Member Highlight: Eric Chaves and Terrament

The informal network spans a huge variety of experiences. Every week we share the work of our colleagues, including ventures, skills, and lessons learned. This week, we heard from Eric Chaves, founder of Terrament during one of our internal project chats.

Terrament is a startup focused on unique solutions for storing green power. Terrament’s ambitious goal is to build long-duration energy storage using underground gravity batteries. Gravity storage uses which large quantities of power can be stored for a long time. Demand for energy storage is expected to grow 5x by 2050 according to NREL, and there are limitations to hydro pumped energy storage, causing a market gap that can be filled by modular underground energy storage. No other existing tech is as cheap as pumped hydro, nor is it proven.

Startups like Terrament are important right now, as the threat of climate change has sparked action to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar energy. Eric argues that this transition is urgent, and we need to look towards alternative solutions. Even though Li-ion battery costs are dropping, they are still very expensive, and limited by the amount of raw Lithium material to produce the scale we would need to replace pumped hydro. Researchers are concerned that we may not even have enough Lithium for electric vehicles, let alone the much larger amount we would need to support grid storage at such an enormous scale.

The fundamental principle of Terrament’s technology is based on the hydraulic lifting of large rock masses in order to store energy underground. Eric shared with us his patent pending design, which achieves astonishing efficiency by maximizing the principles of gravity storage: height and weight by utilizing underground spaces. Terremant’s technology achieves 10 times more height than above-ground solutions by digging a mile deep into bedrock, or as Eric suggests, using abandoned mine shafts which already provide some of these qualities. This technology also achieves nearly 100% volume capacity with densely packed weight with a modular design of self-supporting autonomous units.

If you’d like to read more, Eric has written an excellent blog post detailing how this would work, or how to get involved.

Member Profiles
Lee Wilkins

Related Posts