The Netherlands – The award of Hollandse Kust West VII wind farm to RWE also means a great opportunity for the Dutch startup Ocean Grazer. Together with the energy company, this will develop large-scale energy storage in the North Sea. The startup sees this as the perfect opportunity to further market its Ocean Battery.
Hollandse Kust West VII has been designated to demonstrate the energy system of the future. Large-scale energy storage is crucial here to guarantee the continuity and stability of the power supply, even in variable weather conditions. The modular design of the Ocean Battery, according to the startup, allows gigawatt-hours of electricity to be stored at the bottom of the sea or a lake in a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Because Ocean Battery uses the mature technology Pumped Hydro Storage – known from a hydropower plant – it is highly reliable and also has a long life span. As a result, the battery can effortlessly compensate for fluctuations due to changing weather conditions on a continuous basis.
In basic terms, the concept is child’s play. When there is excess production, the system pumps water from rigid reservoirs into flexible pockets on the seabed. As a result, the system stores energy in the form of high-pressure water. At high flow rates, the water flows back from the flexible bellows into the low-pressure rigid reservoirs. There, several hydro turbines convert the pressure back into electricity.
Last year, Ocean Grazer was a finalist in the Northern Enlightenmentz election. See also the video below. CEO Frits Bliek of Ocean Grazer then saw few obstacles to large-scale construction of the storage system. ‘Perhaps the biggest challenge is to attach the bellows to the seabed properly and cheaply. But we have an innovative offshore industry that also made installing wind turbines affordable. Subsea robots could also do the work, for example.’