Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank wind farm, located just off the coast of Merseyside, is now the world’s first offshore wind farm to be powered by a battery network.
The new 2MW battery system will store some of the 90 MW of energy generated by the initial phase of the Burbo Bank wind farm. This should help alleviate the criticism that renewables can disrupt the National Grid’s 50 Mhz frequency, leading to flickering bulbs and possibly even blackouts. Head of Networks at the National Grid, Richard Smith, expressed that the company may be calling on Dong Energy’s new facility to help it with day-to-day operational challenges.
While advances in turbine construction and lubricants like Mobilith SHC 220 have helped to improve wind turbine efficiency, wind power will always be subject to weather conditions. With the new hybrid battery systems, suppliers can store or release energy to compensate for peaks and troughs in generation and supply a more consistent flow of electricity to the grid.
Speaking before the launch of Burbo Bank’s second phase of development, which saw the world’s largest wind turbines come online, Dong Energy’s boss in the UK Benj Sykes described how advances in this battery technology will be a “game changer” in the burgeoning offshore wind industry.
He also added:
“There is still a long way to go with storage but when I look at the pace of innovation in offshore wind, I’m very confident that this will all come, and it’ll be faster than I think any of us can imagine.”