ARES Nevada is developing a 50MW GravityLineTM merchant energy storage facility on approximately 20 acres at Gamebird Pit, a working gravel mine in Pahrump, Nevada. This project will employ a fleet of 210 mass cars, weighing a combined 75,000 tons, operating on a closed set of 10 multi-rail tracks.
While GravityLineTM is well-suited for long duration storage at utility-scale, the application at Gamebird Pit will be as a regulatory resource providing ancillary services for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). During periods where energy generation exceeds demand, the CAISO commands providers, such as ARES, to consume a specific amount of energy by charging in 15-minute increments. When ARES receives its charging command via a secure CAISO telemetry connection, it processes that command into movements of its mass cars to fulfill it. When charging (known as ‘Regulation Down’ or ‘Reg Down’), ARES mass cars will draw electricity from the grid which powers their drive motors to move the mass cars uphill against the force of gravity — efficiently converting electrical energy into gravitational potential energy. When the grid requires energy (‘Reg Up’), this process is reversed, and the mass cars proceed slowly downhill with their motors operating as generators, converting the potential energy of the mass cars’ elevation back into electricity in a highly efficient 15-minute round-trip process.