Statoil is to test a new battery storage solution for offshore wind energy at its Hywind floating windfarm in the UK North Sea as part of a collaboration with Scotland.

The Batwind battery storage solution will be developed in co-operation with Scottish universities and suppliers, under a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Statoil, the Scottish Government, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Scottish Enterprise.

The MoU programme will be managed by ORE Catapult and Scottish Enterprise.

Statoil offshore wind senior vice-president Stephen Bull said: "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 windpark to grid. Battery storage represents a new application in our offshore wind portfolio, contributing to realising our ambition of profitable growth in this area."

"By developing innovative battery storage solutions, we can improve the value of wind energy."

Statoil plans to install the 1MWh lithium battery based storage pilot system in late-2018.

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Battery storage will help maximise renewable generation of the Hywind offshore windfarm, while mitigating consistency and optimising output.

Scotland Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "A recent industry and government report, produced by the Carbon Trust, concluded that if the energy market was adapted to appropriately recognise the benefits of electricity storage to the wider system, this could lead to savings of up to £50 a year on an average energy bill and a system wide saving of up to £2.4bn a year by 2030."

The windpark is currently under construction and it is expected to start electricity production in late-2017. With five floating 6MW turbines, the facility would generate around 135GWh of clean energy per annum.

Upon completion, the project is said to become the largest floating offshore wind development in the UK.

Image: An illustration of Hywind floating wind farm. Photo: © Statoil.