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Statoil, Younicos to Outfit World's First Floating Offshore Wind Farm with Battery Storage Capacity

Stationary, battery-based energy storage is gaining traction and adherents across an expanding range of industries and end-use cases. Paired initially, and as yet primarily, with solar PV power generation to overcome its intermittent nature, intelligent, adaptive lithium-ion batteries and battery energy storage systems (LiB/LiBESS) are being integrated with natural gas power generation at the utility scale, and diesel-fuel, as well as solar, power generation to power entire islands, as well as communities and facilities in remote, typically off-grid locations.

We can add wind power generation – onshore and offshore – to the list. World wind power market leader Vestas in 2012 launched a strategic initiative that entails working with leading LiB/LiBESS providers to identify, design, engineer and deploy intelligent battery-based energy storage solutions across its fleet of wind turbines. The world's leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas' products and services can be found worldwide, on land and at sea, which opens up significant new opportunities for its project partners to prove their technology and systems and grow their businesses both on and offshore.

Today (Nov. 28) Statoil announced it will join with Germany's Younicos to add 1MW/1.3MWh of intelligent, adaptive, fast-response LiB power/energy storage capacity to Hywind Scotland, the world's first floating wind farm. Hywind Scotland will be equipped with battery energy storage capacity by Germany's Younicos. Dubbed Batwind, the pioneering floating wind farm-battery energy storage project with Younicos is one of 10 Statoil has under way.  

Adding value to offshore wind power generation

Power market prices in Germany have been dropping below zero, into negative territory, with the rapid increase in onshore and offshore wind power generation capacity. The same is true with solar power generation in California. Storing wind, or solar, energy is gaining in value alongside institution of regulations that pave the way for producers to earn revenues from the variety of grid services LiB systems can provide. 

This enables owners and operators with integrated wind and solar power generation and reliable, adaptive and fast responding energy storage capacity to store emissions-free wind power and energy for sale and dispatch to power grids at times of peak demand and/or when power market prices are high, as well as to earn revenue by providing ancillary grid services, such as voltage or frequency regulation, or to serve as spinning reserve capacity that can come online at a moment's notice to help prevent outages. That's what leading wind power turbine manufacturers and project developers, such as Statoil and Vestas, are aiming for. 

Statoil's Hywind Scotland is on track to be the world's first commercial, utility-scale floating wind power farm. Statoil looks poised to achieve another industry first by working with Younicos on the Batwind project, which the project partners expect will be completed and operational from 2Q 2018. 

“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,” Sebastian Bringsvaerd explained in a press release.

“We believe battery storage will be key to future power systems, and with more renewables coming on it will be crucial to handle storage to ensure stability and reliability in the energy supply. Batwind adds value by mitigating wind variability – and by that make wind a more reliable energy producer year around. That will expand the use and market for wind and renewables in the future.” 

The Hywind Scotland-Batwind battery energy storage project
Younicos was acquired by Scotland's Aggreko, a leading provider of emergency and remote power generation and dispatch systems, this summer for GBP40 million. Commenting on working with Statoil on the Batwind project, Younicos Managing Mirector Janesh Yogal said: “We’re very proud to partner with Statoil and contribute our experience from over 200 megawatts of storage projects to this groundbreaking project. By adding energy storage capabilities to another “first” – the world’s first floating wind park – we demonstrate the essential role that storage plays in such groundbreaking energy achievements.”

Younicos will outfit Hywind Scotland's onshore substation in Peterhead with two of its Y.Cubes, LIB systems encased in modular, 10-foot battery containers. Younicos' LiBESS is one of several elements Statoil is bringing together via the Batwind project to gain a better understanding as to how a battery can help increase the value of electricity produced by offshore wind farms and optimized for grid delivery. 
“Through Batwind we are including Younicos’ intelligent Y.Q 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,” Bringsvaerd elaborated.

“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 it is 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."

Statoil intends to leverage the knowledge and experience gained via Batwind by working with UAE-based renewable energy systems and project developer Madsar to assess and develop the new application of LiB technology further. Statoil runs and holds a 75 percent equity stake in the Hywind Scotland floating wind power farm. Masdar owns 25 percent.


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