One of the deepest mines in Europe is poised to spend the next portion of its life as stationary energy storage. Located in Pyhäjärvi, a remote Finnish community 279 miles north of Finland’s capital Helsinki, the 1,400-plus-meter-deep copper and zinc mine was decommissioned in 2022 after more than 50 years of service.
The mine opened in 1962 and extracted more than 60 million tons of zinc and copper ore over its decades-long lifetime. The mine was a major employer through the years, and its closure led to the loss of many jobs in the local community.
Scottish energy-storage-solution provider Gravitricity will convert the mine into an energy store that uses gravity to store and dispense excess energy as needed. Gravitricity has developed a stationary energy-storage system that lowers and raises weights to store and dispense energy. According to the company, this new system offers the best features of both pumped hydro storage and lithium-ion batteries. The system would work by lifting weights up the 530-meter auxiliary shaft at the Pyhäsalmi mine to store excess capacity during peak generation hours and lowering them to generate energy.
With the new gravity energy system in place, the old mine would have a capacity of 2MW and could be integrated into the local grid. A recent study by an international research team found that such “gravity batteries” could provide an affordable, long-term solution to the energy-storage problem hindering renewable-energy development.
Gravity batteries can grant numerous discontinued mines across the globe new leases at life. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (“IIASA”) scientists say abandoned mineshafts can store up to 70TWh of energy, enough to support the average global daily power consumption.
In the Finnish community of Pyhäjärvi, locals set up a development company to push for the old zinc and copper mine’s regeneration. The company recently partnered with Gravitricity to use the decommissioned mine as a new gravity energy-storage technology prototype. The company anticipates the Pyhäsalmi mine prototype will become the first Gravistore technology deployment in Europe. Gravitricity executive chairman Martin Wright says the Finnish project will show how the company’s full-scale technology can provide reliable long-term energy storage.
Wright said the technology offers a pathway to future commercial projects, allowing Gravitricity to embed its technology into decommissioned mines, extending their lives. Furthermore, the executive hopes the project will create “low carbon jobs” in a region that has seen numerous mining operations wind down.
With many more for-profit companies such as Turbo Energy S.A. (NASDAQ: TURB) establishing themselves as major players in the renewable-energy space, innovations such as the storage of these energies in disused mines could play a crucial role in making renewables available 24/7.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Turbo Energy S.A. (NASDAQ: TURB) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/TURB
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