The Anonymous Widower

ILI Group Secures Planning Consent For 50MW Energy Storage Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Solar Power Portal.

ILI Group or Intelligent Land Investments Group to give them their full name, are a Scottish-based company, that I follow as I like their energy storage developments.

The home page of their web site, lists three main areas of activity.

The home page also has a scrolling mission statement of

  • UK Energy Security
  • 4GW of Energy Storage Projects
  • Aligned with government policy
  • Saving over 200million tonnes of CO2e
  • Over £4 billion of Investment

It is very much worth reading the section of the ILI Group web site, which talks about pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

It starts with a overview of the Pump Storage Sector.

Between 2007 and 2015, the total installed capacity of renewables electricity in Scotland has more than doubled. Due to its intermittent nature, the rise in renewable generation has resulted in increased demand for flexible capacity to help meet energy balancing requirements for the national grid system.

Pumped storage hydro is considered by the Directors to be the most developed and largest capacity form of grid energy storage that currently exists. This can help reduce renewable energy curtailment and therefore promote grid stability.

It then gives an overview of how pumped-storage hydroelectricity works and the benefits of the technology.

The section finishes by noting that the company has secured planning permission for the Red John pumped-storage hydroelectric power station.

The article on the Solar Power Portal, also has this paragraph on ILI Group’s  ambitions for pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

ILI Group is also responsible for the development of a 1.5GW pumped storage hydro project at Loch Awe. The Balliemeanoch project based at Dalmally in Argyll and Bute will be able to supply 1.5GW of power for up to 30 hours. It is the third and largest of ILI’s pumped storage hydro projects, with the other two being Red John at Loch Ness and Corrievarkie at Loch Ericht.

Note these points about the Balliemeanoch project.

  1. It has a storage capacity of 45 GWh, which is around the total amount of electricity, the whole of the UK would use in two hours.
  2. It couldn’t power the UK, as it has an output of only 1.5 GW and the UK needs at least 23 GW.
  3. The largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station in the UK is Dinorwig power station, which has an output of 1.8 GW and a storage capacity of 9.1 GWh.

In terms of storage capacity, the Balliemeanoch project will probably be the largest in the UK.

The section of the ILI Group web site, that talks about battery storage, opens with an overview of battery storage opportunities, where this is said.

Battery storage projects provide an enticing new opportunity for landowners and investors alike. As a market that will see significant growth over the coming years (National Grid predict up to 40GW of storage could be required by 2050) we see exciting new opportunities in a sector that will be critical to meeting our climate change needs.

Whereas our pumped storage hydro projects will provide long-term storage capacity, our batteries will provide short-term services (less than 4 hours) to the electricity system. As the system decarbonises, becoming steadily more reliant on intermittent green renewable generation, storage will play a role of increasing importance in balancing the grid and ensuring security of supply.

Note.

  1. This is a sales pitch to landowners and investors.
  2. National Grid’s prediction of 40GW of storage  by 2050, could be able to store as much as 1200 GWh of electricity.
  3. I agree with their statement that there will be a need for both pumped storage hydro and batteries.

The section finishes with a status summary of 21 battery projects that they are developing.

Conclusion

I feel that ILI Group is a company that means business and knows where it’s going.

The UK probably needs several more companies like the ILI Group.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The Balliemeanoch Pumped-Hydro Scheme

I first talked about the Balliemeanoch Pumped-Hydro Scheme in ILI Group To Develop 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project, which I wrote earlier this month.

I was a bit unsure as to where the high-level reservoir would be sited, although, the original report said the low-level reservoir was Loch Awe.

I then found this in an article on The Scotsman.

Project Balliemeanoch will see Lochan Airigh turned into a headpond containing 58 million cubic metres of water.

This Google Map shows Lochan Airigh.

At not much more than a hundred metres across, you wouldn’t call Lochan Airigh a large loch.

But look at its position compared to the village of Ballimeanoch on the shore of Loch Awe in this Google Map.

 

The North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board built Cruachan pumped-storage power station round the corner in Loch Awe in the early 1960s, so I would believe construction is possible.

But Cruachan is only a 7.1 GWh scheme, whereas Balliemeanoch is planned as a 45 GWh giant.

 

 

February 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 4 Comments

Up To 24GW Of Long Duration Storage Needed For 2035 Net Zero Electricity System – Aurora

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

This the first three paragraphs.

Deploying large quantities of long duration electricity storage (LDES) could reduce system costs and reliance on gas, but greater policy support is needed to enable this, Aurora Energy Research has found.

In a new report, Aurora detailed how up to 24GW of LDES – defined as that with a duration of four hours or above – could be needed to effectively manage the intermittency of renewable generation in line with goals of operating a net zero electricity system by 2035. This is equivalent to eight times the current installed capacity.

Additionally, introducing large quantities of LDES in the UK could reduce system costs by £1.13 billion a year in 2035, cutting household bills by £26 – a hot topic with energy bills on the rise as a result of high wholesale power prices.

The report also says that long duration storage could cut carbon emissions by ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

I feel strongly, that this is a target we will achieve, given that there are at least four schemes under development or proposed in Scotland.

It certainly looks like the Scots will be OK, especially as there are other sites that could be developed according to SSE and Strathclyde University.

We probably need more interconnectors as I wrote about in New Electricity ‘Superhighways’ Needed To Cope With Surge In Wind Power.

There are also smaller long duration storage systems under development, that will help the situation in the generally flatter lands of England.

One of them; ReEnergise, even managed to sneak their advert into the article.

Their high density hydro could be a good way to store 100 MWh or so in the hills of England. As they could be designed to fit into and under the landscape, I doubt their schemes would cause the controversy of other schemes.

Conclusion

I think we’ll meet the energy storage target by a wide margin.

February 18, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ILI Group Announces New 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project

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

This is the body of the article.

Intelligent Land Investments Group (ILI) has commenced the initial planning phase for its new 1.5 GigaWatt (GW) pumped storage hydro (PSH) project, Balliemeanoch, at Loch Awe in Argyll & Bute.

This is ILI’s third and largest PSH project. Its other PSH projects include ‘Red John’ at Loch Ness, which was awarded planning consent from Scottish Ministers in June Last year, and ‘Corrievarkie’ at Loch Ericht for which they aim to submit a Section 36 planning application in August.

The new project would be able to supply 1.5GW of power for up to 30 hours, enough to power 4.5 million homes.

The project will create a new head pond in the hills above Loch Awe capable of holding 58 million cubic metres of water when full and it is estimated the project will offset more than 200 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.

I would assume that this will be a privately-financed project and at 45 GWh it will be one of the largest pumped storage systems in the world.

But it must show that if it is privately-financed that the big boys in infrastructure finance, see pumped storage as a safe place to put insurance and pension funds to earn a worthwhile return.

  • No-one’s going to steal one of these systems.
  • They are a job-creating asset when built.
  • Hydro-electric power seems very safe, when well-built.
  • You don’t see media reports of schemes like Cruachan, Electric Mountain and Foyers breaking down.

In World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant, I talked about Aviva’s funding for wind farms. If Aviva wukk fund those, surely they’ll fund schemes like this, as it could be argued that they make wind farms a better investment and more valuable, as they won’t have to shut down so often, when there’s too much power.

February 16, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , | 2 Comments

A Brief History Of Scottish Hydropower

The title of this post, is the same as that of this page on the Drax Group web site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Over the last century, Scottish hydro power has played a major part in the country’s energy make up. While today it might trail behind wind, solar and biomass as a source of renewable electricity in Great Britain, it played a vital role in connecting vast swathes of rural Scotland to the power grid – some of which had no electricity as late as the 1960s. And all by making use of two plentiful Scottish resources: water and mountains.

These are some points from the page.

  • The first scheme was built in the last years of the nineteenth century and provided power for aluminium smelting.
  • The first modern scheme was the Lanark Hydro Electric Scheme, which was built in the 1920s and is still running today, under the ownership of Drax Group.
  • In 1935, the Galloway scheme, set the tone for later projects with architecture including stylised dams and modernist turbine halls.
  • The North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board was founded in 1943.
  • Sloy, the largest conventional hydro-electric station opened in 1950 and has a capacity of 152.5 MW.
  • Building the dams and power stations appears to have been hard but well-paid work.
  • By the mid Sixties, the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board had built 54 main power stations and 78 dams. Northern Scotland was now 90% connected to the national grid.
  • In 1965, the world’s then largest reversible pumped storage power station opened at Cruachan.
  • In 2009, the last major scheme at Glendoe opened.

The schemes are a working catalogue of everything you can do with water to generate and store electricity.

Future development now seems to be moving in two directions.

The Drax page says this about new hydro-electric schemes.

In recent years, however, the real growth has been in smaller hydro-electric schemes that may power just one or a handful of properties – with more than 100 MW of such generation capacity installed in the Highlands since 2006.

On the other hand, several large pumped storage schemes are under development.

Note.

These schemes add up to an output of just over 4 GW and a colossal 92.3 GWh of storage.

The existing Foyers scheme and the under-development Coire Glas and Red John schemes. all use Loch Ness as the lower reservoir.

Two of these under-development schemes will be larger than the current largest pumped storage system in the world; Bath County Pumped Storage Station in Virginia in the United States, which is a 3 GW/24 GWh system.

Conclusion

Adding large numbers of wind turbines and tens of GWs to Scotland’s existing pumped storage could transform not just Scotland’s but most of Western Europe’s green energy production.

 

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

ILI Group To Develop 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Solar Power Portal.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Clean energy developer ILI Group has begun the initial planning phase for a new pumped storage hydro project in Scotland.

The Balliemeanoch project at Loch Awe, Dalmally in Argyll and Bute will be able to supply 1.5GW of power for up to 30 hours. It is the third and largest of ILI’s pumped storage hydro projects, with the other two being Red John at Loch Ness and Corrievarkie at Loch Ericht.

It is a big scheme at 45 GWh.

The ILI Group has an extensive web site, that is worth a read.

  • This page describes pumped storage.
  • This long document from the company is part of their submission to the Government.

The company seems to be going in the right direction.

This Google Map shows the Loch Awe area.

Note.

  1. Loch Awe is in the North West corner of the map.
  2. Loch Fyne is the large loch in the South East corner of the map.
  3. Balliemeanoch is marked by the red arrow.

I am a bit puzzled as to the layout of the scheme.

But I have now noticed a Ballimeanoch close by Loch Awe.

This is a map of its location.

I suspect that is the correct location of the pumped storage scheme.

I shall be interested to see the layout of the full scheme.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 11 Comments