Category: News

Record low prices in UK Capacity Market auction trigger concerns

The latest auction for the UK’s Capacity Market cleared at a record low price at the end of last week as battery storage projects seemingly struggled to compete.

A total of 50.4GW of capacity was procured in National Grid’s T-4 auction to ensure capacity meets expected demand for the 2021/22 winter period, at a clearing price of just £8.40 (US$11.59) /kW per year, a record low for the T-4 auction and nearly one-third of last year’s T-4 auction clearing price of £22.50.

That low clearing price has seemingly limited the amount of new build capacity brought forward in the auction. Of that 50.4GW, just 762MW comprises new build generators, equivalent to just 1.5%.

CCGTs have predictably picked up the largest share of awarded capacity. More than 23GW – roughly 46% – has been shared between 44 different units. Its nearest competing technology by capacity is nuclear with 16 generators sharing just shy of 8GW worth of capacity.

Battery storage meanwhile only won 153MW of contracts with both the low clearing price and new de-rating factors combining to make it more difficult for the technology to compete.

A total of 3.3GW of battery storage was prequalified for the T-4 auction, de-rated to 1.344GW to account for their duration. This means that just 11% of battery storage projects secured CM contracts in this auction.

A total of 23 batteries won capacity contracts, some of which have successfully procured contracts in both last week’s T-1 auction and 2016’s Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender.

Infrastructure-building group Arenko has proven to be the big winner in the battery storage field with four of its battery storage projects winning 15-year contracts for a total of 73.559MW, roughly half of the total capacity won by batteries.

Other winners in the battery storage field include solar developers British Solar Renewables and Lightsource.

Demand side response (DSR) operators procured 1.2GW of tendered capacity. Big names in the space like Limejump (36.2MW), Enernoc (287.4MW), Endeco – now known as Gridbeyond – (114.2MW), Flexitricity (214.6MW) and Kiwi Power (276MW) were all successful, alongside utilities E.on, EDF and Npower.

Interestingly, interconnectors have increased their stake in the T-4 auction to take just over 9% of procured capacity, equivalent to around 4.5GW, 2.15GW of which is new interconnection capacity.

Those results mean that interconnectors, some from continental Europe, look set to play an increasingly important role in providing security of supply in the coming years against a backdrop of uncertainty over the UK’s future participation in the  single electricity market (SEM).

The UK’s future energy relationship with Europe has proven to be a particularly contentious issue, with prominent bodies like the House of Lords and the Committee on Climate Change warning against both the effects of a botched Brexit and what it may mean for energy imports.

Meanwhile, coal has continued to witness its influence decline. Just 3GW of coal/biomass firing capacity was procured in this week’s auction with 7.6GW of capacity having exited.

Questions and comments from stakeholders

“This year’s auction shows that there is clearly more than enough capacity on the grid, and that we can keep the lights on even without resorting to the oldest and most toxic form of power generation,” Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said with reference to coal.

“This takes us to four auctions without significant new large gas plants coming to fruition, which was once thought to be needed as a bridge towards a low-carbon power system. Utilities and lobbyists claim that these are needed for the future, yet legal carbon restrictions show they will face limited running hours into the 2020s and likely end up funnelling losses onto balance sheets – even if they could pick up capacity payments.

“Big gas plants are not needed to bridge the gap between coal and renewables, especially in the light of unprecedented falls in the cost of wind and solar power, which will lead to lower bills for homes and businesses going forwards,” he said.

Michael Phelan, chief executive at demand side response provider Endeco/Gridbeyond, said that the auction represented a “seismic shift” in National Grid’s attitude to capacity, arguing that the market was now valuing flexibility rather than simple capacity.

“The ability to swiftly adjust and accurately control consumption, rather than the blunt delivery of power onto the system with lots of advanced notice, is of greater significance.

“The value being so close to that of last week’s T-1 indicates that the market is flooded with available capacity. The types of capacity will drive the next challenge that National Grid faces. With the proliferation of renewables, the issues now revolve around how firm the generation is and how to counter that with flexibility, rather than the amount of available power,” Phelan said.

Just 5% of new build generators prequalified for the auction won capacity contracts, a statistic which led Phelan to conclude that “the days of high prices and the encouragement of new generation plants are behind us.”

Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser on low carbon energy for think tank Green Alliance, said change was needed.

“Unfortunately, the capacity market is still failing to support flexible technologies like battery storage in favour of large centralised fossil fuel generation. It’s time the government revisited the rules so the market can support the low carbon energy system we need for the future”.

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Government told to ‘take the brakes off’ energy storage development in Britain

The UK’s government must “take the brakes off” the progress of energy storage by implementing the right policy framework without delay, according to Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the political spectrum.

Speaking at Energy Storage and Connected Systems, an event hosted last week in London by the national Renewable Energy Association (REA), shadow minister for energy and climate change Alan Whitehead claimed current energy legislation was now “obsolete” in the face of the changes underway in the sector.

“We are at the moment discussing all of these matters in terms of the old energy market and not in terms of the new energy market…We do need a series [of] reforms and government legislation which actually allow us to get the best out of that emerging market and take the brakes off,” he said.

The treatment of energy storage was held up as an example, with Whitehead stating that the technology was unlike anything that had come before it.

He added: “[Storage] is essentially transportation through time rather than transportation through space. It’s not generation, it’s not supply; it is something [unique] and needs to be licenced as such and if we do that a lot of other arrangements that impede the development of storage will fall away.”

Whitehead has been enthusiastic about the potential of batteries in the past, as far back as 2014 referring to electricity storage as a technology that could help secure the resilience of the network

Playing a different role to generation

Currently the technology is legislatively classed as generation, with Ofgem proposing in November to amend the existing electricity generation licence to clarify the regulatory framework for storage.

While judging that the creation of a similar but separate licence for storage “would add unnecessary confusion” due to the characteristics shared by storage and existing generation, Ofgem has said it will adopt the Electricity Storage Network’s definition of the technology in legislation.

However, industry has continued to press for a more specialised response to the situation, with REA chief executive Nina Skorupska last week pointing out: “It plays a different role [to generation]…We need to have a very clear definition of how that can be accounted for without ambiguity.”

The issue is also thought to have delayed further investment in the UK storage sector according to Louis Shaffer, distributed energy segment manager EMEA for Eaton, who said financiers were holding back.

“The finance people are dying to get into these markets, this is the future and they know these are good investments. The issue is today they don’t have viability on long-term profit or even medium-term profit. It’s very challenging and really that comes down to do we have regulation in place?

“The definition of storage is a great example. What we want to see is more thought out policy,” he said.

Time is running out

Whitehead also warned that with a packed legislative schedule for government, time is running out to ensure the right policies are in place to support the low carbon energy transition.

“What I want to emphasise, which I think is still less than fully looked at, is just what we are going to have to do in Parliament in government over the next period to actually make sure the legislational and regulatory arrangements we’ve got support the new transition rather than impede it.

“That is quite a pressing imperative because we haven’t really got much time to go before we have to take some very big decisions about where our energy systems go,” he said.

Progress was also called for by Conservative MPs in attendance, with the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for energy storage Peter Aldous echoing Whitehead’s comments.

“Energy storage is on the cusp of historical global industrial change, it’s no longer a pipedream. With the right combination of progressive policy and private sector innovation we can be global leaders in this new future. However time is very much of the essence and we need to put the right policy framework in place without delay,” he said.

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Energy storage one of ‘five key areas’ for BP’s pledged US$500m annual investments

London-headquartered oil and gas company BP has announced plans to invest US$500 million in low carbon businesses each year as it looks to further embrace the low carbon transition.

The company yesterday reported its 2017 financial performance, highlighting what group chief executive Bob Dudley said was “one of the strongest years in BP’s recent history”.

That performance – a full year underlying profit of US$6.2 billion – allowed the firm, Dudley said, to continue with its five-year strategic plan with “real momentum” and embrace the energy transition, “seeking new opportunities in a changing, lower-carbon world,” he said.

And Lemar McKay, deputy group chief executive, said the firm was on the hunt for further acquisitions in low carbon power and storage as it looks to complement its existing alternative energy division.

Late last year BP signalled its intent with a US$200 million deal to purchase 43% of British solar giant Lightsource, an acquisition which Dudley and McKay both heralded during yesterday’s results disclosure.

BP’s investment plans are proof, if it were needed, of its continuing battle with Shell within the new energy economy. The duo have followed each other into the EV charging and renewable deployment areas of late, and just last week Shell announced more ambitious plans than BP to invest as much as US$2 billion per year in low carbon development. in mid-January, Shell also invested, along with utility ENGIE, in Husk Power Systems, a developer of microgrids which is expanding its efforts in Asia and Africa.

Five key areas in BP’s investment strategy

McKay explained that BP’s investment strategy was to focus on five key areas in which it wishes focus, namely; advanced mobility; bio and low carbon products; carbon management; power and storage, and digital.

Power and storage investments will aim to build on BP’s existing portfolio of 15GW of wind generation and the 6GW it is supporting the development of via Lightsource BP.

Within the digital corner of BP’s investment plan it has ambitions in areas which most other energy companies are currently interested. Digital platforms like blockchain, AI and quantum computing have all been targeted by BP, giving an indication as to where the oil giant sees the energy market shifting.

Electric vehicles, charging and vehicle autonomy are areas of interest within BP’s advanced mobility section, perhaps best evidenced by the company’s recent investment in mobile charging technology provider Freewire.

McKay said that oil and gas firms had an important role to play in the energy transition owing to the fact that these fuel sources account for nearly 60% of total energy use across the world.

That US$500 million annual investment will, however, be managed “with discipline” with each opportunity set to be assessed against its possible returns.

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Coal beaten out as gas, battery storage and DSR are winners in UK’s Capacity Market

Battery storage and demand-side response have continued to play a crucial role in the UK’s power mix, together landing more than 500MW of contracts in the most recent T-1 Capacity Market auction.  

Coal however faces an increasingly uncertain future after two feted plants were forced to exit the auction without a contract.

Just over 97.5MW worth of battery storage capacity has been procured from 16 separate projects in the first auction under which battery storage projects have been de-rated.

Those 16 projects to receive one-year contracts includes a number of installations backed by National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response tender in August 2016. VLC’s Cleator and Glassenbury projects have both been successful, as have Foresight’s duo of Nevendon and Port of Tyne.

E.On’s Blackburn Meadows battery will also be supported by a T-1 CM contract.

Those projects will now all be completed and operational given that EFR projects were to be connected prior to the end of February 2018.

However battery storage projects make up less than 2% of the capacity procured via the auction, with demand-side response (DSR) making up a further 7.45%.

Of the 430.5MW of DSR capacity procured the usual suspects of well-known aggregators: SmartestEnergy, Limejump, Kiwi Power, Endeco and Flexitricity have all been successful.

Gas has predictably led the way, winning 4.37GW – equivalent to just over three-quarters (75.6%) – of procured capacity in an auction that cleared at £6/kW per year.

But one of the most interesting stories to emerge from the T-1 provisional results is the fact that 2.8GW of coal-firing plants exited the auction, including the Eggborough and Drax Unit 4 plants, in what will be regarded as yet another sign of the looming end of coal in the UK.

The government has already signalled its prospective date and terms for the end of coal in the UK – effectively 1 October 2025 – but given the technology’s continuing struggles and dwindling influence in the UK power mix, a number of critics have questioned whether coal will even be economic by that date.

Commenting on this morning’s auction results Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said that the lack of a CM contract could be the “final straw” for a “once-great power station” in Eggborough.

“It is yet another sign that old and polluting technology is losing out to demand side response and distributed capacity, at the same time as the capacity market clears at a record low price to ensure security of supply at low cost for homes and businesses. Coal-fired generation in the UK is in freefall, and more plant closures – as expected by the government – will see this continue.

“This result follows the news that coal generation in January 2018 – typically one of the most coal-intensive months of the year – is down by more than two-thirds compared to just one year ago. The terminal decline of coal power is coming at the right time, when ever-cheaper renewables are able to fill in the gap, and concerns about air pollution spread around the country,” he said.

Note: After this story was first published on 2 February at Clean Energy News, the owners of Eggborough Power Plant, the 2GW coal-firing plant in Yorkshire, confirmed that it is to close after failing to land a Capacity Market contract in the T-1 auction. The company said the plant would no longer be economically viable in the absence of a contract. It will continue to honour its existing contractual commitments which will take it until the end of September this year.

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Orsted eyeing solar PV, energy storage as drivers for long-term growth

The CEO of Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer, has said that his company is working to establish “a scalable commercial model” for solar PV and energy storage, viewing both as potential drivers of long-term growth.  

Danish power company Orsted, formerly known as DONG Energy until a rebrand and restructuring last year that also included selling off its oil and gas businesses, has just reported its latest quarterly financial results, including reporting for the full 2017 year.

For 2017, the group saw DKK22.5 billion (US$3.77 billion) operating profit, an increase of 18% from the year before. This included a 74% rise in profits from its wind business. The company made an overall net profit of DKK13.3 billion (US$2.23 billion), an increase of more than DKK1 billion from 2016.

The report and accompanying statements from the company and CEO Henrik Poulsen reiterated Orsted’s commitment to a transition to a low carbon, green and sustainable energy system repeatedly. The company is aiming to go coal-free by 2023 and also to source 95% of its heat and power generation from renewables by that time.

“Our strategy is based on the vision of an integrated green energy system, where renewable energy technologies can be combined with each other and with energy storage solutions, more flexible and intelligent patterns of consumption and electrification of the transport sector, heating systems and industry,” Poulsen said.

Working to establish ‘scalable commercial model’ in clean energy markets

The company is rolling out smart meter technologies to customers in Denmark, has recently opened a new biomass facility and introduced consumer tariffs that incentivise green energy production to its electrical grid division, Radius. In environmental terms, group CO2 emissions were at 151 grams CO2 equivalent per kWh generated in 2017, down from 224 in 2016 and from 220 in 2015.

Looking ahead, the company has established a new division to investigate opportunities in solar PV, energy storage and in onshore wind.

“It is early days for these initiatives, and we are still working to establish a scalable commercial model for them,” Poulsen said, however.

Poulsen added therefore that these areas were not “expected to contribute significantly” to group finances in the short-term, but were certainly viewed by Orsted as “long-term growth options”. In terms of strategy, Orsted is keen to create value for projects that developers have started but for financial, scale or capability reasons are unable to “extract the full value” from those projects. The Danish company would acquire these projects and bring them to completion – a strategy that Poulsen said has served the company well in the offshore wind market thus far.

While the offshore wind business is booming, the company has been reluctant to invest further in onshore wind power facilities for the past few years due to the economics being less attractive. Again, the company is revisiting that market. Poulsen also said the company could pursue strategic company acquisitions in various markets, if the opportunities were right.

It is also worth noting that the company appears keen to develop its offering to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, which it calls ’Energy-as-a-Service’, helping them reduce energy costs and decarbonise. In various markets including the US and the UK, such models have often included energy storage and rooftop solar PV and are not sold to the customer but wrapped into a service contract.

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Moixa secures £5 million investment in latest Japanese advance

Moixa has made greater strides into the Japanese market after securing £5 million investment from trading house Itochu, which will install the British company’s GridShare aggregation platform as standard on its own home battery product.

Less than a year after securing £500,000 of investment from major utility TEPCO, the latest funding will aid Moixa’s international expansion, not least in Japan where it will be able to launch GridShare to the battery market.

Meanwhile Itochu will promote the platform, which uses artificial intelligence to optimise the performance of their battery based on their patterns of behaviour, the weather conditions and market prices, as well as adding it to its own Smart Star battery systems.

Since entering the residential energy storage market in 2013, over 6,000 9.8kWh Smart Star units – equivalent to around equivalent to 55MWh – are expected to be sold in Japan by the end of March 2018. Itochu will then install GridShare as standard on its products by the summer of 2018.

Koji Hasegawa, general manager of the industrial chemicals department at Itochu, said: “Moixa has pioneered battery management, and we are proud to be investing and working together to target the rapidly growing energy storage market in Japan.

“Moixa’s GridShare will help our customers get more value for their home batteries and will offer solutions to help our partners manage Japan’s low-carbon transition.”

The British battery firm, which recently secured £250,000 from the UK government to expand GridShare to include aggregation of third party units for the first time, will now seek to expand its partnerships with Japanese utilities and electric vehicle manufacturers, and to market services to electricity networks.

In Japan, the 10-year period for the solar feed-in-tariff scheme will begin to expire in 2019. This is expected to lead to an increase in self-consumption of power that is generated using solar systems and energy storage systems, as one Japanese company, Solar Frontier, told our sister site Energy-Storage.News in 2016. From 2020, all new Japanese homes are also expected to be required to meet net zero or zero energy standards, something which could have a strong impact on uptake of batteries at household level in a country where the majority of people still buy a plot of land on which to build their own home, as opposed to moving into recently-vacated exsiting residences.

Simon Daniel, chief executive of Moixa, said: “Itochu is a major player in the global battery market and this partnership provides a real opportunity for us to expand our business in Japan and provide GridShare technology to many global battery companies.”

The company is also planning trials in the US and Europe this year.

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UK government invests in four projects in US$350m Faraday battery research push

Four projects have been awarded £42 million (US$59.6 million) of UK government money between them to conduct research aimed at overcoming battery challenges, mainly focused on electric vehicles.

The cash has been allocated through the Faraday Institution, set up as the UK’s independent national battery research centre as part of the £246 million push from government to develop battery technology in the UK.

The topics for the four projects were chosen in consultation with industry, who will partner closely with each of them. Industrial partners will contribute a total £4.6 million of in-kind support to the following four projects:

Extending battery life – The University of Cambridge will collaborate with nine other universities and 10 industry partners to examine how environmental and internal battery stresses damage EV batteries over time.

Battery system modelling – Imperial College London will lead a consortium of 23 other university and industry partners to develop new software tools to understand and predict battery performance. The project’s aim is to create accurate models for use by the automotive industry to extend lifetime and performance.

Recycling and reuse – The University of Birmingham will lead on this project to identify the ways in which second-hand lithium batteries can be recycled, investigating how best to with the aim to reuse the batteries and their materials.

Next generation solid state batteries – The University of Oxford will lead this effort with the intent of breaking down barriers currently preventing the progression to market of solid-state batteries. The ambition is to demonstrate the feasibility of a solid state battery with performance superior to the status quo of lithium ion in EV applications.

Business Minister Richard Harrington commented: “With 200,000 electric vehicles set to be on UK roads by the end of 2018 and worldwide sales growing by 45% in 2016, investment in car batteries is a massive opportunity for Britain and one that is estimated to be worth £5 billion by 2025.

“Government investment, through the Faraday Institution, in the projects announced today (23 January) will deliver valuable research that will help us seize the economic opportunities presented by battery technology and our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

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Centrica follows up big UK battery project with 1MW for own headquarters

Centrica, one of Britain’s so-called ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, has received planning permission for a brace of battery energy storage units at its UK headquarters in Windsor with a combined capacity of 1MW set to be built at the site.

The installations are intended to support the continuing efficient operation of Centrica’s Millstream Headquarters offices by charging up in off peak periods to increase the use of cheaper electricity on site.

Centrica also plans to take the batteries into the balancing services market while also supporting wider decarbonisation of the energy system by providing flexibility to allow greater concentrations of renewables to be installed.

The two units are also thought to reduce Centrica’s carbon footprint as off peak electricity results in approximately 50% of the carbon production of peak time electricity, the company argues.

Millstream is Centrica’s UK headquarters for Centrica plc and Centrica Energy, located on the edge of the green belt. The site of the West Unit appears to be on the boundary between of this and the site, while the east unit sites within the green belt but is small enough (together they have a total footprint of only 37m2) to be acceptable to planning authorities.

Centrica was unable to reveal further details of the proposed batteries, including what battery technologies are to be used.

The company’s 49MW Roosecote project which is nearing completion in Cumbria uses lithium-ion batteries from Samsung SDI, while a 1MWh vanadium redox flow machine part funded by Centrica was the first to sign up to a local energy market being set up by the company in Cornwall.

Other significant moves by the company into energy storage include the recent submission of early stage plans for a 100MW battery facility in Ireland – currently being considered with a natural gas plant as an alternative – and an effort to integrate household battery systems into that aforementioned local energy market initiative.

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Shell to become single off-taker of largest solar farm in England

Shell Energy Europe has signed an initial five year power purchase agreement (PPA) with British Solar Renewables (BSR) to take power generated at England’s largest solar farm at RAF Lyneham.

The utility will become the sole off-taker for the 69.8MWp Bradenstoke solar power plant, which generates approximately 65GWh of clean solar energy on an annual basis following its completion in March 2015. It is the largest solar farm to have been developed in England and is second-largest in the UK only to the Welsh 72.2MW Shotwick site, which had been developed by BSR and is now owned by Foresight.

BSR, which manages and operates the site on behalf of owner Siem Europe, organised the deal in its capacity as manager of the solar farm utilising its past interactions with Shell to bring the deal together.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal ahead of today’s announcement, BSR’s managing director and chief financial officer Graham Harding explained: “As asset manager one of our obligations is on behalf of the owner to negotiate the PPAs on an ongoing basis so we’ve been exploring different opportunities in the market place.

“Shell is a relationship we’ve had in various forms for a while but this is the first major piece of work that we’ve transacted on with them. Siem as a group also has relationships with Shell … so it was a natural evolution of various discussions that were going on.”

The deal comes as Shell’s integrated energy marketing and trading company is seeking to grow its footprint in Europe’s renewable power market and is in line with the wider group’s strategy to develop a new energies business focused on new fuels and the power value chain. 

The power generated from the Bradenstoke solar power plant will be supplied to Shell Energy Europe’s customers in the UK seeking to meet their needs with renewable energy.

Jonathan McCloy, general manager for north-west Europe at Shell Energy Europe, said: “The UK is one of our key markets for power and we’ve been exploring ways to increase our power presence in the country on both the buy and sell side. The deal with BSR helps us achieve this goal and is a significant boost to our renewable power portfolio in the UK.”

SPP understands that the PPA could be extended beyond the current five-year arrangement should this be advantageous for both parties, with Harding stating that PPAs provide “stability in a volatile energy market”.

The deal with Shell allows BSR to grow its expertise in large scale PPA deals following agreements with HSBC for power from the 61MW Swindon Solar Farm – now owned by Rockfire – and UPM in relation to the 72.2MW Shotwick solar farm, which is now owned by Foresight.

“It’s something that we’re very keen to develop a skillset in; we’ve got some very skilled and knowledgeable people in order to negotiate what we hope are beneficial deals for both sides,” Harding added.

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Floating wind farm battery could teach lessons for ‘renewables as baseload’

The real-world performance of batteries paired with “Hywind” – the world’s first floating wind farm – will be analysed by the wind project’s owners, Masdar and Statoil.

Batwind, as the battery part of the project is known, pairs six 5MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines with 1MW/1.3MWh of batteries, with system integrator Younicos deploying the energy storage solution, as reported by Energy-Storage.News in November 2016. The project was green-lit in March that year, after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between parties including Statoil and the Scottish government.

The wind project floats on the North Sea some 25km off Scotland’s eastern coast. Oil and gas multinational Statoil and Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-headquartered sustainability advancement group backed by the United Arab Emirates government, own 75% and 25% stakes in Hywind respectively.

The batteries themselves sit onshore at an existing substation. They are intended to maximise the energy output from the Hywind turbines by mitigating peaks and troughs in production, storing surpluses at times when the grid is at or near full capacity and unable to accept further injections of electricity.

In such instances it is becoming common practise in many parts of the world for grid operators to necessitate the curtailment of energy from wind turbines going on to their network, resulting in energy being ‘wasted’. Many industry figures have said that energy storage could be a workable solution to this problem, which can have an impact on the returns generated by investment into wind energy assets.

Bader Al Lamki, executive director for clean energy at Masdar and Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, head of Hywind development in the New Energy Solutions division of the company, met at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week a few days ago and signed a “collaborative agreement”.

“Potential to deliver far-reaching benefits in the development of renewables as a baseload power source”

Under the terms of that agreement, Statoil and Masdar will analyse data from Batwind, not only to judge its performance to date but also to “explore the battery’s potential for further applications and business opportunities”, a joint statement issued by the two parties this morning read.

The pair have committed to extending their ownership of the overall project to include purchase of Batwind, to cover installation and testing. As well as assessing how well the battery system works specifically in improving operational and cost efficiency of offshore wind farms, Statoil and Masdar will use the “high level of operational data” collected to explore the potential for integrated or co-located battery systems at wind or solar power generation sites.

With more renewables coming into production it will be crucial to handle storage to ensure predictable energy supply in periods without wind or sun,” Statoil and Hywind’s Sebastian Bringsværd said.

“Batwind has the potential to add value by mitigating periods without wind – and by that making wind a more reliable energy producer [all] year around. This could expand the use and market for wind and renewables in the future.”

Bader Al Lamki of Masdar said that the project “has the potential to deliver far-reaching benefits in the development of renewables as a baseload power source”.

“The intermittent nature of solar and wind energy pose challenges for dependable power supply and grid stability. Energy storage is key to overcoming these challenges and unlocking the full potential of renewables,” Al Lamki said.

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