The Anonymous Widower

UK On Track To Reach 4,000 Zero Emission Bus Pledge With £200 Million Boost

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the Government.

These are the main points of the press release.

  • Nearly 1,000 more zero-emission buses to be funded in towns and cities across the country, bringing the total funded in England to 2000 so far under this government.
  • A further 600 zero-emission buses have been funded in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Comes as consultation launched on ending sale of all new non-zero emission buses from 2025 to 2032.
  • Government continues taking unprecedented action to hit net zero and level up transport across the country.

Areas to get the new buses include.

  • Blackpool
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hertfordshire
  • Norfolk
  • North Yorkshire
  • Nottingham
  • Oxfordshire
  • Portsmouth
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Yorkshire
  • York

I would also like to see the government fund trials for the conversion of suitable buses to zero carbon. I certainly believe that London’s New Routemaster buses could be converted to hydrogen.

 

 

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 7 Comments

Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station: Government To Take 20% Stake

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs.

The government plans to take a 20% stake in a £20bn large-scale nuclear plant at Sizewell, the BBC has learned.

French developer EDF will also take a 20% stake in the Suffolk power station.

Ministers hope the confirmation of two cornerstone investors will encourage infrastructure investors and pension funds to take up the remaining 60%.

I used to live near Sixewell and the general feeling of local Suffolk people is not particularly against having nuclear power stations in their back yards.

There are several small points in favour of  Sizewell C.

  • Sizewell has been operating nuclear power plants safely since the 1960s.
  • Leiston, which is the nearest town, has a very strong engineering tradition.
  • Leiston also improved by several notches during the building of Sizewell B.
  • The site is accessible by rail and possibly sea with the right ship.
  • Nuclear fuel can be brought in and out by train.
  • If they spent a small amount on the train service to Saxmundham, construction workers could come in by train.
  • Sizewell C has been proposed to be used to generate hydrogen for Freeport East at the Ports of Harwich an Felixstowe.
  • The power cable to take electricity from Sizewell C towards London is already built.
  • Sizewell is much more convenient to get to from London, than other possible nuclear sites.

Overall, I feel that Sizewell is a good place for nuclear power station.

On the other hand, there are these points against the station.

  • There will be at least 6.7 GW of wind farms built off the East Anglian coast before Sizewell C is completed.
  • There may be substantial objection to the new power station.
  • Large nuclear power stations are rarely built to time and on budget.
  • I feel that if we go the nuclear route, that small modular nuclear reactors may be better.

I can understand why Governments like Sizewell as a nuclear power station site.

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 1 Comment

ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm

I introduced this wind farm in ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations as Lease 15 – The Odd Bid Out.

I said this.

In any design competition, there is usually at least one design, that is not look like any of the others.

In the successful bids for the ScotWind leases, the bid from Magnora ASA stands out.

  • The company has an unusual home page on its offshore wind web site.
  • This page on their web site outlines their project.
  • It will be technology agnostic, with 15MW turbines and a total capacity of 500MW
  • It will use floating offshore wind with a concrete floater
  • It is estimated, that it will have a capacity factor of 56 %.
  • The water depth will be an astonishing 106-125m
  • The construction and operation will use local facilities at Stornoway and Kishorn Ports.
  • The floater will have local and Scottish content.
  • The project will use UK operated vessels​.
  • Hydrogen is mentioned.
  • Consent is planned for 2026, with construction starting in 2028 and completion in 2030.

This project could serve as a model for wind farms all round the world with a 500 MW power station, hydrogen production and local involvement and construction.

I have some thoughts.

The Location Of The Windfarm

This Google Map shows the area between Stornaway and Kishorn.

Note.

  1. The island in the North-West of the map is Lewis and Harris.
  2. The windfarm will be to the North-West of the island.
  3. Stornaway is on the isthmus, that connects the small peninsular on the East of the island.
  4. The port of Stornaway is on the South side of the isthmus.
  5. The port of Kishorn is shown by the red arrow.

This second Google Map shows the town of Stornaway.

Note that Stornaway has a substantial airport in the East and a large port.

This third Google Map shows Loch Kishorn in more detail.

Kishorn Yard at the Kishorn Port was originally built to create the large structures in steel and concrete for the development of North Sea Oil. This is an extract from the Wikipedia entry.

The yard was therefore well suited to build the 600,000-tonne concrete Ninian Central Platform, which was built in 1978. Material was supplied by sea and when complete the platform needed seven tugs to tow it to its operating position in the North Sea. The Ninian Central Platform still holds the record as the largest movable object ever created by man.

If the yard could build the Ninian Central Platform, I’m sure that Magnora ASA intend to build the concrete floater in Loch Kishorn.

The Floating Wind Turbines

In visualisations on the site, the floating wind turbines are shown as sitting on floating three-pointed star structures.

As Technip UK are partners in the project and I suspect they are a subsidiary of  TechnipFMC, who are a well-known company described like this in Wikipedia.

TechnipFMC plc is a French-American, UK-domiciled global oil and gas company that provides complete project life cycle services for the energy industry.

The company would certainly have the expertise to design a floating platform for a wind farm.

Like the WindFloat, it could be based on semi-submersible offshore platform technology.

The Magnora web site, say that 15 MW wind turbines will be used, so these will probably be some of the largest wind turbines in the world.

Currently, the largest floating wind turbines are the 9.5 MW units at the Kincardine Wind Farm in Scotland.

33 x 15 MW wind turbines would give a capacity of 495 MW.

I suspect the turbines would be towed to Stornaway or Kishorn for major servicing.

What Will The Concrete Floater Do?

There are a variety of tasks that the concrete floater could handle.

  • It could collect the electricity from the wind turbines. I suspect this would give advantages in the connection and disconnection of individual turbines into the windfarm.
  • Any electricity conversion necessary would be handled on the floater.
  • The floater would handle the seaward end of the connection to the shore.
  • There could be a battery or energy storage device on the floater.
  • Could a Gravitricity battery or something similar be built into the floater?
  • Magnora mention hydrogen on their web site. Could an electrolyser be built on the floater and the hydrogen distributed to Lewis and Harris by pipeline?

Some oil and gas platforms are very comprehensive and there is no reason why there can’t be substantial processing done on the floater.

The Concrete Floater

According to Wikipedia, offshore concrete structures have been in use successfully for about 50 years. Nearly fifty are in use in the oil and gas industry.

Wikipedia introduces its section on floating concrete structures like this.

Since concrete is quite resistant to corrosion from salt water and keeps maintenance costs low, floating concrete structures have become increasingly attractive to the oil and gas industry in the last two decades.

I also wonder if a floating concrete structure would make a good hydrogen storage tank, if there is electrolysis on the floater on the to turn electricity into hydrogen.

Conclusion

My original conclusion after reading about this wind farm was.

This project could serve as a model for wind farms all round the world with a 500 MW power station, hydrogen production and local involvement and construction.

I have no reason to change my mind and feel that the concept may have even more possibilities.

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on the Crown Estate Scotland web site.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Crown Estate Scotland has today announced the outcome of its application process for ScotWind Leasing, the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in over a decade and the first ever since the management of offshore wind rights were devolved to Scotland.

The results coming just months after Glasgow hosted the global COP26 climate conference show the huge opportunity that Scotland has to transform its energy market and move towards a net zero economy.

Some highlights are then listed.

  • 17 projects have been selected out of a total of 74 applications.
  • A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.
  • The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2.
  • Initial indications suggest a multi-billion pound supply chain investment in Scotland
  • The potential power generated will move Scotland towards net-zero.

This map shows the position of each wind farm.

Note, that the numbers are Scotwind’s lease number in their documents.

Fixed Foundation Wind Farms

These are the six fixed foundation wind farms.

  • 1 – BP Alternative Energy Investments – 859 km² – 2.9 GW
  • 6 – DEME – 187 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 9 – Ocean Winds – 429 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 13 – Offshore Wind Power – 657 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 16 – Northland Power – 161 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 17 – Scottish Power Renewables – 754 km² – 2.0 GW

Adding up these fixed foundation wind farms gives a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².

Floating Wind Farms

These are the ten floating wind farms.

  • 2- SSE Renewables – 859 km² – 2.6 GW
  • 3 – Falck Renewables Wind – 280 km² – 1.2 GW
  • 4 – Shell – 860 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 5 – Vattenfall – 200 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 7 – DEME Concessions Wind – 200 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 8 – Falck Renewables Wind – 256 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 10 – Falck Renewables Wind – 134 km² – 0.5 GW
  • 11 – Scottish Power Renewables – 684 km² – 3.0 GW
  • 12 – BayWa r.e. UK  – 330 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 14 – Northland Power – 390 km² – 1.5 GW

Adding up the floating wind farms gives a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Mixed Wind Farms

This is the single wind farm, that has mixed foundations.

15 – Magnora – 103 km² – 0.5 GW

This wind farm appears to be using floating wind turbines.

I have a few general thoughts.

Are Floating Wind Farms Further Out?

There does appear to be a pattern, where the wind farms that are further from the land tend to be floating wind farms and those closer to the land appear to be fixed.

Consider.

  • As the water gets deeper, fixed wind turbines will surely get more expensive.
  • Floating wind turbines are the newer and more unproven technology, so only those bidders, who have done their research and are happy with it, will have bid.

Falck Renewables Wind Seem To Be Working With BlueFloat Energy

In the three Falck Renewables successes with leases 3, 8 and 10, BlueFloat Energy is a partner in the lease.

According to their web site, BlueFloat Energy were very much involved in WindFloat Atlantic, where this is said.

Top members of our team were key contributors to the development and construction of the WindFloat Atlantic project from concept to Final Investment Decision to commissioning. This 25 megawatt (MW) floating offshore wind project in Portugal marked a turning point in the offshore wind industry as it was the first floating offshore wind project to secure bank financing. With 3 x MVOW’s 8.4 MW turbines, the WindFloat Atlantic project was the world’s first semi-submersible floating wind project and continental Europe’s first floating wind project.

So do Falck Renewables intend to use WindFloat technology in their areas, which are to produce a total of 2.7 GW?

Perhaps a fleet of two hundred floating wind turbines based on WindFloat technology each with a capacity of 14 MW would be ideal.

  • Wind turbines would be interchangeable between all three farms.
  • There could be a few standby turbines to allow for maintenance.
  • It would be possible to borrow a turbine to explore a new site.

All it would need is technology to be able to position and connect a turbine into the wind farm and disconnect and remove a turbine from the wind farm, with simple procedures.

Did BP Avoid the Floating Wind Farms?

BP, who are relatively new to offshore wind, only had one success, for a large fixed wind farm. So did they avoid the floating wind farms?

Do Shell and Scottish Power Have A Bigger Plan? 

Shell and Scottish Power were successful with leases 4 and 11, which are reasonably close together.

They also won lease 17, which I wrote about in MacHairWind Wind Farm, where I concluded this.

The MacHairWind wind farm seems a well-positioned wind farm.

  • It is close to Glasgow.
  • It can be used in tandem with the Cruachan pumped hydro power station.
  • It will have access to the Western HVDC Link to send power to the North-West of England.

Is Scotland replacing the 1.2 GW Hunterston B nuclear power station with a 2 GW wind farm, with help from Cruachan and other proposed pumped storage hydro schemes to the North of Glasgow?

So did Shell and Scottish Power get the pick of the bunch and will build two large floating wind farms close together?

Shell and Scottish Power seem to be using French company; Eolfi’s floating wind technology.

Why Do Floating Wind Farms Have A Higher Density?

The floating wind farms have an average energy density of 3.5 MW per sq. km, whereas the fixed wind farms only manage 3.2 MW per sq. km.

It may be only ten percent, but does that help the economics? It certainly, wouldn’t make them worse.

I do wonder though, if the reason for the higher density is simply that a floating turbine can be bigger, than a corresponding fixed turbine.

I also have a few more specific thoughts about individual farms.

Lease 15 – The Odd Bid Out

In any design competition, there is usually at least one design, that is not look like any of the others.

In the successful bids for the ScotWind leases, the bid from Magnora ASA stands out.

  • The company has an unusual home page on its offshore wind web site.
  • This page on their web site outlines their project.
  • It will be technology agnostic, with 15MW turbines and a total capacity of 500MW
  • It will use floating offshore wind with a concrete floater
  • It is estimated, that it will have a capacity factor of 56 %.
  • The water depth will be an astonishing 106-125m
  • The construction and operation will use local facilities at Stornoway and Kishorn Ports.
  • The floater will have local and Scottish content.
  • The project will use UK operated vessels​.
  • Hydrogen is mentioned.
  • Consent is planned for 2026, with construction starting in 2028 and completion in 2030.

This project could serve as a model for wind farms all round the world with a 500 MW power station, hydrogen production and local involvement and construction.

I discuss this project in more detail in ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm.

A Conclusion About Floating Wind

The various successful bids in this round of Scottish wind farm leases can be split by capacity into two groups.

  • Floating + Mixed – 15.1 GW – 61 %
  • Fixed – 9.7 GW – 39 %

Note that I have included Magnora’s successful mixed bid with the successful floating bids, as it uses floating wind turbines to generate electricity.

The over 60 % of successful bids involving floating wind farms, indicates to me, that the day of floating wind farms has arrived.

 

 

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments