Statoil, the energy company backed by the Norwegian government, is the majority partner in the Hywind Scotland offshore floating wind farm that began operations in the past few weeks — the first floating wind farm in the world. Now, Statoil says it has selected Younicos, a global battery storage company, to install a 1 megawatt battery system contained in two 10 foot containers on land near Peterhead, Scotland.
The Younicos installation will not be just another grid-scale battery system, however. “As part of Statoil’s strategy of gradually supplementing our oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy, getting to understand energy storage is important,” says Sebastian Bringsværd, the head of Hywind Development at Statoil. “With more renewables coming into production, it will be crucial to handle storage to ensure predictable energy supply in periods without wind or sun.”
The battery facility, which will be called Batwind, “has the potential to add value by mitigating periods without wind — and by that making wind a more reliable energy producer year around. This could expand the use and market for wind and renewables in the future,” Bringsværd says in a press release. The plan is to have the battery installed and in operation by the end of the second quarter of 2018.
Statoil and minority partner Masdar intend to use the Batwind battery to better understand how a battery can best be utilized to connect the offshore wind farm with the electrical grid. “Through Batwind we are including software — or a brain if you like — on top of the battery to ensure that the battery behaves the way we want it to behave,” says Bringsværd. “We want the battery to automatically know when to hold back and store electricity, and when to send it out to the grid. Battery energy storage systems have existed in the market for several years and are rapidly developing. However, there is limited knowledge of how to make a battery act based on dynamic information, in order to maximize value of renewable energy.”
Not only will the Younicos battery be the first to be connected to an offshore floating wind farm, it will be the first “smart” grid-scale battery and serve as a test bed for advanced energy storage strategies that may apply to battery storage solutions worldwide.