The Anonymous Widower

Can We Move The Equilibrium Point Of The Energy Market?

Equilibrium In Systems

As a Control Engineer, I believe that most systems eventually end up in a state of equilibrium.

How many football batches have you watched between two evenly-matched teams that have ended, where the statistics are even and the match has ended in a nil-nil draw or a win by one goal.

Now suppose one manager makes an inspired substitution, one important player gets injured or one player gets sent off.

One team will have an advantage, the statistics will no longer be even and one team will probably win.

The equilibrium point will have been shifted.

Zopa’s Stable Peer-to-Peer Lending System

I used Zopa’s peer-to-peer lending system for several years and found it a very stable system, that over the years paid a steady return of between four and five percent before tax.

I even developed a method to maximise my savings income, which I wrote about in The Concept Of Hybrid Banking.

It was a sad day for me, when Zopa closed its ground-breaking peer-to-peer lending system.

As a Control Engineer, I believe that Zopa’s strength was a well-written computerised algorithm, that matched lenders and borrowers and spread the risk.

  • There was no bias in the system, introduced by personal prejudices.
  • The algorithm was agnostic and judged all borrowers on their profiles and credit ratings alone.
  • Money was allocated under fair rules for borrowers.
  • I never borrowed from Zopa, but from my experience of owning half of a finance company, their terms were the most customer-friendly I’ve ever seen.

Someone will go back to the basics of peer-to-peer lending and it can’t be soon enough for both savers and borrowers.

Zopa In Troubled Times

Over the years that I invested in Zopa, my returns stayed very much the same, as the algorithm seemed to be able to maintain sufficient difference between lenders’ returns and borrowers’ rates. I also suspect the dynamics of savvy lenders and borrowers helped to stabilise both the system and the difference between rates.

It even worked through the Banking Crisis of 2008 and other mini-hiccups along the way.

My Conclusion About Zopa

As someone, who knows computing well, I would rate Zopa, one of the best computer systems, I’ve ever seen.

But it showed how a large transactional system can work well.

One of the keys to its success and smooth operation was that the computer was totally in control and it took all transaction decisions without direct human intervention.

The Energy Market

The energy market is a network of energy providers and users.

It is controlled by complicated rules and it has settled into an equilibrium, which involves.

  • Importation of energy, which I suspect is not at a low price
  • Some high priced energy generators, based on gas, which has a high-price, due to Putin’s war.
  • Waste of wind energy due to lack of energy storage.
  • The intermittency of renewable sources.
  • A  lack of gas storage, means that we probably get the wrong end of fluctuations in the gas price.

This results in a high price to consumers.

Can We Move The Equilibrium Point Of The Energy Market?

And we also need to move it quickly to a more favourable place, which benefits everybody!

As a Control Engineer, I believe that there are five ways to move the equilibrium point.

  • Stop Putin’s war.
  • Increase gas storage.
  • Generate more low-cost electricity.
  • Increase electricity storage.
  • Improve the control algorithm.

I will now look at each in more detail.

Stopping Putin’s War

Giving in to Putin’s ambitions, would be an easy way to solve our energy crisis. But at what cost?

My parents generation, watched as Nazi Germany took over Austria and Czechoslovakia, whilst the world did nothing.

  • We mustn’t repeat that mistake.
  • We must not flinch in our support of the Ukraine.
  • We must be ready to support Moldova, Finland and the Baltic States if Putin expands his ambitions.

I do wonder, if Boris will turn up with Churchillian-style anti-Putin rhetoric all over Eastern Europe.

Increasing Gas Storage

The major gas storage facility is Rough, which is handily close to the Easington gas terminal.

The facility needs maintenance and this paragraph from the Wikipedia entry gives the current status.

In May 2022, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, began talks with the site’s owners with a view to reopening the site to help ease the ongoing cost-of-living crisis in the United Kingdom. In June 2022, owners Centrica submitted an application to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the licencing authority for the UK Government, to reopen the facility. Approval was granted in July. Subsequently, Centrica indicated that they are working hard to restore storage operations at Rough which would depend on securing subsidies from the British government. Centrica was aiming to have some capacity available for the winter of 2022/23 against an overall plan to increase storage capacity gradually over time.

Note.

  1. Rough can store around 2832 million cubic metres of gas.
  2. This article on Energy Live News is entitled Reopening Of Rough Storage Gets The All-Clear.

Less well-known is SSE and Equinor’s Aldborough Gas Storage.

These three paragraphs from SSE web site, describe the gas storage.

The Aldbrough Gas Storage facility, in East Yorkshire, officially opened in June 2011. The last of the nine caverns entered commercial operation in November 2012.

The facility, which is a joint venture between SSE Thermal (66%) and Equinor, has the capacity to store around 330 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas.

SSE Thermal and Equinor have consent to increase the storage capacity at the Aldbrough site (Aldbrough Phase 2) and during the last couple of years have been working to involve the local community where appropriate to refine aspects of this project, which has not been progressed to date due to market conditions.

Future plans for the facility, may include converting it to one of the world’s largest hydrogen stores.

In the grand scheme of things, Rough and Aldborough, when you consider that the UK uses 211 million cubic metres of gas every day, will only keep us going for a few days.

But it should be noted, that the Easington gas terminal is connected to the Norwegian gas fields, by the Langeled pipeline.

So Yorkshire and Humberside will be alright.

Generating More Low-Cost Electricity

The only low-cost electricity of any size to come on stream will be wind-power.

This article on Renewables Now is entitled UK Hits 25.5 GW Of Wind Power Capacity.

These wind farms seem to be coming on stream soon or have been commissioned recently.

  • Dogger Bank A – 1200 MW – Commissioning 2023 expected
  • Dogger Bank B – 1200 MW – Commissioning 2024/25 expected
  • Dogger Bank C – 1200 MW – Commissioning 2024/25 expected
  • Hornsea Two – 1386 MW – Commissioned 2022
  • Moray East – 950 MW – Commissioning 2022 expected
  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW – Commissioning 2024 expected
  • Seagreen – 1075 MW – Commissioning 2023 expected
  • Triton Knoll – 857 MW – Commissioning 2022 expected

That is expected to be over 5 GW of offshore wind by the end of 2023.

In case there is some double counting, I’ll only say that wind power capacity could be near to 30 GW by December 2023, with perhaps another 3 GW by December 2024.

Other large wind farms in the future include.

  • Berwick Bank – 4100 MW – Commissioning 2028 expected
  • East Anglia Two – 900 MW – Commissioning 2026 expected
  • East Anglia Three – 1400 MW – Commissioning 2027 expected
  • Inch Cape Phase 1 – 1080 MW – Commissioning 2027 expected
  • Hornsea Three – 2800 MW – Commissioning 2027 expected
  • Moray West – 294 MW – Commissioning 2027 expected
  • Morgan and Mona – 3000 MW – Commissioning for 2028 expected
  • Morven – 2900 MW – Commissioning for 2028 expected
  • Norfolk Boreas – 1400 MW – Commissioning 2027 expected
  • Norfolk Vanguard – 1400 MW – Construction start planned for 2023
  • Sofia – 1400 MW – Commissioning 2026 expected

That is over 14 GW of wind power.

I should also take note of solar and onshore wind power detailed in this document from the Department of Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy that lists all the Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 4 results for the supply of zero-carbon electricity.

It gives these figures and dates.

  • Solar – 251 MW – Commissioning 2023/24 expected
  • Solar – 1958 MW – Commissioning 2024/25 expected
  • Onshore Wind – 888 MW – Commissioning 2024/25 expected

I can now build a yearly table of renewables likely to be commissioned in each year.

  • 2022 – 3193 MW
  • 2023 – 2275 MW
  • 2024 – 701 MW
  • 2025 – 5246 MW
  • 2026 – 2300 MW
  • 2027 – 6974 MW
  • 2028 – 11400 MW

Note.

  1. Where a double date has been given, I’m taking the latter date.
  2. I have assumed that Norfolk Vanguard will be commissioned in 2028.
  3. I have ignored Hinckley Point C, which should add 3.26 GW in mid-2027.
  4. I have only taken into account one of the Scotwind wind farms in Scotland, some of which could be commissioned by 2028.
  5. I have assumed that BP’s Mona, Morgan and Morven will all be commissioned by 2028.

This is a total of 32 GW or an average of nearly 5 GW per year.

Increasing Electricity Storage

Big schemes like the 1.5 GW/ 30 GWh Coire Glas and 600 MW Cruachan 2 will help, but with 32 GW of renewable energy to be installed before 2028 and energy prices rocketing, we need substantial energy storage in the next couple of years.

One feasible plan that has been put forward is that of Highview Power’s CEO; Rupert Pearce,, that I wrote about in Highview Power’s Plan To Add Energy Storage To The UK Power Network.

The plan is to build twenty of Highview Power’s CRYOBatteries around the country.

  • Each CRYOBattery will be able to store 30 GWh.
  • Each CRYOBattery will be one of the largest batteries in the world.
  • They will have three times the storage of the pumped storage hydroelectric power station at Dinorwig.
  • They will be able to supply 2.5 GW for twelve hours, which is more output than Sizewell B nuclear power station.

Note.

  1. The first 30 GWh CRYOBattery is planned to be operational by late 2024.
  2. 600 GWh distributed around the country would probably be sufficient.

I believe that as these batteries are made from standard proven components, they could be built fairly quickly.

Paying For The Energy Storage

This press release from Highview Power is entitled New Analysis Reveals Extent Of UK Renewable Energy Waste, which makes these three bullet points.

  • Enough renewable energy to power 500,000 homes a day wasted since the energy crisis began.
  • 8 out of 10 Britons want more investment in boosting Britain’s energy resilience.
  • UK spent £390 million turning off wind farms and using gas since September 2021.

Note.

  1. As the press release was published in July 2022, was the £390 million for ten months.
  2. Will this level of spend continue, as we’re not creating any electricity storage or building any factories that will start in a year or so, that will need large amounts of electricity?
  3. The Germans are at least building the NeuConnect interconnector between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven.
  4. As we’re adding up to 5 GW per year to our renewable energy systems, this problem will surely get worse and we’ll spend more money switching off wind turbines.

We have the money to build a very large amount of energy storage.

Improving The Control Algorithm

A better control algorithm would always help and politicians should only be allowed to set objectives.

Conclusion

There is a chance we’ll have an oversupply of electricity, but this will have effects in the UK.

  • Gas-fired power-stations will be retired from front-line service to produce electricity.
  • Some will question the need for nuclear power.
  • Gas may even be used selectively to provide carbon dioxide for agricultural, scientific and industrial processes.
  • Industries that need a lot of electricity may build factories in the UK.
  • We will have a large supply of green hydrogen.

But it should bring the price of electricity down.

 

September 5, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Energy Storage Will Deliver ‘Tens Of Billions Of Pounds A Year’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Live News.

This is the first paragraph.

This week’s Net Hero Podcast delves into how energy storage is being underappreciated as a key to cutting costs on our energy bills.

I have listened to the half-hour podcast and it is a fascinating interview with Rupert Pearce, who is the CEO of Highview Power.

He talks about.

  • Green stability services
  • Power stations in a box
  • Vehicle-to-grid storage
  • How Highview Power is location agnostic.
  • And lots of other topics.

He also talks about the twenty Highview Power CRYOBatteries located around the country and financed traditionally, as there is money to be made.

Listen to what he has to say!

Conclusion

Rupert Pearce is a man with vision. And I like what he says!

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 1 Comment

Pumped Storage Development In Scotland

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on International Water Power & Dam Construction.

It describes and gives the current status of the two large pumped storage hydroelectric schemes under development in Scotland.

The 1.5 GW/30 GWh scheme at Coire Glass, that is promoted by SSE.

The  Cruachan 2 scheme, that is promoted by Drax, that will upgrade Cruachan power station to 1.04 GW/7.2 GWh.

Note.

  1. Construction of both schemes could start in 2024, with completion in 2030.
  2. Both, SSE and Drax talk of a substantial uplift in employment during the construction.
  3. Both companies say that updated government legislation is needed for schemes like these.

The article is very much a must-read.

Conclusion

Welcome as these schemes are, given the dates talked about, it looks like we will need some other energy storage to bridge the gap until Coire Glas and Cruachan 2 are built.

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 It.

  • The site needed for each CRYOBattery could be smaller than a football pitch.
  • In Could A Highview Power CRYOBattery Use A LNG Tank For Liquid Air Storage?, I came to the conclusion that a single LNG tank could hold a lot of liquid air.
  • The storing and recovery of the energy uses standard turbomachinery from MAN.
  • Highview Power should unveil their first commercial system at Carrington near Manchester this year.

I am sure, that when they get their system working, they could build one in around a year.

September 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berwick Bank Wind Farm Could Provide Multi-Billion Pound Boost To Scottish Economy And Generate Thousands Of Jobs

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

This press release is all about numbers.

  • 307 turbines
  • 4.1 GW nameplate capacity
  • 5 million homes will be powered
  • 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide avoided
  • Up to £8.3 billion to the UK economy
  • 4650 potential jobs in Scotland
  • 9300 potential jobs in the UK

These are all large figures.

This map from SSE shows the location of the wind farm.

The press release says this about connections to the grid.

Berwick Bank has secured a grid connection at Branxton, near Torness, in East Lothian. A second grid connection will be required for the project, which has been determined as Blyth, Northumberland.

Note, that Torness is the site of Torness nuclear power station.

  • It has a nameplate capacity of 1.29 GW.
  • It is scheduled to be shutdown in 2028.

This Google Map shows the coast between Dunbar and Torness nuclear power station.

Note.

  1. The town of Dunbar is outlined in red.
  2. The yellow line running diagonally across the map is the A1 road.
  3. Torness nuclear power station is in the South-East corner of the map to the North of the A1.

This second Google Map shoes an enlargement of the South-East corner of the map.

Note.

  1. Torness nuclear power station at the top of the map.
  2. The A1 road running across the map.
  3. The East Coast Main Line to the South of the A1.
  4. Innerwick Castle in the South-West corner of the map.

This Google Map shows the location of Branxton substation in relation to Innerwick Castle.

Note.

  1. Innerwick Castle is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Branxton substation is in the South-East corner of the map.

I estimate that the distance between Torness nuclear power station and Branxton substation is about five kilometres. The cable appears to be underground.

I have some thoughts.

Will The Connection Between Berwick Bank Wind Farm And Branxton Substation Be Underground?

If SSE follows the precedent of Torness nuclear power station, it will be underground.

Or will they use T-pylons?

This page on the National Grid web site is entitled What’s A T-Pylon And How Do We Build Them?.

From an engineering point of view, I suspect T-pylons could be used, but aesthetics and local preference may mean the cable is underground.

It should be noted that Torness nuclear power station will be shutdown in 2028. So will the current underground cable for the nuclear power station be repurposed after shutdown for the Berwick Bank wind farm?

This would mean, that the Southern connection cable to Blyth could be built first to support the first turbines erected in the wind farm.

When Will Berwick Bank Wind Farm Be Commissioned?

This page on the Berwick Bank wind farm web site is a briefing pack on the project.

The page gives construction and commission dates of 2026-2030.

Will There Be A Battery At Torness?

As we are talking about the latter half of the current decade for completion of the Berwick Bank wind farm, I believe that a substantial battery could be installed at Torness to smooth the output of the wind farm, when the wins isn’t blowing at full power.

One of Highview Power’s 2.5 GW/30 GWh CRYOBatteries could be about the right size if it has been successfully developed, but I am sure that other batteries will be of a suitable size.

If there is a case for a battery at Torness, there must surely be a case for a battery at Blyth.

Will Berwick Bank Wind Farm Be A Replacement For Torness Nuclear Power Station?

Consider.

  • Torness nuclear power station is shutting down in 2028.
  • Berwick Bank wind farm will be fully operational by 2030.
  • Berwick Bank wind farm could use a repurposed connection to Branxton substation, if the nuclear power station no longer needs it.
  • There is space on the Torness site for a large battery.

, it looks like Torness nuclear power station could be replaced by the larger wind farm.

 

 

 

 

 

September 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Duration Energy Storage Would Reduce The UK’d Gas Usage By 10 Megatonnes By 2035

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on the Highview Power web site.

The press release gives these three bullet points.

  • UK has wasted over 1,300 GWh of wind since the start of the energy crisis in September 2021 due to an inability to store excess generation – enough to power 500,000 homes a day.
  • A new survey from YouGov, commissioned by Highview Power, reveals that 43% of UK adults think the UK imports too much gas, rising to 54% among Conservative voters at the 2019 General Election.
  • Long-duration energy storage (LDES) would reduce UK’s gas usage by 10 megatonnes in 2035 and save the grid around £2 billion a year, passing on savings of up to £50 a year.

In Highview Power’s Plan To Add Energy Storage To The UK Power Network, I talked about Highview Power’s possible 30 GWh CRYOBattery.

This project has not been fully revealed and I expect something will be announced before the end of this year.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

Highview Power’s Second Commercial System In Yorkshire

This is all that Highview Power say about their proposed system in Yorkshire, on their web site.

Highview Power’s second commercial renewable energy power station in the UK is a 200MW/2.5GWh facility in Yorkshire. This is the first of 18 sites for UK wide deployment strategically located to benefit from the existing transmission infrastructure.

I have a few thoughts.

How Does The Size Of This System Fit With Other Systems?

According to the Highview Power web site the Manchester system is a 50MW/300MWh facility, but Wikipedia has this system as a 50MW/250MWh.

In this article on the Telegraph, which is entitled Britain Will Soon Have A Glut Of Cheap Power, And World-Leading Batteries To Store It, it is stated that they are planning a battery with this specification, location and timeline.

  • 2.5 GW output
  • 30 GWh of storage
  • Located on Humberside
  • Delivery in late 2024.

This CRYOBattery is an absolute monster.

Will The Humberside CRYOBattery Be Built At Creyke Beck Substation?

In Highview Power’s Plan To Add Energy Storage To The UK Power Network, I came to the conclusion, that the Humberside CRYOBattery will most likely be built near Creyke Beck substation, which is close to Cottingham.

  • Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Hornsea 4 offshore wind farms will all be connected to the Creyke Beck substation.
  • These wind farms have a total capacity of 3.4 GW.
  • The Humberside CRYOBattery, now looks to have a maximum output of 2.5 GW.
  • It looks like the Humberside CRYOBattery would be a well-matched backup to the three planned wind farms and perhaps even a few more turbines.

Building the Humberside CRYOBattery at Creyke Beck substation would appear to be a sensible decision.

Is Cottingham In Humberside, Yorkshire Or Both?

The Wikipedia entry for the village is named Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, says this.

A golf course and leisure club on Wood Hill Way, and a major (400/275 kV AC) electricity substation “Creyke Beck”, lie just outside the formal boundaries of the parish, within Skidby civil parish.

Skidby is definitely in Yorkshire.

Where Are The Other Seventeen Sites?

The Yorkshire facility is indicated to be one of 18 sites on the Highview Power web site. Where are the other seventeen?

All we know is that they will be strategically located to benefit from the existing transmission infrastructure.

This is said in the Wikipedia entry, which is entitled High-Voltage Substations In The United Kingdom.

In 2020 there were 179 400 kV substations and 137 275 kV substations.

He who pays the money, makes the choice!

Has The Company Changed Direction?

I wrote Highview Power Names Rupert Pearce Chief Executive Officer on April 12th, 2022.

  • Since then, the Vermont and Chile projects have disappeared from the web site and projects in Yorkshire and Australia have been added.
  • The web site has also been improved.
  • As new CEOs often do, is Rupert Pearce refocussing the company?

Are they also looking in detail at current projects?

Has The Yorkshire Project Grown Substantially?

Consider.

  • National Grid are a company that has improved its image and engineering in recent years.
  • It has shown it can obtain finance for infrastructure from the City of London and respected financial institutions.
  • National Grid probably have extensive computer models of their electricity network.
  • National Grid knows it must add energy storage to their electricity network.
  • National Grid pays almost a billion pounds a year to wind farm operators to shut them down.

Eventually saving up to a billion pounds would be a good reason to have a small bet on promising technology.

Did Rupert Pearce ask his engineers to design the largest CRYOBattery they can?

Did National Grid have a count up sand find that twenty CRYOBatteries would cover all the strategic points on their transmission infrastructure?

According to the figures on the Highview Power web site (200 MW/2.5 GWh), eighteen systems like the one proposed for Yorkshire would have.

  • A total output of 3.6 GW
  • A total storage capacity of 45 GWh

The figures given in the article in the Telegraph (2.5 GW/30 GWh) for the very large system, would mean that twenty systems would have.

  • A total output of 50 GW
  • A total storage capacity of 600 GWh

These figures are between thirteen and fourteen times larger than those originally proposed.

Building The System

The Highview Power web site, says this about the deployment of eighteen systems.

UK wide deployment strategically located to benefit from the existing transmission infrastructure.

This Google Map shows the Creyke Beck substation.

Could 30 GWh of liquid-air storage be accommodated on the site?

I can see a large insulated sphere, partly buried in the ground being used.

Designing, building and testing the first system will probably be the most difficult part of the project.

  • But once the first system is successfully working reliably, the roll-out of other systems can be started.
  • The biggest problem will probably be planning permissions, so the systems must be designed to be sympathetic to the local environment.

I can certainly see, twenty of these systems in the UK, but how many others will we see worldwide?

I

July 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Highview Power’s Plan To Add Energy Storage To The UK Power Network

The plan was disclosed in this article on the Telegraph, which is entitled Britain Will Soon Have A Glut Of Cheap Power, And World-Leading Batteries To Store It, by Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive.

His plan is to build twenty of Highview Power’s CRYOBatteries around the country.

  • Each CRYOBattery will be able to store 30 GWh.
  • Each CRYOBattery will be one of the largest batteries in the world.
  • They will have three times the storage of the pumped storage hydroelectric power station at Dinorwig.
  • They will be able to supply 2.5 GW for twelve hours, which is more output than Sizewell B nuclear power station.

The first 30 GWh CRYOBattery is planned to be operational by late 2024.

  • It will be built on Humberside.
  • Humberside is or will be closely connected to the Dogger Bank, Hornsea and Sofia wind farms.
  • When fully developed, I believe these wind farms could be producing upwards of 8 GW.

The Telegraph quotes Rupert Pearce as saying this.

We can take power when the grid can’t handle it, and fill our tanks with wasted wind (curtailment). At the moment the grid has to pay companies £1bn a year not to produce, which is grotesque.

I certainly agree with what he says about it being a grotesque practice.

It sounds to me, that Rupert’s plan would see Highview Power in the waste electricity management business.

  • The wasted wind would just be switched to the Humberside CRYOBattery, if there was too much power in the area.
  • The CRYOBattery might be conveniently located, where the wind farm cables join the grid.
  • Dogger Bank A and B wind farms are connected to Creyke Beck substation, which is North of the Humber.
  • Hornsea 1 and Hornsea 2 wind farm are connected to Killingholme substation, which is South of the Humber.
  • Hornsea 3 wind farm will be connected to Norfolk.
  • Hornsea 4 wind farms will be connected to Creyke Beck substation
  • It looks like the combined capacity of Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Hornsea 4 could be around 3.4 GW.
  • Sofia wind farm will be connected to Lazenby substation near Redcar.
  • As the CRYOBattery is buying, selling and storing electricity, I would assume that there’s money to be made.

This Google Map shows Creyke Beck substation.

Note.

  1. It is a large site.
  2. Creyke Beck Storage have built a 49.99 MW lithium-ion storage battery on the site.
  3. The Northern part of the site is used to store caravans.
  4. It looks like the combined capacity of Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Hornsea 4 could be around 3.4 GW.

It looks like a 30 GWh CRYOBattery with a maximum output of 2.5 GW would be an ideal companion for the three wind farms connected to Creyke Back substation.

The combination could probably supply upwards of 2.5 GW to the grid at all times to provide a strong baseload for Humberside.

Conclusion

Will the income from the Humberside CRYOBattery be used to fund the next CRYOBattery?

I very much think so as it’s very sensible financial management!

July 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Can Highview Power’s CRYOBattery Compete With Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity?

In this article on the Telegraph, Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive and ex-head of the satellite company Inmarsat, discloses this.

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.

The Humberside plant is new to me, as it has not been previously announced by Highview Power.

  • If it is built it will be megahuge with a storage capacity of 30 GWh and a maximum output of 2.5 GW.
  • Humberside with its connections to North Sea Wind, will be an ideal location for a huge CRYOBattery.
  • The world’s largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station is Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China and it is 40 GWh.

Pumped storage hydroelectric power stations are the gold standard of energy storage.

In the UK we have four pumped storage hydroelectric power stations.

With two more under construction.

As energy is agnostic, 30 GWh of pumped storage hydroelectric power at Coire Glas is the equivalent of 30 GWh in Highview Power’s proposed Humberside CRYOBattery.

Advantages Of CRYOBatteries Over Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power

I can think of these advantages.

  • Cost
  • Could be build on the flat lands of East Anglia or Lincolnshire
  • Factory-built
  • NIMBYs won’t have much to argue about
  • No dams
  • No flooding of valleys
  • No massive construction sites.
  • No mountains required
  • No tunnels
  • Small footprint

I suspect that a large CRYOBattery could be built well within a year of starting construction.

Rupert Pearce’s Dream

The Telegraph article says this and I suspect it’s a quote from Rupert Pearce.

Further projects will be built at a breakneck speed of two to three a year during the 2020s, with a target of 20 sites able to provide almost 6GW of back-up electricity for four days at a time, or whatever time/power mix is optimal.

6 GW for four days is 576 GWh, which if it were spread around twenty sites is 28.8 GWh per site, which is just under the 30 GWh of the proposed Humberside CRYOBattery.

Conclusion

You can just imagine the headlines in The Sun!

Man In Bishop’s Stortford Shed Saves The World!

This story on the BBC, which is entitled Meet The British Inventor Who Came Up With A Green Way Of Generating Electricity From Air – In His Shed, explains my suggested headline.

Now that’s what I call success!

 

July 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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