Masdar partners with Equinor to launch Batwind
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, and the Norwegian multinational energy company, Equinor, (formerly Statoil) will soon begin testing a new battery system designed to store electricity generated by Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm.
The battery storage solution known as Batwind is the first in the world to be connected to an offshore wind farm. The project is designed to evaluate the capabilities of advanced storage technologies to optimise the release of electricity from renewable energy plants to transmission grids – from both a technical and commercial perspective.
The agreement was signed back in January during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018, by Bader Al Lamki and the Head of Hywind Development in New Energy Solutions, Sebastian Bringsvaerd.
Deployed at an onshore substation, 'Batwind' has a storage capacity of 1.2 megawatts and will help mitigate peaks and troughs in production, the project aims to maximise the commercial value of Hywind Scotland’s electricity output.
Following the successful installation of Batwind at an onshore substation, Masdar and Equinor will explore how the new storage solution can be utilised to improve the operational and cost efficiency of other wind farms – to open up new commercial opportunities in an expanding global wind power market.
According to a recent International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, report from last October, the cost of installing battery storage systems could fall by two-thirds (66 percent) by 2030.
Masdar has played a key role in developing energy storage solutions as part of its commitment over the last decade to advance commercially viable clean technologies. An example is the Gemasolar concentrated solar power project in Spain, the first in the world to use molten salt thermal storage and able to generate electricity 24 hours a day.
With an installed capacity of 30-megawatt, Hywind Scotland supplies approximately 6,600 homes and displaces 63,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of $8.5 billion; the company’s share of this investment is $2.7 billion. Besides the UK, Masdar’s renewable energy projects are located in the UAE, Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, Montenegro, Serbia and Spain. The electricity generating capacity of these projects, which are either fully operational or under development, is around 3 gigawatts gross.
Bader Al Lamki, Masdar’s Executive Director for Clean Energy, said: “Energy storage is vital to unlocking the full potential of renewables by mitigating the variable nature of wind and solar power. Batwind will help us to understand how we can deploy this new technology in future projects, both in solar power and wind power plants.”
“Batwind exemplifies how we at Masdar are moving forward with our partners, through innovation and collaboration, to bring commercially viable solutions to the renewable energy sector.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.