Statoil starts up world's first floating wind farm; Australia to build wind-solar-storage plant by 2018

Our pick of the latest wind power news you need to know.

Statoil aims to reduce the cost of floating wind power to 40 to 60 euros per MWh ($47 to 71/MWh) by 2030. (Image credit: monap)

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Statoil opens world's first floating offshore wind farm in Scotland

Statoil has officially opened its 30 MW Hywind Scotland floating wind farm, the world's first commercial scale floating plant, the company announced October 18.

The Hywind Scotland plant is located 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and sends power to the Scottish grid.

Operated by Statoil and project partner Masdar, the wind farm consists of five 6 MW Siemens direct drive turbines deployed in water depths of 95 to 120 meters.

The onshore operations and maintenance (O&M) base is located at Peterhead, and the operations center is at Great Yarmouth, south-east England.

Statoil aims to reduce the cost of floating wind power to 40 to 60 euros per MWh ($47 to 71/MWh) by 2030 and Hywind is designed to be used for water depths up to 800 meters, Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil, said in a statement.

"Knowing that up to 80% of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (+60 meters) where traditional bottom fixed installations are not suitable, floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward,” Rummelhoff said.

Statoil is also developing Batwind, a 1 MWh Lithium battery storage solution that will be linked with the Hywind Scotland plant.

Scheduled to be installed in late 2018, the Batwind system will look to capture wind overshoots, reduce balancing costs and increase power market value.

“The pilot in Scotland will provide a technological and commercial foundation for the implementation of Batwind in full-scale offshore wind farms, opening new commercial opportunities in a growing market,” Statoil said in 2016.

France completes its first offshore wind farm

France has completed its first offshore wind farm, a 2 MW floating facility near Saint Nazaire on France's western coast, the energy and ecology ministry said October 13.

The 'Floatgen' project is a collaboration of seven European groups, including France's Ideol and Bouygues. The project received 10 million euros in European Union funding and 5.7 million euros from the French authorities.

There are currently six offshore wind projects currently under development in France, for a total capacity of around 3 GW.

In addition, four 25 MW floating wind projects are expected to be installed between 2020 and 2021. France also plans to launch a tender for commercial floating wind farm projects, following a market consultation period.

Australia to host world's first utility-scale wind-solar-storage plant

Renewable energy developer Windlab and project partner Vestas plan to build the world's first utility-scale wind, solar and battery energy storage project in Australia by the end of 2018, Vestas announced September 19.

The 60 MW Kennedy Energy Park phase I project represents the first phase of Windlab’s 1.2 GW Kennedy Energy Park. The Park will be located in Flinders Shire in central north Queensland.

Kennedy Phase I will use 43 MW of Vestas 3.6 MW wind turbines, 15 MW of solar capacity and 2 MW (4 MWh) of lithium ion battery storage. A Vestas-customized control system will be used to operate the hybrid power plant.

A consortium of Vestas and Quanta Services will deliver the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the project. Vestas will also supply a 15-year service agreement, which includes a full-scope service package for the wind turbines and scheduled maintenance for the solar panels, battery storage and electrical systems, it said.

To support further growth, the project partners will share knowledge and experience from building the Kennedy Phase I plant with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Vestas said.

In July, the South Australia government announced plans for the world's largest lithium ion battery at Neoen’s 315 MW Hornsdale wind farm project currently under construction.

A 100 MW Tesla Powerpack battery (129 MWh) will be installed at the site by December 2017 (Australia's summer).

In September 2016, a 50-year storm damaged critical infrastructure in South Australia, leaving 1.7 million residents without electricity. Further blackouts occurred in the following summer and the government of South Australia called for Expressions of Interest to deploy grid-scale energy storage options with a minimum capacity of 100 MW.

Tesla's battery will mitigate regional renewable energy intermittency and deliver electricity at peak hours. The battery will also provide emergency backup power when needed.

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