BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Energy Vault to develop energy storage solutions in its operations and expand Energy Vault into Australia.
The MOU follows BHP Ventures’ investment into Energy Vault capital raising earlier this year which allowed the US-based technology company to ramp up deployment of its EVx energy storage platform.
“The companies will also assess local supply chain collaboration, eco-brick composite manufacturing (including the potential for beneficial re-use of mine tailings or waste), and joint maintenance and monitoring support centres,” Energy vault stated.
Energy Vault is a company founded by technology incubator Idealab and developed its proprietary energy storage solution in Switzerland in 2018.
Energy Vault chief executive officer Robert Piconi said it was promising to continue a relationship with a significant company like BHP.
“We are excited to deepen our relationship with BHP to support one of the world’s largest companies and a global leader in natural resources production to explore applications for our technology in the electrification of their mining operations,” Piconi said.
He continued to detail the motivation behind his company and the deal with BHP.
“Our company’s mission is to accelerate the clean energy transition to make sustainable, decarbonised energy a reality,” Piconi said.
“This MOU demonstrates the strong momentum and demand that we continue to experience for our advanced energy storage technology across multiple industry segments and the most critical energy storage applications.”
BHP Ventures works with emerging companies to develop next-generation technologies.
The business unit last made headlines for a significant investment in a company called KoBold which is also backed by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg.
Head of BHP ventures Mark Frayman said these kinds of investments in the future were fundamental to the success and longevity of the mining industry.
“Broad collaboration and the development of new technologies will be fundamental to achieving decarbonisation across the global resources industry,” Frayman said.
“Energy Vault’s technology has the potential to unlock cleaner energy solutions for our operations and create a competitive edge by helping to accelerate our decarbonisation initiatives.
“This partnership may also present an opportunity to improve life-cycle sustainability by using eco-bricks made with mine tailings, and to create new opportunities for local suppliers.”