In November of last year, I was pretty excited to write about Hywind, a 6 MW offshore wind farm consisting entirely of floating wind turbines that is under development off the coast of Scotland. Given the fact that floating turbines may be able to both drive down costs and increase the geographical viability of offshore wind, this seemed like a significant development in the already explosive growth of offshore wind in Britain.
And offshore wind is so particularly exciting because it suffers from less intermittency than its onshore counterpart. (The winds are stronger and more consistent at sea.)
Now there's even more reason to be cheerful about this project. Renewable Energy Magazine reports that Statoil, the Norwegian energy (and oil) giant that's developing this project, is also launching Batwind—a lithium ion battery storage solution designed specifically for offshore wind applications. And its first trial run, in late 2018 if all goes to plan, will be at the Hywind floating wind farm. Developed in conjunction with universities and suppliers in Scotland, if successful, this project could add a significant boost to an already exciting new development in wind energy technology.
In a press release accompanying the announcement Stephen Bull, Statoil’s senior vice president for offshore wind, explained the company's interest in the project:
“Statoil has a strong position in offshore wind. By developing innovative battery storage solutions, we can improve the value of wind energy for both Statoil and customers. With Batwind, we can optimise the energy system from wind park to grid. Battery storage represents a new application in our offshore wind portfolio, contributing to realising our ambition of profitable growth in this area.”