re-use within the “mobile masses” used in the construction of the gravity energy storage systems. The licensing agreement is separate and additional to Atlas Renewable LLC’s $50 million PIPE investment.
“We are excited to partner with Energy Vault to establish the first commercial licensing agreement of the company’s innovative gravity storage technology platform, which we look forward to deploying in China, the world’s largest market for renewable energy development,” said Neil Bush Chairman of Atlas Renewable LLC. “We see broad applications for implementing Energy Vault’s unique gravity energy storage and power generation system. Energy Vault’s novel solution lifts large mobile masses into position using excess power from solar, wind, or other power generation facilities and generates electricity by lowering blocks using natural gravitational forces when it is needed most.”
Chairman of CNTY, Mr. Yan Shengjun, stated, “As China’s new green energy industry is booming, the introduction of world class innovative energy storage technology this year will be showcased in China by Energy Vault.
“This key element of storage,” Chairman Yan said, “will allow renewable energy to play an increasing role in providing the people and China, as a whole, with a solution to capturing energy which would otherwise be lost and that non-carbon solution is based upon the natural force of gravity. We have a core strategic synergy with Energy Vault in the sustainable way they have designed their system to take advantage of waste materials for recycling to avoid landfilling these materials, and this will be a strong advantage of our cooperation.”
EIPC Expert Chairman, Former State Counsellor Mr. Shi Dinghuan reflected on the Energy Vault relationship with Atlas Renewable: “This is a bright example of Sino-U.S. cooperation on gravity energy storage technology, which is one of the only proven and sustainable technologies for utility scale energy storage, and an important achievement in implementing the Sino-U.S. government’s Glasgow Joint Declaration on Strengthening Climate Action in the 2020s: it represents a strong cooperation in the field of technological innovation on a cross-border basis. We thank all parties for their efforts in this regard, and look forward to the early success of the demonstration projects of the cooperation between the two parties, making important contributions to the response to climate change between China, the United States and the world.”
“Our agreement with Atlas Renewable and broader relationship with China Tianying marks a significant new milestone representing the company’s first licensing agreement and also the expansion of our global footprint into what will become the largest renewable energy storage growth market in the world over the next 10 years,” said Robert Piconi, CEO and Co-Founder, Energy Vault. “While entering the China market was not originally a part of our five-year business plan, the global imperative to arrest the growth of GHG’s in a country which releases the highest amount of CO2 emissions in the world by a factor of two required our action and priority. The incremental investments and licensing fees of $100 million this year create tremendous financial flexibility for Energy Vault to execute our plans across the globe to progress our mission of decarbonizing the planet. I applaud the leadership of Atlas Renewable and Chairman Yan of China Tianying in moving with speed and agility to forge a partnership with Energy Vault that seeks to minimize the current planned growth of GHG’s through 2030 in China while accelerating China’s broader transition to full net carbon neutrality.”
About China (CNTY) Tianying Inc., Nantong City, Jiangsu Province
China Tianying Inc. (CNTY) is the largest environmental services firm in China. A listed international company, CNTY is engaged in smart urban environmental services, resource recycling and recovery, and zero-carbon clean energy technologies (stock code: 000035). The company’s business expands from smart urban environmental services, waste-to-energy (WtE) power generation, renewable energy power generation, regional energy centers, hydrogen energy centers, and investment, construction, and operation of circular economy industrial parks, to reduction, recycling, and harmless treatment of catering waste, hazardous waste, construction and demolition waste. CNTY also researches, develops, and manufactures environmental protection equipment and energy storage systems. CNTY has established a whole-industry-chain business coverage from cleaning services, to waste collection, transfer, and end treatment.
About Sky Tower Energy Co., Beijing, China
Sky Tower Energy is a platform company dedicated to the coordinated development of energy policy, industry, technology, and capital, integrating the development, construction and operation of “wind-solar hydrogen storage” projects within China. Sky Tower is built on a 20 year history of working to advance climate change understanding and low carbon resiliency. Sky Tower is EIPC most important strategic partner and a key member of the Energy Investment Professional Committee (EIPC) a trade association of significant companies with varied interests across the energy production and delivery spectrum but all dedicated to low carbon sustainable development.
About Atlas Renewable LLC, Houston, Texas
Atlas Renewable LLC is structured as an integral part of the project development and execution process led by CNTY in China. Atlas Renewable LLC serves as an American facilitation bridge between Chinese institutions, investors and regulatory entities and Energy Vault to identify projects, help pre-qualify and oversee financing efforts through the available mechanisms supported by Chinese Local, Provincial and National policies.