Sustainable Energy

World's first floating wind farm to ‘store’ power

Anmar Frangoul | Special to
Carl Johan Ronn | Getty Images

Statoil is to install a lithium battery based storage system at the world's first floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland.

The new system, called Batwind, is to be developed in co-operation with universities and suppliers from Scotland after a deal was signed last week between Statoil, the Scottish Government, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Scottish Enterprise, according to a statement released on Monday.

"By developing innovative battery storage solutions, we can improve the value of wind energy for both Statoil and customers," Stephen Bull, Statoil's senior vice president for offshore wind, said.

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The system is to be installed at the end of 2018, Statoil said, and will have the battery capacity of "more than 2 million iPhones."

Because renewable sources of energy, such as the sun and wind, do not promise a constant stream of power, storage is seen as vital in the transition to a low-carbon, renewable future. A recent report from the Carbon Trust found that energy storage has the potential to save £2.4 billion ($3.46 billion) a year by 2030.

The storage system from Statoil will be piloted at Hywind Scotland, an offshore "wind park" with five floating turbines. The park is currently being built, with electricity production set to commence at the end of 2017. Statoil say that the wind farm will be able to power roughly 20,000 homes.

"This will help maximize the renewable generation of the Hywind offshore wind farm, whilst informing the case for energy storage and demonstrating the technology's ability to support renewables in Scotland and internationally," Fergus Ewing, Scotland's energy minister, said.