Equinor has installed Batwind – the world’s first battery for offshore wind. With Batwind in operation, it will for the first time be possible to store energy produced from an offshore wind farm.
The battery storage solution was presented in Peterhead, Scotland on June 27 by Batwind partners Equinor and Masdar. Electricity produced at the world’s first floating offshore wind farm Hywind Scotland, located 25 kilometers off the coast of Peterhead, will be transported via cables to an onshore substation where the 1 MW batteries are placed and connected to the grid. The battery capacity is the equivalent of more than 128.000 iPhones.
As the wind is not always blowing energy storage technologies like batteries and other ways of storing electricity, is expected to become increasingly important to secure grid stability.
“The variability of renewable energy can to a certain extent be managed by the grid. But to make renewable energy more competitive and integrate even more renewables to the grid, we will need to find new, smart solutions for energy storage to provide firm power. How to do this in a smart and value creating way is what we are aiming to learn from Batwind,” said Sebastian Bringsvaerd, Development Manager for Hywind and Batwind.
According to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the installed costs of battery storage systems could fall by two-thirds (66%) by 2030.
The Batwind storage solution works, in many respects, like an energy warehouse. Equinor and Masdar will test where to build the warehouse; how big it should be and how to run the logistics.
“While there are many energy storage products and solutions in the market, the battery software solutions are less developed. We want to teach the battery when to hold back and store electricity, and when send power to the grid, thus increasing value of the power. It will be really exciting to see how we can develop the combined battery and software solution and make Batwind as smart as possible,” Bringsvaerd added.
The brainwork is in the algorithms, which Equinor and Masdar are developing, based on multiple data sources including weather forecasts, market prices, maintenance schedules, consumption patterns and grid services.
“Digitalisation is a key driver here. The more we feed Batwind’s power management system with data, the smarter it gets. In addition, Batwind can be utilised for other renewable energy sources including solar and onshore wind. We believe this will expand the market for all renewable energy sources,” Bringsvaerd underlined.
Batwind is fully financed by Hywind Scotland partners, Equinor and Masdar and is a first step towards a scalable, global renewables energy storage system.
“The value in storage is not necessarily in the amount of energy you can store, but how you optimize, control and offer smarter energy solutions. By developing Batwind we get real time data, commercial experience and technical verification,” Bringsvaerd concluded.