Norwegian energy company Equinor announced this week that it has completed the installation of the world’s first battery for an offshore wind farm at its 30 megawatt (MW) Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm, which is the world’s first floating wind farm.
First approved by the Scottish Government back in late 2015, Hywind Scotland began generating electricity in October of last year and, in February, Equinor (then known as Statoil) revealed that not only has the project been a success, but that the project is outperforming expectations and generating electricity at levels consistently above that of its seabound offshore cousins, wind turbines that are built into the seafloor.
Even before Hywind was completed and operational, however, the two companies behind the project — Statoil/Equinor and Masdar — conceived of plans to add a battery storage option to the project, which would be the first time a battery storage project has been attached to an offshore wind energy project. The project was given the go-ahead, and earlier this year the two companies announced they would use the project, known as Batwind, to further study the potential of integrating battery systems with wind and solar.
Announced on Wednesday, Equinor revealed that Batwind has been completed and the 1 MW battery provided by Younicos, and located at an onshore substation, will now be able to dynamically balance power from the offshore wind farm.
“The variability of renewable energy can to a certain extent be managed by the grid,” said Sebastian Bringsvaerd, Development Manager for Hywind and Batwind. “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.”
“We’re very proud to partner with Equinor and provide our expertise from over 200 megawatts of storage projects to this pioneering project,” added Karim Wazni, Managing Director of Younicos. “By adding energy storage capabilities to another world “first” – the world’s first floating wind farm – we hope to demonstrate the essential role that storage plays as we continue pushing the frontier in producing sustainable energy. Specifically, we’ve equipped Batwind with our intelligent Y.Q software, which ensures that the battery ’learns’ the optimal storage conditions. Our software tells the battery when to store electricity and for how long, and when and how much to inject back onto the grid.”