The Anonymous Widower

Britain Will Soon Have A Glut Of Cheap Power, And World-Leading Batteries To Store It

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

This is the first four paragraphs.

Today’s electricity price shock is the last crisis of the old order. Britain will soon have far more power at times of peak production than it can absorb. The logistical headache will be abundance.

Wind and solar provided almost 60pc of the UK’s power for substantial stretches last weekend, briefly peaking at 66pc. This is not to make a propaganda point about green energy, although this home-made power is self-evidently displacing liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported right now at nosebleed prices.

It is a point about the mathematical implications of the UK’s gargantuan push for renewables. Offshore wind capacity is going to increase from 11 to 50 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 under the Government’s latest fast-track plans.

RenewableUK says this country currently has a total of 86GW in the project pipeline. This the most ambitious rollout of offshore wind in the world, ahead of China at 78GW, and the US at 48GW.

The article goes on to give a comprehensive account of where we are with renewables, where we are going and how we will handle things, when the wind doesn’t blow.

Dogger Bank

The article says this about the Dogger Bank wind farm, which is being developed by SSE.

The giant hi-tech turbines to be erected on the Dogger Bank, where wind conditions are superb, bear no resemblance to the low-tech, low-yield dwarves of yesteryear. The “capacity factor” is approaching 60pc, which entirely changes the energy equation.

A capacity factor of 60 % seems a bit high to me and is what can be expected with the latest floating turbines. But these are fixed to the sea floor.

The Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank wind farm, says this about the building of the the first two sections of the massive wind farm.

On 21 September 2020, it was announced that Dogger Bank A and B will use 190 GE Haliade-X 13 MW offshore wind turbines over both sites, meaning that 95 turbines will be used on each site.[19] The availability of upgraded Haliade-X turbines rated at 13 MW rather than 12 MW means that each site will be capable of generating up to 1.235 GW, for a total of 2.47 GW. Turbines will be pre-assembled at Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool, an activity that will lead to the creation of 120 skilled jobs at the port during construction. Turbine installation is expected to commence in 2023 at Dogger Bank A.[20] Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for 15 years were signed in November 2020. Offshore cable laying started in April 2022. Installation of the turbine foundations was started in July 2022.

This GE data sheet about the Haliade-X offshore wind turbine, says this about capacity factor.

it also features a 60-64% capacity factor above industry standard. Capacity factor compares how much energy was generated against the maximum that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during a specific period of time.

A 60-64% capacity factor is exceptional.

Current plans for Dogger Bank indicate that 3.6 GW will be installed and operational by 2024/25.

Could that mean that Dogger Bank will be able to deliver 2.16 GW almost continuously, on GE’s figures? Sizewell B is only 1.25 GW.

Sofia Wind Farm

There was going to be a fourth section to Dogger Bank, but this is now the separate Sofia wind farm.

  • It is being developed by RWE.
  • The first phase of three has a capacity of 1.4 MW. Does that mean Sofia will eventually be a 4.2 GW wind farm?
  • RWE seem to be putting in a very large offshore substation. Could this support a lot more turbines?
  • The wind farm seems to be using high-specification SiemensGamesa 14MW SG 14-222 DD wind turbines, which have a Power Boost facility to deliver up to 15 MW.
  • I can’t find anything about capacity factor.

Wikipedia gives a delivery date of 2023 for the first phase of Sofia.

Storing Electricity

The article says this about storing electricity.

Much of the power will have to be stored for days or weeks at a time. Lithium batteries cannot do the job: their sweet spot is two hours, and they are expensive. You need “long duration” storage at a cost that must ultimately fall below $100 (£82) per megawatt hour (MWh), the global benchmark of commercial viability.

That is now in sight, and one of the world leaders is a British start-up. Highview Power has refined a beautifully simple technology using liquid air stored in insulated steel towers at low pressure.

I have had Highview Power on my radar for some time.

Highview Power

What is there not to like about Highview Power?

  • The original idea was developed in a shed in Bishop’s Stortford, by a lone inventor.
  • Sumitomo are one of their backers.
  • They are also backed by English Universities and the UK Government.
  • They have run a successful pilot plant in Bury.
  • They are now building their first full-size 50 MW/250 MWh commercial plant at Carrington near Manchester.
  • Much of the equipment they use to build their batteries is standard equipment from world-class companies like MAN.
  • There are no exotic and expensive materials used.

The writer of the article has obviously had a long chat with Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive and ex-head of the satellite company Inmarsat.

Pearce happily discloses this monster.

Highview is well beyond the pilot phase and is developing its first large UK plant in Humberside, today Britain’s top hub for North Sea wind. It will offer 2.5GW for over 12 hours, or 0.5GW for over 60 hours, and so forth, and should be up and running by late 2024.

Note.

  1. The world’s largest battery is at Ouarzazate Solar Power Station in Morocco and it is 3 GWh.
  2. Highview’s Humberside battery is megahuge at 30 GWh.
  3. The world’s largest pumped storage power station is Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China and it is 40 GWh.
  4. My experience of doing the calculations for large reaction vessels and other structures, tells me, that Highview should be able to construct huge systems.

I suspect that it will be easier and more affordable to build the Humberside battery.

This is another pair of paragraphs.

Mr Pearce said Highview’s levelised cost of energy (LCOE) would start at $140-$150, below lithium, and then slide on a “glide path” to $100 with over time. The company has parallel projects in Spain and Australia but Britain is the showroom.

“The UK is a fantastic place to do this. It has one of the most innovative grids in the world and an open, fair, liquid, market mechanism with absolute visibility,” he said.

It looks to me, that Rupert Pearce has taken Highview Power to a different level, in his short tenure at the company.

The world will soon be very familiar with the name of Highview Power.

July 29, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. As an interested bystander, it seems to me that localised Long Duration Energy Storage will be the key to making the best use of renewable energy. You previously mentioned Gravitricity and their pilot at Leith. I understand that they are in the process of identifying a site for the first proper installation.
    Another couple of possibilities are RheEnergise, pumped storage which uses a high density liquid instead of water, and Caldera, which is an electric heat battery.
    RheEnergise say there are potentially 6,600 sites in the UK, many close to the point of use, that would be suitable. Unlike conventional pumped storage, a height differential of no more than 200 metres is required and the whole structure can be built underground close to the area of need. The company is currently submitting a demonstration site for planning permission.
    Caldera stores heat at 500 degrees C produced from electricity using time of use rates. If untapped, the heat retained after about 3 weeks is c200 degrees C. Individually, a unit is sufficient for hard to heat homes or placed if in series, can be used for industrial applications.
    These are just two examples of long term energy storage close to the point of use, both of which can provide energy as required on demand from renewable sources.

    Comment by James Martineau | July 29, 2022 | Reply

  2. Absolutely! There is also the Siemens Gamesa ETES system.

    I feel though that Highview is the only Long Duration Energy Storage, that could be developed as a replacement to pumped hydro storage.

    Comment by AnonW | July 29, 2022 | Reply

  3. Use some of the surplus energy to run de-salination plants – as an island we are surrounded by salt water, and with the ‘climate emergency’ likely to mean no end to hot summers, hosepipe bans, or worse, not enough water for basic necessities, use such technology developed by the Israelies, to future proof water supplies…

    Comment by PJS | July 29, 2022 | Reply

  4. 60% capacity factor is exceptional and vastly exceeds the best offshore wind farm commissioned currently each wind farm will have its own capacity factor so took a look at Triton Knoll (9.5MW turbines currently biggest in use in N.Sea i believe currently) and the best 24hr period they have recorded 45% and its best calendar month period is 23% its worse is 10%. So whilst I like the sound of highview scheme its going to need at least 20 of them. The construction of this one sound ambitious as i can’t see they’ve gone for planning yet! However, I would also say that it should be mandatory now that any new solar/wind scheme automatically needs to have some form of storage or hydrogen as part of the development. We are just spending too much on constraint management already over £400m since the beginning of April this year is just criminal.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | July 29, 2022 | Reply

    • I have a feeling that the high capacity factors are down to several incremental improvements to aerodynamics, gear-boxes etc. There’s the sort of war going on that we all like. – A technology war between wind turbine manufacturers. We all benefit from that, except for the turbine manufacturer with the least efficient turbines.

      Your last point was made by Rupert Pearce in the article, where the tone was if we can’t use or store it, it should be flogged to Europe.

      Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2022 | Reply

    • yes, I tried to find out the status on Highview’s Humberside plan, but couldn’t find anything – not even where exactly it’s going to be built – is it next to/near the converter station at Creyke Beck (currently a large building site), or actually on the Humber? If the latter, how’s the power going to get there? I’d be happy if Highview are able to produce what they claim, but atm they’re a small company with no track record, introducing a new unproven technology. I think it’s best to await concrete results before writing breathless articles.

      The DT’s article seems to confuse capacity with usable power. Scotland already has an energy glut (the map at https://es.catapult.org.uk/news/locational-pricing-could-save-30bn/ makes this clear), but it’s no use unless the power can be transported when and to where the demand is. Meanwhile, a headline in Thursday’s Times read: “Grid has no power for new homes in west London until 2035”. Mass migration from London to Scotland might solve that, but might not be very popular. These problems are likely to get worse before they get better.

      Comment by Peter Robins | July 30, 2022 | Reply

  5. I’m pretty certain that the CRYOBattery will be built at Creyke Beck as it is likely in the future to have 3.4 GW of connected wind farms.

    Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2022 | Reply

  6. This is a 49.9 MW lithium-ion battery.

    Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2022 | Reply

  7. […] Will Highview Power step forward with a fleet of their 2.5 GW/30 GWh CRYOBatteries, as was proposed by Rupert Pearce in Britain Will Soon Have A Glut Of Cheap Power, And World-Leading Batteries To Store …. […]

    Pingback by Pumped Storage Development In Scotland « The Anonymous Widower | September 3, 2022 | Reply


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