WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Sometimes energy generated by offshore wind farms is hard to store or transfer, this is a neat solution to that problem and new energy tankers can then collect the energy at their leisure.
As the world deploys more and more renewable energy generating capacity, especially at sea, companies everywhere are trying to solve the problem of how to store and transport the energy they all produce.
Recently one company in Japan unveiled a firs of a kind autonomous drone energy tanker – the modern equivalent of an oil tanker – to transport electricity from offshore wind farms, and now another company, Ocean Grazer, a spin-off of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, has launched yet another concept – a deep sea energy storage solution that they call the “Ocean Battery.”
Future of Energy 2050 keynote, by Matthew Griffin
The Ocean Battery is an energy storage solution for offshore wind farms that’s installed on the seabed and it can be infinitely scaled to handle gigawatt hours worth of energy storage. Furthermore, says the company, the solution’s efficient, has low maintenance costs, and is designed with a sustainable planet in mind.
The Ocean Battery is based on what the company calls “Hydro dam technology.” Excess wind power is routed towards the Ocean Battery that pumps water from its underground reservoirs into the flexible bladders installed at the seabed. Whenever there is a demand for power water is routed through hydro turbines to generate electricity back into the underground reservoirs.
See how it works
According to the company, the transition towards renewable power generation is a huge challenge and power production will soon be dictated by the weather conditions and no longer will be available on demand. Peaks in renewable power production are already resulting in negative energy prices and potentially even blackouts. Fast-growing offshore wind power production results in an exponential demand for large scale energy storage. Ocean Grazer steps into this opportunity and delivers a solution.
One of the key success factors is that the Ocean Battery significantly reduces the capital expenditure of offshore power generation with a return on investment of 8 – 10 years. Ocean Grazer has developed a strategy to develop their patented technology with local partners around the globe, building the battery on site and creating local jobs.
The first commercial demonstrators are currently under development where the ocean battery will stabilize the power system and provide black start power whenever a blackout occurs.