The Anonymous Widower

Rio Tinto’s Big Energy Project Attracts Multiple Bidders

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

The article has this subtitle.

The company seeks to offset its power consumption with a massive renewable plant.

These two paragraphs introduce the project.

British and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has attracted multiple bids for a massive renewable power infrastructure project.

The company currently seeks suppliers to build up to 4GW of renewable generation for its alumina and aluminium operations in Queensland, Australia. Speaking to the Melbourne Mining Club, the company’s CEO of Australia, Kellie Parker, said that it had received proposals for “a lot more than 4GW”. Parker also said that construction of the project “would not be easy” due to the cost of construction for Australian projects.

In the UK, we may talk of wind farms like Hornsea, which could produce 6 GW, but the Aussies can produce similar amounts of energy from the sun.

This will be the fourth major renewable power development in Australia to be announced in the last few months.

Australia is certainly looking to power the world.

Energy Storage

Rio Tinto are also talking about energy storage, as other systems of this type and size do. Could this be one of a number of Australian projects mentioned on the Highview Power web site?

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

Will We See More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

In this blog, I have talked about various deals, where two or more countries and/or companies are getting together to generate electricity in one country and transfer it to another, either as electricity or as hydrogen

Examples include.

There are also all the hydrogen deals done by Fortescue Future Industries.

Where Are There Possibilities Of More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

These are a few serious possibilities.

Argentina

This is an extract from this page on Wind Energy International, which is entitled Argentina.

Argentina has an estimated technical wind energy potential of 300 GW. In southern Patagonia (Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces), average wind speeds range between 9.0 and 11.2 m/s, whereas in the north (Neuquén and Río Negro provinces), wind speeds range from 7.2 to 8.4 m/s. The general average capacity factor for Argentina is 35% and in the Patagonia region it ranges between as much as 47% and 59%. Especially in Northwest Patagonia, locally known as the Comahue region, hydro and wind may seasonally complement each other and.benefit both technologies. One other promising region for wind power development is the Atlantic sea coast.

As I wrote in Australia’s FFI Plans $8.4 Billion Green Hydrogen Project In Argentina, it appears that Andrew Forrest and FFI are already on the ground.

Australia

There are already three major schemes based on Australia and I am certain they will be more. Especially, as Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore will need the zero-carbon energy.

It would appear that except for the Australia-Asia PowerLink, the energy will be transferred as liquid hydrogen or liquid ammonia.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh wouldn’t be on the lists of many, where ideal countries for renewable energy are being discussed.

But, this report on Energy Tracker Asia is entitled The Renewable Energy Potential of Bangladesh, where this is said.

A report investigating the renewable energy technical capacity of Bangladesh found that the country could deploy up to 156 GW of utility-scale solar on 6,250 km2 of land and 150 GW of wind. Offshore wind power would account for 134 GW of this total capacity.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bangladesh, supplying renewable energy to the East, with international companies and organisations developing the renewable infrastructure.

I think it should be noted that international companies flock to countries, where the investment opportunities are good. That has happened in the UK, with offshore wind, where many wind farms have been developed by companies such as Equinor, Iberola, RWE and Wattenfall.

Chile

Chile has started to develop the 100,000 square kilometres of the Atacama Desert for solar power and I wrote about this in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery.

This sentence in the Wikipedia entry for Energy In Chile, illustrates the potential of solar power in the Atacama Desert.

In 2013, Total S.A. announced the world’s largest unsubsidised solar farm would be installed with assistance from SunPower Corp into Chile’s Atacama desert.

I also wrote Chile Wants To Export Solar Energy To Asia Via 15,000km Submarine Cable, about Chile’s ambitions to supply Asia with energy.

Ethiopia

Andrew Forrest of Fortescue Future Industries is on the case, as I wrote in Fortescue Future Industries Enters Ethiopia to Produce Green Energy.

North Africa

Consider.

  • The major North African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, all have and depend on to a certain extent on fossil fuels.
  • There are gas pipelines to Spain and Italy.
  • Morocco will be the Southern end of the Morocco-UK Power Project, if it gets developed.
  • All five countries have some nuclear power stations.
  • All five countries have lots of sun for solar power.
  • Some Saharan countries to the South of Morocco, Algeria and Libya could also provide energy from the sun.
  • Egypt has substantial hydro-electric power on the River Nile.
  • Egypt will be connected to Greece through the EuroAfrica Interconnector.

I believe that a well-designed and co-ordinated project could generate a lot of electricity and hydrogen for Europe and bring much-needed income and employment to North Africa.

I feel that if the Morocco-UK Power Project can be successfully built, then this could create a flurry of activity all over North Africa.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a problem. As the rest of the world moves away from fossil fuels in the next few decades, they will see the revenues from oil and natural gas come under pressure.

But as a rich country, with 2.15 million km² of land and lots of sun, they must have some potential to generate solar electricity.

In the Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Saudi Arabia, this is said.

The Saudi agency in charge of developing the nations renewable energy sector, Ka-care, announced in May 2012 that the nation would install 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2032.[2] It was projected to be composed of 25 GW of solar thermal, and 16 GW of photovoltaics. At the time of this announcement, Saudi Arabia had only 0.003 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity. A total of 24 GW of renewable energy was expected by 2020, and 54 GW by 2032.

Wikipedia also says that Saudi Arabia also has nuclear ambitions.

I can see that Saudi Arabia will replace some of their oil and gas exports with green hydrogen.

July 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sun Cable’s Australia-Asia PowerLink

Two weeks ago, in How Clean Energy And Jobs Can Flow From Morocco to The UK, I talked about a plan to generate electricity using solar arrays in Southern Morocco and use an underwater interconnector to bring it to the UK.

If you think that project was ambitious and distinctly bonkers, then that project is outshone by Sun Cable‘s Australia-Asia PowerLink, which is shown in this SunCable graphic.

These are a few facts about the project.

  • Electricity will be generated by solar panels in the Northern Territories of Australia.
  • There will be 12,000 hectares of solar panels in Australia, which will create 3.2 GW of electricity for distribution.
  • There will be a 36-42 GWh battery in Australia.
  • There will be 4,200 km of submarine HVDC cable to deliver the electricity to Singapore and Indonesia.
  • It looks like there will be batteries in Darwin and Singapore.
  • The link could supply up to fifteen percent of Singapore’s electricity.

It is certainly an ambitious project, that will contain the world’s largest solar array, the world’s largest battery, and the world’s longest submarine power cable.

Note.

  1. Currently, the largest solar park in the world is Bhadia Solar Park in India, which is half the size of the solar array proposed.
  2. At 720 km, the North Sea Link is the largest undersea HVDC is operation.
  3. The largest battery in the UK is Electric Mountain in Snowdonia, which is only 9.1 GWh.
  4. A Tesla Megapack battery of the required size would probably cost at least ten billion dollars.

This is certainly, a project that is dealing in superlatives.

Is The Australia-Asia PowerLink Possible?

I shall look at the various elements.

The Solar Panels

I have flown a Piper Arrow from Adelaide to Cairns.

  • My route was via Coober Pedy, Yulara, Alice Springs and Mount Isa.
  • There didn’t seem to be much evidence of rain.
  • The circle from South to East took four days of almost continuous flying, as Australia is not a small country.
  • It left me with the impression of a flat featureless and hot country.

Having seen solar panels on flat areas in the UK, the Australian Outback could be ideal for solar farms.

Sun Cable are talking about 10,000 hectares of solar panels, which is roughly 38.6 square miles or a 6.2 mile square.

Given enough money to source the solar panels and install them, I would expect that the required solar farm could be realised.

The Cable

Consider.

  • The North Sea Link is a 1.4 GW cable that is 720 km. long.
  • I would size it as 10008 GW-km, by multiplying the units together.
  • The Australia-Asia PowerLink will be 4200 km or nearly six times as long.
  • But at 3.2 GW as opposed to 1.4 GW, it will have 2.3 times the capacity.
  • I would size it as 13,400 GW-km.

Whichever way you look at it, the amount of cable needed will be massive.

The Battery

Currently, the largest battery in the world is the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, which has these characteristics.

  • Peak power of 3 GW
  • Storage capacity of 24 GWh.

Sun Cable’s 36-42 GWh battery will be the largest in the world, by a long way.

But I don’t think pumped storage will be suitable in the usually dry climate of Northern Australia.

The largest lithium-ion battery in the world is the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, which is only 150 MW/194 MWh, so something else will have to be used.

As Highview Power are building a CRYOBattery for the Atacama region in Chile, which I wrote about in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery, I wonder, if a cluster of these could provide sufficient storage.

 

October 12, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment