Abu Dhabi energy company Masdar and Norwegian multinational Equinor (formerly Statoil) have unveiled the world’s first energy storage battery attached to a floating windfarm.

The 1 MW system, designed and supplied by battery storage integrator Younicos, will balance power from the offshore Hywind project in Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale floating windfarm which is owned by Equinor and Masdar.

The project is designed to evaluate the capabilities of advanced storage technologies to optimize the release of electricity from renewable energy plants to transmission grids – from both a technical and commercial perspective.

Deployed at an onshore substation, the battery system known as Batwind has a storage capacity of 1.2 MW. By helping to 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, Masdar and Equinor will now explore how the new storage solution can be utilized to improve the operational and cost efficiency of other wind farms to open up new commercial opportunities in an expanding global wind power market.

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.”

According to a recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of installing battery storage systems could fall by two-thirds by 2030.

Operational data from Batwind will be assessed based on the weather, market prices and consumption patterns to create an intelligent and optimised storage system.

“The variability of renewable energy can to a certain extent be managed by the grid, but to integrate even more renewables, we will need to find new smart solutions for energy storage to reduce system integration costs and provide firm power,” said Hywind development manager Sebastian Bringsvaerd. “How to do this in a smart and value creating way is what we are aiming to learn from Batwind.”

The Hywind Scotland wind farm was inaugurated in October last year. Masdar holds a 25 per cent stake in the project while Equinor owns the remaining 75 per cent. The wind farm is made up of five 6 MW turbines floating 25 kilometres off the coast of Peterhead in northeast Scotland.

With an installed capacity of 30 MW, Hywind Scotland supplies approximately 6600 homes.

Karim Wazni, managing director of Younicos said: “By adding energy storage capabilities to the world’s first floating windfarm, we hope to demonstrate the essential role that storage plays as we continue pushing the frontier in producing sustainable energy.

“Specifically, we’ve equipped Batwind with our intelligent Y.Q software, which ensures that the battery ’learns’ the optimal storage conditions. Our software tells the battery when to store electricity and for how long, and when and how much to inject back onto the grid.”