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Norwegian E&P Hopes to Make Wind Profitable

When oil major Statoil (ticker: STO; acquired Brigham Exploration in 2011, the Norwegian company became a major operator in the Williston basin, with approximately 330,000 net acres in the play and an extensive gathering system including three operating oil facilities, seven operating saltwater disposal facilities, approximately 700 miles of pipeline and ten unit trains. Platt’s 2015 ranking of global energy companies puts Statoil in the number 27 slot.

All the oil majors, including Statoil, have invested in a wide variety of energy projects over the years. Renewable energy is no exception. On Friday Statoil announced it had launched Batwind, the company’s name for battery storage for offshore wind.

Statoil batwind-illustration

Statoil’s Batwind Project as associated with the Hywind floating wind farm concept proposed for offshore Scotland

It’s a joint effort that will be developed in co-operation with Scottish universities and suppliers, the Scottish Government, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Scottish Enterprise.

The pilot will be part of Hywind Scotland, an innovative offshore wind park with five floating wind turbines located 25 km offshore Peterhead, Scotland.

The wind park is currently under construction and start of electricity production is expected in late 2017. Statoil will install a 1MWh Lithium battery based storage pilot system in late 2018. This equals the battery capacity of more than 2 million iPhones.

Can Statoil Achieve Profitable Growth Developing Storage Technologies for Wind Farms?

The pilot program in Scotland will provide a foundation to employ Batwind in full-scale offshore wind farms, opening new commercial opportunities in a growing market, the company said in a statement. “Battery storage represents a new application in our offshore wind portfolio, contributing to realizing our ambition of profitable growth in this area,” Stephen Bull, Statoil’s offshore wind VP said. According to the company’s presentation, Statoil is involved in 750 MW of wind projects, with approximately 319 MW currently in operation.

“A recent industry and government report, produced by the Carbon Trust, concluded that if the energy market was adapted to appropriately recognize 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,” Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said in a press release concerning the project.

A short slide deck highlighting Statoil’s Batwind project may be seen here.

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