Masdar partners with Equinor to launch Batwind

By Andrew Woods
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, and the Norwegian multinational energy company, Equinor, (formerly Statoil) will soon begin testing a new ba...

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.

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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.”

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