Batwind: Battery storage for offshore wind launched by Statoil

Norwegian fossil fuel giant Statoil is piloting an innovative battery storage system for offshore wind energy on the world's first floating wind farm - the Hywind park off the coast of Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

An artist's impression of the Batwind system in operation with an offshore wind farm

An artist's impression of the Batwind system in operation with an offshore wind farm

The solution, called ‘Batwind’, will see a 1MWh Lithium battery –  the same capacity as more than two million iPhones combined - installed on Statoil’s five-turbine floating wind farm; in an effort to mitigating intermittency, lower costs and optimise the energy output from the wind park to the grid.

Statoil’s senior vice president for offshore wind Stephen Bull said: “Battery storage represents a new application in our offshore wind portfolio, contributing to realising our ambition of profitable growth in this area. “By developing innovative battery storage solutions, we can improve the value of wind energy for both Statoil and customers.”

Collaborative approach

Batwind will be developed in co-operation with Scottish universities and suppliers, under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Edinburgh on 18 March between Statoil, the Scottish Government, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Scottish Enterprise.

It will be developed in line with the grid connection of Hywind Scotland, which is still under construction and is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

Commenting on Statoil’s new energy storage system, Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The signing of this MoU will allow the signatories to work together in the development of the Batwind battery storage solution. This will help maximise the renewable generation of the Hywind offshore wind farm, whilst informing the case for energy storage and demonstrating the technology’s ability to support renewables in Scotland and internationally.”

A recent industry and Government report, produced by the Carbon Trust, concluded that if the energy market was adapted to appropriately recognise the benefits of electricity storage to the wider system, this could lead to savings of up to £50 a year on an average energy bill and a system wide saving of up to £2.4bn a year by 2030.”

'Next generation idea'

ORE Catapult chief executive Andrew Jamieson added: “Innovations such as the integration of battery storage technologies are another key element in the future energy mix and will enable a greater penetration of renewable technologies in Scotland and support the development of next generation ideas such as floating wind.”

“We are developing a programme that will match Scottish supply chain capabilities and research excellence with the technology challenges of developing innovative battery storage solutions, ensuring Scotland and the wider UK benefits from the economic opportunities presented by this internationally important project.” 

A structured programme is now being established under the MoU to support and fund innovation in the battery storage area between Statoil and Scottish industry and academia. This programme will be managed by ORE Catapult and Scottish Enterprise.

Earlier this week, edie reported that fellow energy giant E.ON had teamed up with a group of universities to create and connect a giant battery-based energy storage research facility to the grid, in a move that has created one of the largest and fastest energy storage facilities in the UK.

Luke Nicholls


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