The Anonymous Widower

Run Larger, Multi-Site Offshore Wind Tenders, French Energy Commission Recommends To Gov’t

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

This is the sub-heading.

The French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) has recommended that the government conducts larger offshore wind tenders, inviting bids for several sites. This is according to the latest update from CRE, which has now published specifications for the country’s AO5 tender for a floating wind farm in southern Brittany.

Looking at the building of large numbers of wind turbines and their fixed or floating foundations, I am drawn to the conclusion, that it might be better if all were as identical as possible.

I should also note, that we were very successful selling Artemis project management systems in France. Our manager in the country, said it was because all the country’s top managers had been to the same schools and universities and passed the best solutions around themselves.

So perhaps a standard solution appeals to the French psyche?

In the UK, BP are currently designing and planning these fixed foundation wind farms.

  • Mona – 1500 MW – 35 m. depth – 30 km. offshore
  • Morgan – 1500 MW – 35 m. depth – 30 km. offshore
  • Morven – 2907 MW – 65-75 m. depth – 60 km. offshore

Given that Mona and Morgan are in the Irish Sea and Morven is North-East of Aberdeen, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that BP treat these three projects as two separate 3 GW projects, which could share the same turbine design and fixed foundation designs, that were very similar.

I’m sure BP would save money, if they used a similar design philosophy on all three projects.

June 9, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Stackable Floating Wind Platform Gets DNV Approval

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

This is the sub-heading.

DNV has awarded Bassoe Technology an Approval in Principle (AiP) for a 17 MW D-Floater floating wind foundation, designed to withstand extreme 50-year typhoon conditions in the South China Sea.

I wrote about this technology in An Elegant Solution.

This visualisation shows five D-floaters being transported on a ship.

DNV Approval makes it more likely that the design will be deployed in the near future.

June 9, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Close-Up: New Scour Protection Solution That Has Potential To Cut Costs By 70 Pct Inspired By Turtles

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

This is the sub-heading.

At the beginning of May, Balmoral presented a scour protection solution that could replace rock dumping and is set to potentially cut costs by up to 70 per cent when compared to this conventional method. In an interview with, the company revealed that the initial concept behind its new HexDefence system was aimed at a solution for the oil and gas industry but was further developed with the offshore wind industry in mind and that its design was inspired by – turtles.

These first two paragraphs outline HexDefence.

As reported last month, the Scotland-based engineering company introduced HexDefence saying the solution could drastically reduce scour phenomena around fixed offshore wind turbines that cause seabed erosion and a reduction in foundation strength and stiffness.

The structure provides a non-invasive approach to protecting the monopile and the immediate surrounding area and eliminates the need for rock installation which can cost up to 70 per cent more when compared to this new solution, according to Balmoral.

HexDefence has its own section of the Balmoral web site.

In my long career, I have dealt with a lot of fluid flow and I like what Balmoral are doing.


June 2, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seaway7 Installs Final Foundation At Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm

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

This is the sub-heading.

Seaway7 has installed the final wind turbine foundation on Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm, off the coast of Angus, Scotland, concluding the 18-month installation campaign.


  1. As 114 foundations have been installed in eighteen months or just over six installations in a month.
  2. According to Deepest Ever Fixed-Bottom Wind Turbine Foundation Stands Offshore Scotland, each foundation weighs two thousand tonnes.
  3. Some are also the deepest ever turbine foundations with a depth or is that height of nearly sixty metres.
  4. The Seagreen web site, says that phase 1 will be complete in the second quarter of this year.
  5. The first phase will generate 1075 MW.

We should raise a few cheers for the companies involved.

April 17, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

St. Pancras To Heathrow By Elizabeth Line

I ate breakfast in Le Pain Quotidien in St.Pancras station this morning and afterwards I took the Elizabeth Line to Heathrow.

I took Thameslink for one stop to Farringdon station and got a Elizabeth Line train direct to Terminal 2 and 3 at the Airport.


  1. The train I took was going to Gravesend. I suspect it was because of engineering work.
  2. An empty train passed through, whilst I waited. I’ve never seen that before on Thameslink in St. Pancras station.
  3. I travelled in the front of the Thameslink train for the one stop.
  4. The change at Farringdon station was very quick, as it was just down in the lift and the Heathrow train was waiting.

These are some notes on a fast change using the lifts between Southbound Thameslink  and the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon station.

  • Get the first lift of the two that arrives, if like me, you can use escalators.
  • If it goes up, walk across the station at street level and get the two serial escalators down to the Elizabeth Line.
  • If it goes down, take the lift to the Elizabeth Line.

If you can’t manage escalators, you have to wait for a lift going down.

I have some observations.

Meeting And Greeting At St. Pancras Station

From my position in Le Pain Quotidien, I was able to watch passengers leaving and arriving at the Eurostar terminal opposite.

There were quite a few people, who were meeting and greeting others.

In Effects Of The ULEZ In West London, I said this about meeting and greeting at Heathrow.

But as it now so easy to get to the Airport using the Elizabeth Line will more people use the new line to meet and greet and say goodbye to loved ones or business associates. Since the Elizabeth Line opened, I’ve met a couple of friends at Heathrow, who were passing through.

Will the Elizabeth Line increase the number of trips to the airport, by making meeting and greeting easier?

If it does, then it will put more pressure on the services to Heathrow Airport.

Seats In St. Pancras Thameslink Station

These pictures show some of the large number of seats in St. Pancras Thameslink Station.

Should there be more seats along the platform at stations on the Elizabeth Line, where passengers change trains?

My Train To The Airport Was Crowded

Ten in the morning on a Sunday, is not the time I’d expect to be busy, but I estimated it was about ninety percent full, judging by the few empty seats.

There Were Eight Trains Per Hour (tph) To And From Heathrow

From Real Time Trains, it looks like the following trains were running.

  • Elizabeth Line – Abbey Wood and Terminal Four – 2 tph
  • Elizabeth Line – Abbey Wood and Terminal Five – 2 tph
  • Heathrow Express – Paddington and Terminal Five – 4 tph

My train to the Airport had been going to Terminal Four.

Is eight tph the maximum frequency, that can use the tunnel to the Airport?

Is The Elizabeth Line Diverting Passengers From Heathrow Express?

When I returned from the Airport, my Elizabeth Line train left about ten minutes after a Heathrow Express train.

  • The Heathrow Express train wasn’t very full.
  • The Elizabeth Line train was very full.
  • Passengers got out at all stations.
  • I got out at Tottenham Court Road.

It will be interesting to see the Heathrow Express passenger figures.

Which Is The Best Elizabeth Line Station For A Marks and Spencer?

Because their gluten-free food is so much better than other shops, this is important to me.

  • There are larger stores at Ealing Broadway, Tottenham Court Road (West), Liverpool Street (West), Stratford and Ilford.
  • There are food only stores at Heathrow, Paddington, Bond Street and Liverpool Street (East).

Today, I used the large store by the Western entrance at Tottenham Court Road station.

But, if you want to avoid walking, Stratford is probably the easiest.



April 16, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cheesecake Energy Collects £9.4m Government Funding

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

These two paragraphs outline how they will use the grant.

Cheesecake Energy will use the government funding to install its energy storage solution as a microgrid in Colchester to help with local grid limitations.

University of Nottingham spinout Cheesecake Energy’s installation will collect energy made by a solar farm with a capacity of 8MW and a central heat pump that supplies a district heat pump network.

Cheesecake Energy have been on my list of possible successful energy storage systems for some time and this sounds like a very neat application for energy storage.

Cheesecake Energy bill themselves on their web site as The World’s Greenest Battery, which is a big claim to make.

This outline of their technology is given on their Our Technology page.

Cheesecake Energy’s eTanker energy storage system is a stationary, medium to long-duration energy storage solution which delivers cheap, reliable, efficient energy storage in a modular, containerised package.

The technology stores energy in the form of heat and pressurised air, re-tasking ex-service truck engines to become zero-emission electrical power-conversion machines for putting energy into storage and recovering it from storage. The resulting system does not use diesel or any fuel. It is safe, straightforward to operate, has a lifetime of up to 25 years and can deliver turnaround efficiencies of around 70%.

I like the idea of using recycled truck engines at the heart of the system.


The World’s Greenest Battery could be right!

April 14, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 4 Comments

Farewell! Mary Quant!

This is a true story I heard, when I worked for ICI.

Do you remember those horrible drip-dry shirts, that men used to wear in the 1960s?

I suspect I took some to University, as my mother felt I could wash them.

Did you know that Mary Quant was partly responsible for their demise?

Mathematics tell us, that a pair of tights need a lot more nylon, than a pair of stockings.

As Mary Quant got a lot more ladies wearing tights to go with mini-skirts, there was a shortage of nylon.

ICI, who made much of the UK’s nylon, decided unilaterally to divert nylon from men’s shirts to ladies’ hosiery.

Bye bye! Nylon shirts!

RIP Dame Mary

April 13, 2023 Posted by | World, Design | , , , , | Leave a comment

Deepest Ever Fixed-Bottom Wind Turbine Foundation Stands Offshore Scotland

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

This is the sub-heading.

The world’s deepest fixed-bottom wind turbine foundation has been installed at what will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm – Seagreen – off the coast of Angus.

This is the first paragraph.

On Friday, 7 April, the jacket foundation was transported to the project site on a barge operated by the main contractor, Seaway 7, where it was met by the Saipem 7000 – the semisubmersible crane vessel which is used to lift each of the 2,000-tonne turbine foundations into place.

It is obviously, a very worthwhile engineering achievement.

But two thousand tonnes of steel and a giant crane to lift it into place seems a bit of an overkill to me.

I believe that there must be a better method.

I feel that Entrion Wind’s idea of a FRP monopole, which I talked about in Entrion Wind Wins ScotWind Feasibility Deal For Its 100-Metre Depth Foundation Tech, could be a better bet.

April 12, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , | 1 Comment

ORE Catapult, ABP, Microsoft & Co To Create World’s Biggest Offshore Wind ‘Living Lab’ In UK

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

This is the sub-heading.

A consortium led by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has launched a project that will create the biggest offshore wind “living lab” in the world in the UK through the development of a 5G Testbed that includes Grimsby Port and the Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore wind farm.

These two paragraphs outline the project, its aims and partners.

The GBP 2.8 million (approximately EUR 3.2 million) project, which will run until March 2024, involves setting up a 5G Testbed to allow technology providers to test and demonstrate their equipment in real-world conditions, with access to reliable, high-speed communications.

The aim is to kickstart a digital revolution in offshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) and accelerate the development of a new generation of digital technologies essential for the expansion of offshore wind generation, according to ORE Catapult, which partnered with Microsoft, Vilicom, JET Connectivity, XceCo, Associated British Ports (ABP), Acceleran and Satellite Applications Catapult to realise the project.

This seems to me to be a very good idea and it is certainly well-backed.

April 4, 2023 Posted by | Design | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Was Baldrick An Essex Man?

I have been looking at Network Rail’s page for Beaulieu Park station.

This is the heading.

Network Rail and Essex County Council are working together to develop proposals for the first railway station to be built on the Great Eastern main line for over 100 years.

These two paragraphs outline the project and where the finance is being obtained.

The new station is part of a wider regeneration of the Beaulieu Park estate in Chelmsford with new road infrastructure and up to 14,000 homes.

Essex County Council, in partnership with Chelmsford City Council, successfully secured £218m of funding from the Government’s Housing and Infrastructure (HIF) fund together with £34m contributions from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and the developers of Beaulieu, Countryside and L&Q.

These features of Beaulieu Park station are listed on the page.

  • Three platforms with a central loop line and new tracks to enable stopping services to call at the station while allowing fast trains to pass through unimpeded
  • Step free access to all platforms via 2 lifts
  • Accessible toilets, baby change facilities, waiting area and space for retail/catering
  • Ticketing facilities, with ticket vending machines and a gate line
  • Pedestrian and cycle access routes to the station
  • 500 spaces for cycle parking and storage
  • A bus interchange including bus stands for local services
  • Pick up and drop off area with dedicated taxi bays
  • Parking for over 700 cars, 5% of which to be designated Blue Badge bays, and motorcycle spaces, as well as dedicated parking for station staff, emergency services, and a dedicated space for service access.


  1. How many other parkway stations, other than Ebbsfleet International station have 700 parking spaces?
  2. The parking at Whittlesford Parkway can only hold 377 vehicles.
  3. How many other parkway stations have an overtaking loop for faster trains?

Beaulieu Park is not your average parkway station!

I have a few thoughts.

Which Of The Current Services Will Call?

The Network Rail page says this about services.

It will provide additional access to the railway with regular connections to the capital (only 40 minutes from London Liverpool Street station) and other destinations in the east of England. New tracks will enable stopping services to call at the station while allowing fast trains to pass through unimpeded.


  1. Trains between London and Hatfield Peverel station typically take under forty minutes.
  2. Two fast trains per hour (tph) between Liverpool Street and Norwich via Colchester, Ipswich and Stowmarket pass through.
  3. Only one of the fast trains stops at Chelmsford.
  4. Four stopping tph, one to each of Braintree, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester Town and Ipswich pass through.

If all the stopping trains stopped, Beaulieu Park would have the following services.

  • Braintree – 1 tph
  • Chelmsford – 4 tph
  • Clacton-on-Sea – 1 tph
  • Colchester – 3 tph
  • Colchester Town – 1 tph
  • Hatfield Peverel – 1 tph
  • Ingatestone – 2 tph
  • Ipswich – 1 tph
  • Kelvedon – 2 tph
  • London Liverpool Street – 4 tph
  • Marks Tey – 2 tph
  • Romford – 1 tph
  • Shenfield – 3 tph
  • Stratford – 4 tph
  • Witham – 4 tph

All trains are new Class 720 electric trains.

I also feel, that Network Rail could be being cunning.

Suppose, the  Liverpool Street and Norwich express, that doesn’t stop at Chelmsford, stopped instead at Beaulieu Park.

  • This would give an hourly express service between Beaulieu Park and Norwich, which stopped at Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Diss.
  • It would also enable two tph between Beaulieu Park and Ipswich.

The 700 parking spaces at Beaulieu Park now start to make sense.

  • Both Ipswich and Norwich stations are within walking distance of the town centres and the football grounds.
  • Ipswich station has a shuttle bus service to the town centre and the hospital.
  • Both stations have several local train services.

Beaulieu Park station appears to have been designed as a Park-and-Ride station for the Great Eastern Main Line and all its branches.

Services To And From Lowestoft

In Making Sense Of The New East Anglia Franchise, I looked in detail at Greater Anglia’s promises.

In a section, which is entitled London – Lowestoft – Yarmouth Services, I said this.

There are going to be four direct services between London and Lowestoft each day. This probably initially means two trains to London in the morning peak and two trains back in the evening one.

When, I first moved back to Suffolk in the 1970s, I regularly caught a diesel-hauled train from Wickham Market to London for the day.

This is all motherhood and apple pie for those in Lowestoft wanting to go to London, but I suspect it isn’t the easiest service for a train operator to schedule efficiently and make money.

Would a train operator really want to start a full train at Lowestoft at say six in the morning and then have it wait around all day in London before returning in the evening?

The service hasn’t started.

Services To And From Cambridge Or Peterborough

At some time in the last decade, one of the predecessors of Greater Anglia, used to run a service to Peterborough via Colchester and Ipswich, so that travellers in Essex could catch trains to the North.

Given too that Cambridge has an employment problem, if a service was run, it might attract passengers.

The Class 755 trains Could Serve Bury St. Edmunds, Cambridge, Lowestoft, Newmarket, Peterborough And Yarmouth


  • A pair of Class 755 trains would leave Liverpool Street.
  • They would use electric power to run to Ipswich.
  • The trains would run in one of the paths of the current hourly Ipswich service.
  • Like their all electric siblings; the Class 745 trains, they would probably run most of the journey at near 100 mph.
  • At Ipswich the trains would split.
  • One train would go to on to Lowestoft and Yarmouth and the other would go to Cambridge and Peterborough.

If passenger numbers felt it was a good idea, I’m certain, it could be timetabled.

The Chelmsford Avoiding Line

In Will The Chelmsford Avoiding Line Be Rebuilt?, I described the avoiding line, that used to be between the two tracks at Chelmsford station.

It probably saved a few minutes, by allowing fast expresses to pass stopping trains.

Effectively, a new avoiding line is being built at Beaulieu Park, a few miles from the original position at Chelmsford.

So will the fast expresses save a few minutes?

Could The Elizabeth Line Run To Beaulieu Park?


  • The end sections of the Elizabeth Line seem to be busy, as I wrote in Very Busy Lizzie.
  • The City of Chelmsford is between Shenfield and Beaulieu Park.
  • Paddington and Reading is 35.9 miles.
  • Liverpool Street and Hatfield Peverel is 35.9 miles.

So Beaulieu Park is actually closer to London than Reading.

Perhaps, at some time in a few years, passenger traffic between Beaulieu Park and Shenfield will be such, that the Elizabeth Line will be extended to Beaulieu Park.

The ideal service from Beaulieu Park would surely be two tph to Heathrow, as getting to Heathrow from East Anglia by train needs a change at Liverpool Street.

The only drawback is  that to work effectively on the Great Eastern Main Line, a sub-variant of the Class 345 trains will be needed with a 100 mph operating speed. I wrote about these trains in Extending The Elizabeth Line – High Speed Trains On The Elizabeth Line.

But they may have the advantage of being able to take the fast lines between Shenfield and Stratford.


Beaulieu Park may just look like any other station to serve a housing development.

But it’s a lot more than that!

  • It’s a Park-and-Ride for the whole Great Eastern Main Line and London.
  • It should speed up expresses between London and Colchester, Ipswich or Norwich.
  • It should improve local connectivity.
  • It could take a lot of traffic off the nearby A12.
  • It could give the City of Chelmsford its own local metro.
  • It could give Heathrow a direct link to much of Essex.
  • How much carbon will be saved by passengers?

We need many more well thought out Park-and-Ride stations.




April 2, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments