Abu Dhabi-based clean energy company Masdar has signed an offshore wind energy storage pact with Norwegian multinational Statoil.

The deal will see both firms analyse data from Batwind, an integrated storage system designed for Hywind Scotland, the first commercial-scale floating windfarm that was inaugurated by Masdar and Staoil off Scotland last October.

The plan is to explore the battery’s potential for further applications and business opportunities.

The agreement was signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week by Bader Al Lamki, Masdar’s clean energy executive director, and Sebastian Bringsværd, Head of Hywind Development in New Energy Solutions, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018.

Masdar said that being able to study Batwind’s performance under a range of conditions will generate a vast amount of operational data, “which will in turn enable a thorough exploration of the potential integration of battery storage solutions with wind and solar power generation systems, and offer insight into the potential application of this technology in other locations”.  

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

The battery will be located at the onshore substation of Hywind Scotland – which is off the coast of Aberdeenshire – and connected to the offshore wind farm at the grid entry point.

Bringsværd said: “With more renewables coming into production, it will be crucial to handle storage to ensure predictable energy supply in periods without wind or sun. Batwind has the potential to add value by mitigating periods without wind – and by that making wind a more reliable energy producer year around. This could expand the use and market for wind and renewables in the future.”

Hywind was inaugurated in October, with Masdar holding a 25 per cent stake and Statoil owning the remaining 75 per cent. Operating with an installed capacity of 30 MW, Masdar said that Hywind is already powering around 6600 homes.

In an interview with PEi last week at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Al Lamki told me that Masdar “has an appetite for offshore wind” following its previous collaboration with Statoil on the recently-launched Dudgeon Wind Farm in the UK, and its involvement in other British windpower project London Array.  Statoil and Masdar in floating windpower energy storage pact

“We mean business,” said Al Lamki. “We have a progressive confidence in offshore wind and we are ready to seize the opportunities.”

In an earlier interview at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Adnan Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), picked energy storage and floating offshore wind as the two biggest game-changers that would boost the renewables industry.

During Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Masdar also signed a deal with Elsewedy Electric and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation to deliver a windpower portfolio of more than 800 MW in Egypt.

Masdar has already developed several solar PV plants in partnership with Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority, including the 10 MW Siwa Solar plant, four in the Red Sea governorate with a combined capacity of 14 MW, and three in Al Wadi Al Jadeed with a combined capacity of 6 MW.

Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy recently announced that the country plans to generate 42 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2025.

According to IRENA, the country aims to install 7.2 GW of windpower by 2020 and 3.5 GW of solar by 2027.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar chief executive, said: “As Egypt’s economy expands, so do the opportunities to provide energy from renewable sources. We are ready to tap into our existing experience with renewable energy projects, while collaborating with industry experts like Elsewedy Electric and Marubeni in Egypt, to deliver on the country’s visionary plans for the future.”