Statoil pilots battery storage for wind power

Article by Staff Writer

NORWEGIAN oil and gas company Statoil is planning to launch a battery storage technology for wind energy, called Batwind, at a floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead, UK.

The company will install a 1 MWh lithium battery-based storage system, equivalent to more than 2m iPhones, at an onshore site. The five windmills at the Hywind Scotland offshore wind farm, located approximately 25 km off the coast of Peterhead, will be connected to the battery.

Wind farms generate power only intermittently, and are therefore unsuitable to provide base load electricity. The Batwind storage project has the capacity to store excess energy when winds are high, and still provide power during times of low wind, thereby mitigating intermittency and optimising output efficiency.

Stephen Bull, senior vice president for offshore wind at Statoil, said: “By developing innovative battery storage solutions, we can optimise the energy system from wind park to grid. Batwind represents a new application in offshore wind.”

Statoil is researching the Batwind project in partnership with Scottish universities, and developing the technology for deployment in partnership with the Scottish government, the research centre Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and economic development agency Scottish Enterprise under a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

A funding structure for the project is currently being managed by ORE Catapult and Scottish Enterprise to establish the financial responsibilities between Statoil, Scottish industries and academia. Statoil’s will invest NOK 2bn (US$238m) into the project. The agreement will allow contribution from the entire supply chain to ensure the best chance for success.

Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of ORE Catapult, said: “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 benefit.”

If the project is successful, the increased efficiency of wind energy will lead to financial savings. Statoil is expecting a 60-70% cost reduction compared to its Hywind demonstration project in Norway.

“A recent industry and government report, produced by the Carbon Trust, concluded that if the energy market was adapted to recognise the benefits of electricity storage to the wider system, this could lead to a system wide saving of up to £2.4bn/y [US$3.4bn/y] by 2030,” said Fergus Ewing, energy minister for the Scottish government.

The Hywind project is due to begin generating electricity in late 2017, and the Batwind storage project will begin in late 2018.

Article by Staff Writer

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