Energy Vault has signed a license and royalty agreement with Atlas Renewable and its majority investor China Tianying to deploy its gravity energy storage technology and energy management software platform within mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

The $50m worth agreement outlines terms that will govern deployment royalties based on volumes. It also covers maintenance, monitoring, and the re-usage of waste materials within the composite blocks of Energy Vault.

The payments of the $50m licensing fees are slated to be made this year, said the Sweden-based energy storage solutions provider, which is set to go public in the US through a $1.1bn merger with Novus Capital Corporation II.

The licensing agreement with Atlas Renewable and environmental services firm China Tianying enables the deployment of Energy Vault’s EVx and EVRC product platforms in China.

The parties expect to begin construction of the first 100MWh energy storage system in Q2 2022 in Rudong, Jiangsu Province.

They will also evaluate the reuse of available waste materials like coal combustion residuals, waste fiberglass, mine tailings, and concrete debris within the “mobile masses” used in building Energy Vault’s gravity energy storage systems.

Energy Vault CEO and co-founder Robert Piconi said: “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.

“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.”

Additionally, Atlas Renewable will take part in the current private placement investment (PIPE) of Energy Vault by investing $50m. The investment will increase the PIPE to $200m.

Atlas Renewable chairman Neil Bush said: “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.”

Last month, South Korean non-ferrous metal smelting company Korea Zinc had agreed to add $50m to Energy Vault’s PIPE, which was originally at $100m.