The Anonymous Widower

Global Port Services Wins Pre-Assembly Contract For Scottish Offshore Wind Farm

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Global Port Services, owned by Global Energy Group alongside the Port of Nigg, has secured multiple contracts to support Seagreen Wind Energy Limited (SWEL) with site-enabling works for the pre-assembly construction of wind turbine components at its Port of Nigg facility.

The news comes as the final turbine foundations for the Seagreen offshore wind project arrive at Nigg to be prepared for installation 27 kilometres off the coast of Angus.

Note.

  1. Nigg is a village in the Highlands to the North of Inverness.
  2. The Port of Nigg has a busy Marine Fabrication Yard.
  3. There is a very interesting BBC documentary called Rigs of Nigg, which tells some of the stories of the port from the 1970s.
  4. As the article indicates, the yard is now very much involved in the wind power industry.
  5. SSE have invested in the yard.

This Google Map shows the port.

Note. all the yellow steel structures, which look like the fixed foundations for the Seagreen Wind Farm.

I am a bit surprised that foundations for Seagreen are being assembled a fair distance from Angus.

Is there not a fabrication yard on the Firth of Forth?

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

71 Offshore Wind Applications Now Filed In Brazil, Proposals Total 176.6 GW

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

Brazil is the fifth largest country by area in the world and the seventh most populous, so it probably needs all the energy it can get.

The Wikipedia entry called Energy In Brazil shows a set of impressive numbers with Brazil regularly ranked in the top two countries in the world in a sector.

So I am not surprised to see 71 applications totalling 176.6 GW filed.

The largest is a wind farm of 6.5 GW.

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Plans Its Biggest Offshore Wind Tender Next Year with Four IJmuiden Ver Sites Likely to Be Auctioned Off In One Go

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article from offshoreWIND.biz.

Tis is the first paragraph.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) plans to combine the first four IJmuiden Ver offshore wind sites for the purpose of putting them out to tender together. This means the sites III and IV will be auctioned next year, same as the sites I and II, instead of the initially planned 2025, with 4 GW of offshore wind capacity awarded in 2023.

I think this is sensible, as there must be economies of scale in building a four GW wind farm in one go, rather than four x one GW wind farms.

In my experience, it would also be easier to manage the large single project.

I wonder, if when countries lease large areas in the future they will do it more often in one go, as the legal fees for one lease must by smaller than those for several leases.

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Three Steps To Unlocking The Potential Of High-Power Wind Turbines

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on offshireWIND.biz.

This is the first paragraph.

The critical role of wind in the world’s future energy needs is clear: the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition states that 1,400 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind power will sustain one tenth of global electricity demand by 2050. Key to achieving this is the upward power rating of wind turbines, which we anticipate will reach an individual turbine capacity of 20 GW within the next five years.

The article is a must-read.

After reading the article, I am convinced that there will be 20 MW turbines in five years.

When turbines of this size are readily available, it is likely that the rate of installation of wind turbines will increase.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , | 2 Comments

BP, Equinor And Ithaca To Explore Electrification Options Of West Of Shetland Oil And Gas Fields

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

BP, Equinor, and Ithaca Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore electrification options for their offshore production facilities in the West of Shetland area.

Three oil & gas fields off the UK are to be electrified.

  • the BP-operated Clair is 47 miles to the West of Shetland
  • the Equinor-operated Rosebank is 90 miles to the North-West of Shetland
  • the Ithaca-operated Cambo is 78 miles to the North-West of Shetland

Note

  1. Clair is the largest oilfield on the UK Continental Shelf.
  2. Rosebank could be a very difficult field to develop.
  3. Clair is operating and Rosebank and Cambo are being developed.

If these fields were operated conservatively and in a carbon-free manner, they could provide a steady amount of oil and gas, to help deliver the UK to the new age of renewables and hydrogen.

The article says this about electrification.

Electrification solutions could include power from the shore, potentially from onshore wind or from offshore wind. Full electrification of the abovementioned fields would require around 200 MW of power, Equinor said.

Note.

  1. I would suspect the distance to Shetland and the need for 200 MW, will mean that an offshore solution will be chosen.
  2. Would the Shetlanders welcome a wind farm of up to twenty large turbines?
  3. Waters are likely to be so deep, that floating wind turbines will be likely to be needed.
  4. In a year, 1752 GWh of electricity will be needed.

I will now answer some simple questions.

How Much Carbon Dioxide Would Be Saved?

According to this web page, the CO2 generated by burning natural gas is 0.185 kg / kWh.

I estimate that electrifying these three fields will stop the emission of around 324,120 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

How Many Turbines Will Be Needed?

Current floating wind turbines are around eight to ten MW. So somewhere between 20 and 25 turbines will be needed.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like 24 x 8.3 MW turbines arranged in three wind farms of eight turbines, with one wind farm to each oil or gas field.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Increased CCS Can Decarbonise GB Electricity Faster On Route To Net Zero

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on the SSE web site.

This is the first paragraph.

Building more power carbon capture and storage plants (Power CCS) could significantly accelerate the UK’s plans to decarbonise the GB electricity system on route to net zero, according to new analysis commissioned by SSE.

I am not surprised, as in my time, I have built several production, storage and distribution mathematical models for products and sometimes bringing things forward has beneficial effects.

These three paragraphs summarise the findings.

The UK Government’s proposed emissions reductions from electricity for 2035 could be accelerated to 2030 by combining its 50GW offshore wind ambition with a significant step up in deployment of Power CCS. This would require 7-9GW (equivalent to 10-12 plants) of Power CCS compared to the current commitment of at least one Power CCS plant mid-decade, according to experts at LCP Delta.

Replacing unabated gas with abated Power CCS generation will deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis suggests that adding 7-9GW Power CCS to the UK’s 2030 offshore wind ambition will save an additional 18 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040, by preventing carbon emissions during periods when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing.

Gas consumption for electricity generation would not significantly increase, given the 7-9GW Power CCS would displace older and less efficient unabated gas power stations already operating and reduce importing unabated gas generation from abroad via the interconnectors. Importantly, Power CCS can provide a safety net to capture emissions from any gas required to keep the lights on in the event of delays to the roll out of renewables or nuclear.

The report is by LCP Delta, who are consultants based in Edinburgh.

The report says this about the transition to hydrogen.

Power CCS also presents significant opportunities to kickstart, then transition to, a hydrogen economy, benefitting from the synergies between CCS and hydrogen, including proximity to large-scale renewable generation and gas storage facilities which can support the production of both electrolytic and CCS-enabled hydrogen.

And this about the reduction in carbon emissions.

The existing renewables ambition and the accelerated Power CCS ambition are expected to save a total of 72 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040 compared to commitments in the UK’s Net Zero Strategy from October 2021.

I don’t think there’s much wrong with this analysis.

But of course the greens will trash it, as it was paid for by SSE.

I have a few thoughts.

Carbon Capture And Use

I believe we will see a great increase in carbon capture and use.

  • Carbon dioxide is already an ingredient to make Quorn.
  • Carbon dioxide is needed for fizzy drinks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be fed to tomatoes, salad plants, herbs and flowers in giant greenhouses.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make animal and pet food.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make building products like plasterboard and blocks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be added to concrete.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used as a refrigerant and in air-conditioning. There are one or two old Victorian systems still working.

Other uses will be developed.

Carbon Capture Will Get More Efficient

Carbon capture from power stations and boilers, that use natural gas is a relatively new process and its capture will surely get better and more efficient in the next few years.

Gas From INTOG

I explain INTOG in What Is INTOG?.

One of INTOG’s aims, is to supply electricity to the oil and gas rigs and platforms in the sea around the UK.

Currently, these rigs and platforms, use some of the gas they produce, in gas turbines to create the electricity they need.

  • I have seen reports that ten percent of the gas that comes out of the ground is used in this way.
  • Using the gas as fuel creates more carbon dioxide.

Decarbonisation of our oil and gas rigs and platforms, will obviously be a good thing because of a reduction of the carbon dioxide emitted. but it will also mean that the gas that would have been used to power the platform can be brought ashore to power industry and domestic heating, or be exported to countries who need it.

Gas may not be carbon-neutral, but some gas is more carbon-neutral than others.

SSE’s Plans For New Thermal Power Stations

I have taken this from SSE’s news item.

SSE has deliberately chosen to remain invested in the transition of flexible thermal electricity generation due to the key role it plays in a renewables-led, net zero, electricity system and is committed to decarbonising the generation.

Together with Equinor, SSE Thermal is developing two power stations equipped with carbon capture technology. Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station is based in the Humber, the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, while Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station is located in the North East of Scotland. Combined, the two stations could capture around three million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Studies have shown that Keadby and Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Stations could make a lifetime contribution of £1.2bn each to the UK economy, creating significant economic opportunity in their respective regions. Both will be vital in supporting the huge amount of renewables which will be coming on the system.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are also collaborating on Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, and Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, which could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

Note.

  1. SSE appear to think that gas-fired power stations with carbon capture are an ideal backup to renewables.
  2. If gas is available and it can be used to generate electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide, then why not?
  3. Hydrogen is coming.

Things will get better.

Is A Virtuous Circle Developing?

Consider.

  • Spare wind electricity is turned into hydrogen using an electrolyser or perhaps some world-changing electro-chemical process.
  • The hydrogen is stored in Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage.
  • When the wind isn’t blowing, hydrogen is used to backup the wind in Keadby Hydrogen power station.
  • The other Keadby power stations can also kick in using natural gas. The carbon dioxide that they produce, would be captured for storage or use.
  • Other users, who need to decarbonise, can be supplied with hydrogen from Aldbrough.

Note.

  1. Gas turbines are throttleable, so if National Grid wants 600 MW to balance the grid, they can supply it.
  2. As time progresses, some of the gas-fired power stations at Keadby could be converted to hydrogen.
  3. Rough gas storage is not far away and could either store natural gas or hydrogen.
  4. Hydrogen might be imported by tanker from places like Africa and Australia, depending on price.

Humberside will be levelling up and leading the decarbonisation of the UK.

If you have an energy-hungry business, you should seriously look at moving to Humberside.

 

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Powerhouses Clash Offshore California In Bid To Build Wind Farms

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

This is the first paragraph.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is holding a live auction, starting on 6 December, for the rights to develop floating offshore wind energy projects in five areas off the California Coast.

Note, that the auction is live. It could be a new television sport with companies bidding billions, for up to 4.5 GW of leases.

The heavyweights from Europe, who are qualified to bid include BP, EDF, Equinor, Ferrovial, Hexicon, Ideol, Orsted, RWE, Shell, SSE and TotalEnergies.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Gasunie Investigates Hydrogen Network In North Sea

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news article on the Gasunie web site.

This is the sub-title.

In the area of hydrogen production, the Netherlands has a sizeable climate target to meet. The North Sea offers opportunities for generating the required green energy through wind farms. Werna Udding, responsible for offshore hydrogen at Gasunie, explains: ‘We are already working on the national hydrogen network on land. And now, together with other parties, we are also investigating the possibilities of creating an offshore hydrogen network.’

Note, that according to Wikipedia, Gasunie is a Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transportation company operating in the Netherlands and Germany.

The first paragraph outlines the project.

Green hydrogen will play an important role in the energy transition. It will be used to help to make industry and heavy transport more sustainable, for example, and will serve as a feedstock for the chemical industry. ‘It’s with this in mind that the Netherlands has set itself an ambitious target for the production of hydrogen: 4 gigawatts in 2030 – and we are even thinking about doubling that target figure,’ says Werna. Internationally, the bar is set even higher. Last summer, the Netherlands signed the Esbjerg Declaration with Denmark, Germany and Belgium, in which they have agreed to develop the North Sea as a ‘green power plant’. By 2030, they want to produce 65 gigawatts of offshore wind power, 20GW of which is earmarked for the production of green hydrogen. And Werna believes that could be even more: ‘Minister Jetten (Climate and Energy Policy) has commissioned research into seeing whether 70GW of offshore wind energy can be realised by 2050.’

Note, that the numbers are large but are the UK’s numbers large enough given that we have a greater area of sea.

There are four more sections.

  • Scope For Large-Scale Power Generation
  • Hydrogen Network For Transport To Shore
  • Start Eight Away
  • Public Or Private

The whole news article is a must-read to get a feel for Dutch thinking on how to develop offshore wind power and green hydrogen.

Conclusion

I like the concept of a hydrogen network for transport to shore, as the gas is delivered to the gas terminal in the form it will be used.

Surely, it would be best if gas and electricity are delivered to shore in the proportions, they will be used?

Electrolysers don’t seem to be an industrial hazard, but my electrical experience says that any equipment like substations and electrolysers, which handle large amounts of energy should be placed in the safest location possible.

 

December 5, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Entering Home Stretch

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

This the the sub heading.

75 per cent of the jacket foundations have been installed at the Seagreen offshore wind farm, according to the latest social media update by one of the project’s developers, SSE Renewables.

These are other points from the article.

  • So far, there are 89 jacket foundations and 74 wind turbines installed at the project’s construction site.
  • The three-legged jacket foundations, each weighing around 2,000 tonnes, are being placed in depths up to 58 metres off the Angus coast.
  • Besides being the largest Scottish wind farm, Seagreen is also the world’s deepest project of this kind using bottom-fixed foundations.
  • TotalEnergies is the other partner in the development.
  • The project’s total installed capacity will be 1,575 MW.

The development of Seagreen wind farm,  seems to have been relatively pain-free.

December 5, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | 2 Comments

EuroLink, Nautilus And Sea Link

EuroLink, Nautilus and Sea Link are three proposed interconnectors being developed by National Grid Ventures.

EuroLink

EuroLink has a web site, where this is said.

To support the UK’s growing energy needs, National Grid Ventures (NGV) is bringing forward proposals for a Multi-Purpose Interconnector (MPI) called EuroLink, which will deliver a new electricity link between Great Britain to the Netherlands. 

EuroLink could supply up to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, which will be enough to power approximately 1.8 million homes, as well as contribute to our national energy security and support the UK’s climate and energy goals. We’re holding a non-statutory public consultation to inform you about our EuroLink proposals, gather your feedback to help refine our plans and respond to your questions.​

Note, that EuroLink is a Multi-Purpose Interconnector (MPI) and they are described on this page of the National Grid website.

In EuroLink’s case, this means it is basically an interconnector between the UK and The Netherlands, that also connects wind farms on the route to the shore.

  • Coastal communities get less disruption, as the number of connecting cables coming ashore is reduced.
  • Less space is needed onshore for substations.
  • Electricity from the wind farms can be directed to where it is needed or can be stored.

As an Electrical and Control Engineer, I like the MPI approach.

The technology to implement the MPI approach is very much tried and tested.

There are many references to EuroLink terminating at Friston.

Nautilus

Nautilus has a web site, where this is said.

Nautilus could connect up to 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind to each country through subsea electricity whilst connecting to offshore wind farm/s at sea. By combining offshore wind generation with interconnector capacity between the UK and Belgium, Nautilus would significantly reduce the amount of infrastructure and disruption required both onshore and offshore.

With this new technology, we hope to reduce the impact of infrastructure on local communities and the environment, as well as support the government’s net zero and energy security targets. We are already working closely with other developers in the area to coordinate activities and minimise impact on local communities. We believe that through improved coordination, the UK government can achieve and support the co-existence of renewable energy with coastal communities.

Nautilus is another MPI.

This is said on the web site.

Last year, National Grid Ventures ran a non-statutory consultation for Nautilus, which proposed a connection at Friston.

NGV holds a connection agreement on the Isle of Grain in Kent as part of its development portfolio and we are currently investigating if this could be a potential location for Nautilus. Until this is confirmed to be technically feasible, Nautilus will be included as part of our coordination work in East Suffolk.

So it looks like, Nautilus could connect to the UK grid at Friston or the Isle of Grain.

Sea Link

Sea Link has a web site, and is a proposed interconnector across the Thames Estuary between Suffolk and Kent.

This is said on the web site about the need for and design of Sea Link.

The UK electricity industry is evolving at pace to help lead the way in meeting the climate challenge, whilst also creating a secure energy supply based on renewable and low carbon technologies.

The demands on the electricity network are set to grow as other sectors of the economy diversify their energy consumption from using fossil fuels towards cleaner forms, the move towards electric vehicles being just one example.

Where we’re getting our power from is changing and we need to change too. The new sources of renewable and low-carbon energy are located along the coastline. We need to reinforce existing transmission network and build new electricity infrastructure in these areas in order to transport the power to where it’s needed. This is the case along the whole of the East Coast including Suffolk and Kent.

To allow this increase in energy generation, we need to reinforce the electricity transmission system. Sea Link helps to reinforce the electricity network across Suffolk and Kent.

Our proposals include building an offshore high voltage direct current (HVDC) link between Suffolk and Kent with onshore converter stations and connections back to the national electricity transmission system.

On the web site, in answer to a question of What Is Sea Link?, this is said.

Sea Link is an essential upgrade to Britain’s electricity network in East Anglia and Kent using subsea and underground cable. The proposal includes approximately 130km of subsea cables between Sizewell area in East Suffolk and Richborough in Kent. At landfall, the cables would go underground for up to 5 km to a converter station (one at each end). The converter station converts direct current used for the subsea section to alternating current, which our homes and businesses use. A connection is then made to the existing transmission network. In Suffolk, via the proposed Friston substation; in Kent via a direct connection to the overhead line between Richborough and Canterbury.

Note, that from Kent electricity can also be exported to the Continent.

All Cables Lead To Friston In Suffolk

It looks like EuroLink, Nautilus and Sea Link could all be connected to a new substation at Friston.

But these will not be the only cables to pass close to the village.

This Google Map shows the village.

Running South-West to North-East across the map can be seen the dual line of electricity pylons, that connect the nuclear power stations at Sizewell to the UK electricity grid.

Has Friston been chosen for the substation, so that, the various interconnectors can be connected to the power lines, that connect the Sizewell site to the UK electricity grid.

This would enable EuroLink, Nautilus and/or Sea Link to stand in for the Sizewell nuclear stations,  if they are shut down for any reason?

It does appear from reports on the Internet that the Friston substation is not welcome.

Exploring Opportunities For Coordination

The title of this section is a heading in the EuroLink web site, where this is said.

In response to stakeholder feedback, NGV’s Eurolink and Nautilus projects and NGET’s Sea Link project are exploring potential opportunities to coordinate. Coordination could range from co-location of infrastructure from different projects on the same site, to coordinating construction activities to reduce potential impacts on local communities and the environment.

That sounds very sensible.

 

December 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments