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Deepwater Wind wants to add 40MWh of Tesla energy storage to Massachusetts offshore project

A project in Feldheim, Germany, using energy storage to help integrate onshore wind energy. Deepwater's proposal for offshore wind-plus-storage would be the largest of its kind. Image: LG Chem.

Developer Deepwater Wind has applied to build a 144MW offshore wind farm, coupled with 40MWh of battery-based energy storage from Tesla, off the coast of Massachusetts.

The East Coast US state’s seven investor-owned electricity distribution companies issued a request for proposals (RfP) for long-term contracts to build up to 400MW of wind energy projects based offshore, near the end of June. The RfP was issued under Section 83D of the Massachusetts Act to Promote Energy Diversity. Proposed projects need to be able to show they can be completed and connected by 1 January, 2027.

A local news and information website, MassLive reported shortly after the issue of that RfP that at least three wind developers were known to be in contention for contracts: Deepwater Wind and rivals Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind.

That RfP stated that projects “may be paired with energy storage systems”, with applicants required to “propose delivery profiles which they expect would add the most value for Massachusetts ratepayers” as well as providing an annual schedule of expected generation from their plant.

The document acknowledges that there is likely to be associated economic value to many of the applications energy storage could be used for, with examples given including: increased resource firmness, reduced intermittency (of wind generated power), improved power delivery during peak periods, as well as potential revenues and benefits from providing capacity and ancillary services.

Deepwater Wind’s proposal is for the building of Revolution Wind Farm, 144MW of wind and 40MWh of Tesla Powerpack or Powerpack 2 utility-scale battery energy storage. Deepwater said, however, that it had also put in separate proposals to instead construct either a smaller, 96MW version of Revolution Wind, or a much larger 288MW version.

'Largest combined offshore wind and energy storage project in the world'

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said that people might find it surprising “just how affordable and reliable this clean energy combo will be”, describing Revolution Wind as the “largest combined offshore wind and energy storage project in the world”.

The company also played up the fact that it would put manufacturing and operations hubs for the project into Massachusetts, in the city of New Bedford, including turbine assembly. Deepwater said it would create “hundreds of local jobs in the Commonwealth (of Massachusetts)”.

In terms of benefits to the electricity network and to Massachusetts, pairing the wind farm with energy storage to integrate its energy output would help the region’s grid and wires operators from having to invest in peaking generation facilities and transmission lines, Deepwater said.

If approved, the Revolution Wind project will be located some 30 miles off the US mainland, not far from another Deepwater facility, the 90MW South Fork Wind Farm, serving Long Island in New York State. Within a lease site held by Deepwater that encompasses the two, the company said there is the potential for a total 2GW of offshore wind generation. Deepwater said it could begin work on Revolution Wind by 2022 and have it finished the following year.

While solar-plus-storage is more common, and seems to make headlines more readily than wind power-plus-storage, there have been numerous projects to combine the two clean energy technologies. Most recently reported by Energy-Storage.News was a 3MW energy storage project in Holland paired with a 90MW wind farm built by Vattenfall in late June and earlier that month Spain got its first 'hybrid' wind power and energy storage plant using Samsung SDI batteries. In April, a 5MW / 40MWh energy storage project was announced in New York that will also help integrate wind power from an offshore generation facility - the aforementioned South Fork Wind Farm, in fact.