The Anonymous Widower

Dogger Bank – The Joke That Is Growing Up To Be A Wind Powerhouse

The Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank, describes it like this.

Dogger Bank is a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea about 100 kilometres (62 mi) off the east coast of England.

But many of my generation remember it from its use in the Shipping Forecast and as a joke place like the Balls Pond Road, Knotty Ash and East Cheam, in radio and TV comedy from the 1950s and 1960s.

But now it is being turned into one of the largest wind powerhouses!

According to Wikipedia’s list of the UK’s offshore wind farms, these wind farms are being developed on the Dogger Bank.

  • Sofia Offshore Wind Farm – 1400 MW – Under Construction – Commissioning in 2023/26 – £39.65/MWh – RWE
  • Doggerbank A – 1235 MW – Under Construction – Commissioning in 2023/24 – £39.65/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank B – 1235 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank C – 1218 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank D – 1320 MW – Early Planning – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank South – 3000 MW – Early Planning – RWE

Note.

  1. These total up to 9408 MW.
  2. The Dogger Bank wind farms have their own web site.
  3. The Sofia offshore wind farm has its own web site.
  4. Doggerbank A and Doggerbank B will connect to the National Grid at Creyke Beck to the North of Hull.
  5. Sofia and Doggerbank C will connect to the National Grid at Lazenby on Teesside.

But this is only the start on the British section of the Dogger Bank.

This map, which comes courtesy of Energy Network Magazine and 4C Offshore is entitled 2001 UK Offshore Windfarm Map shows all UK offshore wind farms and their status. It looks to my naive mind, that there could be space for more wind farms to the North and West of the cluster of Digger Bank wind farms.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub

The UK doesn’t have full territorial rights to the Dogger Bank we share the bank with the Danes, Dutch and Germans.

In the Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank wind farm, this is said about the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

Dutch, German, and Danish electrical grid operators are cooperating in a project to build a North Sea Wind Power Hub complex on one or more artificial islands to be constructed on Dogger Bank as part of a European system for sustainable electricity. The power hub would interconnect the three national power grids with each other and with the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

A study commissioned by Dutch electrical grid operator TenneT reported in February 2017 that as much as 110 gigawatts of wind energy generating capacity could ultimately be developed at the Dogger Bank location.

Note.

  1. 110 GW shared equally would be 27.5 GW.
  2. As we already have 9.4 GW of wind power, under construction or in planning around the Dogger Bank, could we find space for the other 18.1 GW?
  3. I suspect we could squeeze it in.

If we can and the Danes, Dutch and Germans can generate their share, the four countries would each have a 27.5 GW wind farm.

What would put the icing on the cake, would be if there could be a massive battery on the Dogger Bank. It wouldn’t be possible now and many would consider it a joke. But who knows what the capacity of an underwater battery based on concrete, steel, seawater and masses of ingenuity will be in a few years time.

Where Does Norway Fit In To The North Sea Wind Power Hub?

It could be argued that Norway could also connect to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

  • 110 GW shared equally would be 22 GW.
  • Norway can build massive pumped storage hydroelectric power stations close to the landfall of an interconnector to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.
  • the British, Danes, Dutch and Germans can’t do that, as they don’t have any handy mountains.
  • Norway is a richer country the others involved in the project.

I can see Norway signing up to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

The North Sea Link

The Wikipedia entry for the North Sea Link, introduces it like this.

The North Sea Link is a 1,400 MW high-voltage direct current submarine power cable between Norway and the United Kingdom.

At 720 km (450 mi) it is the longest subsea interconnector in the world. The cable became operational on 1 October 2021.

It runs between Kvilldal in Norway and Blyth in Northumberland.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the North Sea Link is modified, so that it has a connection to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

 

 

November 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Plans Emerge For 8 GW Of Offshore Wind On Dogger Bank

Wikipedia has an entry, which is a List Of Offshore Wind Farms In The United Kingdom.

The totals are worth a look.

  • Operational – 13279 MW
  • Under Construction – 4125 MW
  • Proposed Under The UK Government’s Contracts For Difference Round 3 – 2412 MW
  • Proposed Under The UK Government’s Contracts For Difference Round 4 – 7026 MW
  • Exploratory Phase, But No Contract for Difference – Scotland – 24,826 MW
  • Exploratory Phase, But No Contract for Difference – England – 14,500 MW

Note.

  1. That gives a Grand Total of 66,168 MW or 66.168 GW.
  2. The government’s target is 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
  3. The typical UK power need is around 23 GW, so with nuclear and solar, we could be approaching three times the electricity generation capacity that we currently need.

The figures don’t include projects like Berwick Bank, Cerulean Wind, Norfolk Vanguard or Northern Horizons, which are not mentioned in Wikipedia’s list.

I regularly look at the list of wind farms in this Wikipedia entry and noticed that the number of Dogger Bank wind farms had increased.

They are now given as.

  • Dogger Bank A – 1200 MW – Completion in 2023/24
  • Dogger Bank B – 1200 MW – Completion in 2024/25
  • Dogger Bank C – 1200 MW – Completion in 2024/25
  • Dogger Bank D – 1320 MW – No Completion Given
  • Dogger Bank South – 3000 MW – No Completion Given

Note, that gives a Grand Total of 7920 MW or 7.920 GW.

This article on offshoreWIND.biz is entitled BREAKING: SSE, Equinor Plan 1.3 GW Dogger Bank D Offshore Wind Project.

It was published on the October 6th, 2022 and starts with this summary.

SSE Renewables and Equinor are looking into building what would be the fourth part of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, whose three phases (A, B and C) are currently under construction. Surveys are now underway at an offshore site where the partners want to develop Dogger Bank D, which would bring Dogger Bank Wind Farm’s total capacity to nearly 5 GW if built.

Obviously, there are a few ifs and buts about this development, but it does look like SSE Renewables and Equinor are serious about developing Dogger Bank D.

More Dogger Bank Gigawatts for UK As RWE Moves Forward With Two 1.5 GW Projects

This subheading describes, the 3 GW wind farm, that I listed earlier as Dogger Bank South.

These three paragraphs describe the projects.

RWE is now moving forward with two new offshore wind farms in the Zone, each with a 1.5 GW generation capacity, after the company obtained approval from the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to enter into an Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate this Summer, following the Round 4 leasing process.

The wind farms will be built at two adjacent sites located just southwest of the Dogger Bank A offshore wind farm and are dubbed Dogger Bank South (DBS) East and Dogger Bank South (DBS) West.

RWE has also started with geophysical seabed surveys within the wind turbine array areas for its two new projects.

It appears that they have already got the leasing process started.

When Will Dogger Bank D And Dogger Bank South Be Operational?

Consider.

  • In How Long Does It Take To Build An Offshore Wind Farm?, showed that a lot of offshore wind farms have gone from planning permission to first operation in six years.
  • I don’t think that there will be planning permission problems on the Dogger Bank.
  • The two wind farms are a continuation of Dogger Bank A, B and C and the Sofia wind farms.
  • A lot of the construction, would be more of the same.

With average luck, I can see Dogger Bank D and Dogger Bank South in full production before the end of 2028.

October 16, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Update To Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?

My Methods

Project Timescales For Wind Farms

In How Long Does It Take To Build An Offshore Wind Farm?, I came to these conclusions.

  • It will take six years or less from planning consent to commissioning.
  • It will take two years or less from the start of construction to commissioning.

I shall use these timescales, as any accelerations by the government, will only reduce them.

Dates

If a date is something like 2024/25, I will use the latest date. i.e. 2025 in this example.

The Update

In Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, which I wrote in July this year, I did a calculation of how much renewable energy would come on stream in the next few years.

I summarised the amount of new renewable energy coming on stream like this.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 1500 MW
  • 3024 – 2400 MW
  • 2025 – 6576 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 7061 GW

This totals to 22442 MW.

But I had made two omissions.

  • Hornsea 3 wind farm will add 2582 MW in 2026/27.
  • Hinckley Point C nuclear power station will add 3260 MW in 2027.

Ørsted have also brought forward the completion date of the Sofia wind farm to 2023, which moves 1400 GW from 2024 to 2023.

The new renewables summary figures have now changed to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 1326 MW
  • 2025 – 6576 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 13173 MW

This totals to 28554 MW.

Note.

  1. The early delivery of the Sofia wind farm has increased the amount of wind farms coming onstream next year, which will help the Winter of 2023/2024.
  2. It will also help the Liz Truss/Kwasi Kwarteng government at the next election, that should take place in early 2025.
  3. Hornsea 3 and Hinckley Point C make 2027 a big year for new renewable energy commissioning.

By 2027, we have more than doubled our renewable energy generation.

The Growth Plan 2022

In this document from the Treasury, the following groups of wind farms are listed for acceleration.

  • Remaining Round 3 Projects
  • Round 4 Projects
  • Extension Projects
  • Scotwind Projects
  • INTOG Projects
  • Floating Wind Commercialisation Projects
  • Celtic Sea Projects

I will look at each in turn.

Remaining Round 3 Projects

In this group are the the 1200 MW Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C wind farms, which are due for commissioning in 2024/25.

Suppose that as with the Sofia wind farm in the same area, they were to be able to be brought forward by a year.

The new renewables summary figures would change to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 5076 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 13173 MW

This totals to 28554 MW.

It looks like if Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C can be accelerated by a year, it has four effects.

  • The renewables come onstream at a more constant rate.
  • SSE and Equinor, who are developing the Dogger Bank wind farms start to get paid earlier.
  • The UK gets more electricity earlier, which helps bridge the gap until Hornsea 3 and Hinckley Point C come onstream in 2027.
  • The UK Government gets taxes and lease fees from the Dogger Bank wind farms at an earlier date.

Accelerating the remaining Round 3 projects would appear to be a good idea.

Round 4 Projects

According to Wikipedia’s list of proposed wind farms, there are six Round 4 wind farms, which total up to 7026 MW.

Accelerating these projects, is probably a matter of improved government regulations and pressure, and good project management.

But all time savings in delivering the wind farms benefits everybody all round.

This document from the Department of Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy lists all the Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 4 results for the supply of zero-carbon electricity.

Many of these projects are smaller projects and I suspect quite a few are shovel ready.

But as with the big wind farms, there are some projects that can be brought forward to everybody’s benefit.

Norfolk Boreas

Norfolk Boreas wind farm is one of the Round 4 projects.

The wind farm is shown as 1400 MW on Wikipedia.

On the web site, it now says construction will start in 2023, which could mean a completion by 2025, as these projects seem to take about two years from first construction to commissioning, as I showed in How Long Does It Take To Build An Offshore Wind Farm?.

The new renewables summary figures would change to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 11773 MW

This still totals to 28554 MW.

This acceleration of a large field would be beneficial, as the 2025 figure has increased substantially.

I would suspect that Vattenfall are looking hard to accelerate their Norfolk projects.

Extension Projects

I first talked about extension projects in Offshore Wind Extension Projects 2017.

The target was to add 2.85 GW of offshore wind and in the end seven projects were authorised.

These are the best figures I have and they add up to an interim total of 3359 MW.

I suspect that these projects could be easy to accelerate, as the developers have probably been designing these extensions since 2017.

I think it is reasonable to assume that these seven wind farms will add at least 3000 MW, that can be commissioned by 2027.

The new renewables summary figures would change to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 14773 MW

This now totals to 31554 MW.

Accelerating the extension projects would be a good idea, especially, as they were awarded some years ago, so are probably well into the design phase.

ScotWind Projects

I first talked about ScotWind in ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations.

It was planned to do the following.

  • Generate 9.7 GW from six wind farms with fixed foundations.
  • Generate 14.6 GW from ten floating wind farms.

But since then three more floating wind farms with a total capacity of 2800 MW have been added, as I wrote about in Three Shetland ScotWind Projects Announced.

I suspect that some of these projects are ripe for acceleration and some may well be generating useful electricity by 2030 or even earlier.

INTOG Projects

I wrote about INTOG in What Is INTOG?.

I can see the INTOG Projects contributing significantly to our fleet of offshore wind turbines.

I have already found a 6 GW/£30 billion project to decarbonise oil and gas rigs around our shores, which is proposed by Cerulean Winds and described on this web page.

If the other large INTOG projects are as good as this one, then we’ll be seeing some sensational engineering.

Floating Wind Commercialisation Projects

This page on the Carbon Trust website is entitled Floating Wind Joint Industry Programme (JIP).

They appear to be very much involved in projects like these.

The page has this description.

The Floating Wind Joint Industry Programme is a world leading collaborative research and development (R&D) initiative dedicated to overcoming technological challenges and advancing commercialisation of floating offshore wind.

This graphic shows the partners and advisors.

Most of the big wind farm builders and turbine and electrical gubbins manufacturers are represented.

Celtic Sea Projects

The Celtic Sea lies between South-East Ireland, Pembrokeshire and the Devon and Cornwall peninsular.

The Crown Estate kicked this off with press release in July 2022, that I wrote about in The Crown Estate Announces Areas Of Search To Support Growth Of Floating Wind In The Celtic Sea.

This map shows the five areas of search.

One Celtic Sea project has already been awarded a Contract for Difference in the Round 4 allocation, which I wrote about in Hexicon Wins UK’s First Ever CfD Auction For Floating Offshore Wind.

Other wind farms have already been proposed for the Celtic Sea.

In DP Energy And Offshore Wind Farms In Ireland, I said this.

They are also developing the Gwynt Glas offshore wind farm in the UK sector of the Celtic Sea.

  • In January 2022, EDF Renewables and DP Energy announced a Joint Venture partnership to combine their knowledge and
    expertise, in order to participate in the leasing round to secure seabed rights to develop up to 1GW of FLOW in the Celtic Sea.
  • The wind farm is located between Pembroke and Cornwall.

The addition of Gwynt Glas will increase the total of floating offshore wind in the UK section of the Celtic Sea.

  • Blue Gem Wind – Erebus – 100 MW Demonstration project  – 27 miles offshore
  • Blue Gem Wind – Valorus – 300 MW Early-Commercial project – 31 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Petroc – 300 MW project – 37 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Llywelyn – 300 MW project – 40 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Gwynt Glas – 1000 MW Project – 50 miles offshore

This makes a total of 2.2 GW, with investors from several countries.

It does seem that the Celtic Sea is becoming the next area of offshore wind around the British Isles to be developed.

How do these wind farms fit in with the Crown Estate’s plans for the Celtic Sea?

I certainly, don’t think that the Crown Estate will be short of worthwhile proposals.

Conclusion

More and more wind farms keep rolling in.

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 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

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

SSE Thermal And Equinor To Acquire Triton Power In Acceleration Of Low-Carbon Ambitions

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

SSE Thermal and Equinor have entered into an agreement to acquire Triton Power Holdings Ltd from Energy Capital Partners for a total consideration of £341m shared equally between the partners.

The transaction represents another step forward for the two companies’ existing collaboration, supporting the long-term decarbonisation of the UK’s power system whilst contributing to security of supply and grid stability through flexible power generation in the shorter term.

Triton Power operates Saltend Power Station which is 1.2GW CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) and CHP (Combined Heat & Power) power station located on the north of the Humber Estuary in East Yorkshire.

This deal is more complicated than it looks and these are my thoughts.

What About The Triton Power Workers?

The press release says this.

The 82 existing employees will continue to be employed by Triton Power. In line with just transition principles, the joint venture is committed to transitioning the assets for the net zero world through responsible ownership and operation, and in consultation with the local workforce and representatives.

It does sound that they are following the right principles.

Saltend Power Station

Saltend power station is no tired ancient asset and is described like this in Wikipedia.

The station is run on gas using single shaft 3 × Mitsubishi 701F gas Turbines machines with Alstom 400 MWe generators. The station has a total output of 1,200 MW; of that 100 MW is allocated to supply BP Chemicals. Each gas turbine has a Babcock Borsig Power (BBP) heat recovery steam generator, which all lead to one steam turbine per unit (single shaft machine means Gas turbine and Steam Turbine are on the same shaft). The waste product of electricity generation is steam at the rate of about 120 tonnes/h which is sold to BP Chemicals to use in their process. This makes Salt End one of the most efficient[clarification needed] power stations in the UK. The plant is scheduled to use hydrogen from steam reformed natural gas for 30% of its power.

Note.

  1. It was commissioned in 2000.
  2. It appears there are seven CCGT power stations in England that are larger than Saltend.
  3. The power station seems to have had at least four owners.

The press release says this about SSE and Equinor’s plans for Saltend power station.

The transaction underscores SSE Thermal and Equinor’s shared ambition to decarbonise the Humber, which is the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, as well as the UK more widely. Initial steps to decarbonise Saltend Power Station are already underway, targeting partial abatement by 2027 through blending up to 30% of low-carbon hydrogen. In addition, carbon capture provides an additional valuable option for the site. SSE Thermal and Equinor will continue to work towards 100% abatement.

Note.

  1. It appears that initially, Saltend power station will move to running on a mixture of 30 % hydrogen and 70 % natural gas.
  2. Carbon capture will also be applied.
  3. It looks like that in the future all carbon-dioxide emitted by the power station will be captured and either stored or used.

The press release says this about the source of the hydrogen.

Saltend Power Station is a potential primary offtaker to Equinor’s H2H Saltend hydrogen production project. H2H Saltend is expected to kick-start the wider decarbonisation of the Humber region as part of the East Coast Cluster, one of the UK’s first carbon capture, usage and storage clusters.

H2H Saltend is described in this page on the Equinor web site, which has a title of The First Step To A Zero Carbon Humber, where this is said.

This project represents a bold but practical first step towards delivering the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040. This unparalleled project can play a leading role in the UK’s journey to net zero by 2050, renew the UK’s largest industrial cluster, and unlock technology that will put the UK at the forefront of a global hydrogen economy.

There is also a video.

SSE Thermal And Equinor Low-Carbon Thermal Partnership

This is a section in the press release, where after giving their policy about the workers, it says this about the acquisition of Triton Power.

This acquisition strengthens SSE Thermal and Equinor’s portfolio of joint projects, which bring together expertise in power, natural gas, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. This portfolio includes three development projects within the Humber region:

  • Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, which could be the UK’s first flexible power station equipped with carbon capture.
  • Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations.
  • Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, located in East Yorkshire, which could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

The two companies are also developing Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, situated on the Aberdeenshire coast in Scotland and there are further opportunities for hydrogen blending across SSE’s generation portfolio, including at Keadby 2.

Note.

  1. There is no mention of the three Doggerbank Wind Farms, each of which will be 1200 MW, that are owned by SSE Renewables and Equinor.
  2. I wrote about Aldbrough Gas Storage in The Massive Hydrogen Project, That Appears To Be Under The Radar.
  3. According to this press release from Equinor, which is entitled SSE Thermal And Equinor Join Forces On Plans For First-Of-A-Kind Hydrogen And Carbon Capture Projects In The Humber, Keadby Hydrogen power station will have a capacity of 1800 MW.

The Complete System

The system has the following power sources.

  • Dogger Bank A – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2023/24
  • Dogger Bank B – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2024/25
  • Dogger Bank C – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2024/25
  • Keadby power station – 735 MW
  • Keadby 2 power station – 893 MW – Could be Part-Hydrogen
  • Keadby 3 power station – 910 MW – Carbon Capture
  • Keadby Hydrogen power station – 1800 MW – Hydrogen
  • Saltend power station – 1200 MW – Part-Hydrogen

That totals up to 9138 MW.

Fuel will come from three sources.

  • The God of the winds.
  • Natural gas
  • Hydrogen

Hydrogen will be sourced from.

  • Blue hydrogen from H2H Saltend
  • Green Hydrogen could come from electrolysers driven by wind power.

Hydrogen would be stored in Aldbrough Gas Storage.

I am by training a Control Engineer and controlling these power sources is either a wonderful dream or your most entwined and complicated nightmare.

Conclusion

I suspect on an average day, this cluster of power stations and sources could reliably supply as much zero-carbon power as two large nuclear stations.

 

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Massive Hydrogen Project, That Appears To Be Under The Radar

This page on the SSE Thermal web site, is entitled Aldbrough Gas Storage.

This is the introductory paragraph.

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.

This page on Hydrocarbons Technology is entitled Aldbrough Underground Gas Storage Facility, Yorkshire.

It gives these details of how Aldbrough Gas Storage was constructed.

The facility was originally planned to be developed by British Gas and Intergen in 1997. British Gas planned to develop Aldbrough North as a gas storage facility while Intergen planned to develop Aldbrough South.

SSE and Statoil became owners of the two projects in 2002 and 2003. The two companies combined the projects in late 2003. Site work commenced in March 2004 and leaching of the first cavern started in March 2005.

The storage caverns were created by using directional drilling. From a central area of the site, boreholes were drilled down to the salt strata located 2km underground.

After completion of drilling, leaching was carried out by pumping seawater into the boreholes to dissolve salt and create a cavern. Natural gas was then pumped into the caverns and stored under high pressure.

Six of the nine caverns are already storing gas. As of February 2012, dewatering and preparation of the remaining three caverns is complete. Testing has been completed at two of these caverns.

The facility is operated remotely from SSE’s Hornsea storage facility. It includes an above ground gas processing plant equipped with three 20MW compressors. The gas caverns of the facility are connected to the UK’s gas transmission network through an 8km pipeline.

Note.

  1. The caverns are created in a bed of salt about two kilometres down.
  2. It consists of nine caverns with the capacity to store around 370 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas.
  3. Salt caverns are very strong and dry, and are ideal for storing natural gas. The technique is discussed in this section in Wikipedia.

As I worked for ICI at Runcorn in the late 1960s, I’m very familiar with the technique, as the company extracted large amounts of salt from the massive reserves below the Cheshire countryside.

This Google Map shows the location of the Aldbrough Gas Storage to the North-East of Hull.

Note.

  1. The red-arrow marks the site of the Aldbrough Gas Storage.
  2. It is marked on the map as SSE Hornsea Ltd.
  3. Hull is in the South-West corner of the map.

This Google Map shows the site in more detail.

It appears to be a compact site.

Atwick Gas Storage

This page on the SSE Thermal web site, is entitled Atwick Gas Storage.

This is said on the web site.

Our Atwick Gas Storage facility is located near Hornsea on the East Yorkshire coast.

It consists of nine caverns with the capacity to store around 325 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas.

The facility first entered commercial operation in 1979. It was purchased by SSE in September 2002.

This Google Map shows the location of the Atwick Gas Storage to the North-East of Beverley.

Note.

  1. The red-arrow marks the site of the Atwick Gas Storage.
  2. It is marked on the map as SSE Atwick.
  3. Beverley is in the South-West corner of the map.

This Google Map shows the site in more detail.

As with the slightly larger Aldbrough Gas Storage site, it appears to be compact.

Conversion To Hydrogen Storage

It appears that SSE and Equinor have big plans for the Aldbrough Gas Storage facility.

This page on the SSE Thermal web site is entitled Plans For World-Leading Hydrogen Storage Facility At Aldbrough.

These paragraphs introduce the plans.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are developing plans for one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities at their existing Aldbrough site on the East Yorkshire coast. The facility could be storing low-carbon hydrogen as early as 2028.

The existing Aldbrough Gas Storage facility, which was commissioned in 2011, is co-owned by SSE Thermal and Equinor, and consists of nine underground salt caverns, each roughly the size of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Upgrading the site to store hydrogen would involve converting the existing caverns or creating new purpose-built caverns to store the low-carbon fuel.

With an initial expected capacity of at least 320GWh, Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage would be significantly larger than any hydrogen storage facility in operation in the world today. The Aldbrough site is ideally located to store the low-carbon hydrogen set to be produced and used in the Humber region.

Hydrogen storage will be vital in creating a large-scale hydrogen economy in the UK and balancing the overall energy system by providing back up where large proportions of energy are produced from renewable power. As increasing amounts of hydrogen are produced both from offshore wind power, known as ‘green hydrogen’, and from natural gas with carbon capture and storage, known as ‘blue hydrogen’, facilities such as Aldbrough will provide storage for low-carbon energy.

I have a few thoughts.

Will Both Aldbrough and Atwick Gas Storage Facilities Be Used?

As the page only talks of nine caverns and both Aldbrough and Atwick facilities each have nine caverns, I suspect that at least initially only Aldbrough will be used.

But in the future, demand for the facility could mean all caverns were used and new ones might even be created.

Where Will The Hydrogen Come From?

These paragraphs from the SSE Thermal web page give an outline.

Equinor has announced its intention to develop 1.8GW of ‘blue hydrogen’ production in the region starting with its 0.6GW H2H Saltend project which will supply low-carbon hydrogen to local industry and power from the mid-2020s. This will be followed by a 1.2GW production facility to supply the Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, proposed by SSE Thermal and Equinor as the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fired power station, before the end of the decade.

SSE Thermal and Equinor’s partnership in the Humber marks the UK’s first end-to-end hydrogen proposal, connecting production, storage and demand projects in the region. While the Aldbrough facility would initially store the hydrogen produced for the Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, the benefit of this large-scale hydrogen storage extends well beyond power generation. The facility would enable growing hydrogen ambitions across the region, unlocking the potential for green hydrogen, and supplying an expanding offtaker market including heat, industry and transport from the late 2020s onwards.

Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, and the partners’ other hydrogen projects in the region, are in the development stage and final investment decisions will depend on the progress of the necessary business models and associated infrastructure.

The Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage project is the latest being developed in a long-standing partnership between SSE Thermal and Equinor in the UK, which includes the joint venture to build the Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

It does seem to be, a bit of an inefficient route to create blue hydrogen, which will require carbon dioxide to be captured and stored or used.

Various scenarios suggest themselves.

  • The East Riding of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are agricultural counties, so could some carbon dioxide be going to help greenhouse plants and crops, grow big and strong.
  • Carbon dioxide is used as a major ingredient of meat substitutes like Quorn.
  • Companies like Mineral Carbonation International are using carbon dioxide to make building products like blocks and plasterboard.

I do suspect that there are teams of scientists in the civilised world researching wacky ideas for the use of carbon dioxide.

Where Does The Dogger Bank Wind Farm Fit?

The Dogger Bank wind farm will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

  • It will consist of at least three phases; A, B and C, each of which will be 1.2 GW.
  • Phase A and B will have a cable to Creyke Beck substation in Yorkshire.
  • Phase C will have a cable to Teesside.

Creyke Beck is almost within walking distance of SSE Hornsea.

Could a large electrolyser be placed in the area, to store wind-power from Dogger Bank A/B as hydrogen in the Hydrogen Storage Facility At Aldbrough?

Conclusion

SSE  and Equinor may have a very cunning plan and we will know more in the next few years.

 

 

May 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Electricity ‘Superhighways’ Needed To Cope With Surge In Wind Power

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Energy companies are pushing for the rapid approval of new electricity “superhighways” between Scotland and England amid fears that a lack of capacity will set back the country’s wind power revolution.

Businesses including SSE and Scottish Power are calling on the industry regulator Ofgem to approve a series of major new north-south power cables in a bid to ease congestion on the existing electricity network.

These points are mentioned in the article.

  • Current capacity is 6 GW, which even now is not enough.
  • Another 17 GW of capacity will be needed by 2033.
  • Wind farms in Scotland have been switched off and replaced by gas-fired power stations because of a lack of grid capacity.
  • Another 25 GW of wind farms could be built after leases were awarded last month.

Two North-South interconnectors are being planned.

Peterhead And Drax

This is being proposed by SSE and National Grid.

  • It will be an undersea cable.
  • It will be two cables, each with a capacity of 2 GW.
  • Peterhead and Drax power station are four hundred miles apart by road and 279 miles as the seagull flies, as a lot of the route would be over the sea. So an undersea connection would appear to be sensible.
  • Peterhead is on the coast, so connecting an undersea interconnector shouldn’t be too challenging or disruptive to the locals.
  • Drax power station is a 4 GW power station and the largest in the UK, so it must have good grid connections.

This Google Map shows the location of Drax power station in relation to Hull, Scunthorpe and the rivers in the area.

Note.

  1. Drax is marked by the red arrow in the West of the map.
  2. The large body of water in the East is the Humber Estuary.
  3. Hull is on the North Bank of the Humber.
  4. Scunthorpe, which is famous for its steel industry is South of the Humber in the middle of the map.
  5. To the West of Scunthorpe the Humber splits into the Trent and the Ouse.
  6. The Ouse leads all the way to Drax power station.

I suspect an undersea cable could go up the Humber and Ouse to Drax power station.

Is it a coincidence that both Drax power station and the proposed link to Peterhead are both around 4 GW?

Consider.

  • Drax is a biomass power station, so it is not a zero carbon power station.
  • Drax produces around six percent of the UK’s electricity.
  • Most of the biomass comes by ship from North America.
  • Protest groups regularly have protests at Drax because of its carbon emissions.
  • Drax Group are experimenting with carbon capture.
  • Drax is a big site and a large energy storage system could be built there.
  • Wind is often criticised by opponents, saying wind is useless when the wind doesn’t blow.
  • The Scots would be unlikely to send power to England, if they were short.

This is also said about Drax in Wikipedia.

Despite this intent for baseload operation, it was designed with a reasonable ability for load-following, being able to ramp up or down by 5% of full power per minute within the range of 50–100% of full power.

I take this it means it can be used to top up electricity generation to meet demand. Add in energy storage and it could be a superb load-follower.

So could the similar size of the interconnector and Drax power station be deliberate to guarantee England a 4 GW feed at all states of the wind?

I don’t think it is a coincidence.

Torness And Hawthorn Pit And Torness and South Humberside

These two cables are being proposed by Scottish Power.

  • Each will be two GW.
  • Torness is the site of the 1.36 GW Torness nuclear power station, which is likely to be decommissioned before 2030.
  • Torness will have good grid connections and it is close to the sea.
  • Hawthorn Pit is a large closed coal mine to the North of Newcastle, with a large substation close to the site. I suspect it will be an ideal place to feed power into the grid for Newcastle and it is close to the sea.
  • Just South of Hawthorn Pit are the 1.32 GW Hartlepool nuclear power station, which will be decommissioned in 2024 and the landfall of the cables to the massive Dogger Bank wind farm.
  • As I showed earlier with Drax, the Humber would be an ideal estuary to bring underwater power cables into the surrounding area. So perhaps the cable will go to Scunthorpe for the steelworks.
  • As at Drax, there is backup in South Humberside, but here it is from the two Keadby gas-fired power stations.

The article in the Telegraph only gives the briefest of details of Scottish Power’s plans, but I suspect, that given the locations of the ends of the interconnectors, I suspect the cables will be underwater.

Conclusion

It strikes me that all three interconnectors have been well thought thought and they serve a variety of objectives.

  • Bring Scottish wind power, South to England.
  • Connect wind farms to the two nuclear power station sites at Hartlepool and Torness, that will close at the end of the decade.
  • Allow the big 4 GW biomass-fired station at Drax to back up wind farms and step in when needed.
  • Cut carbon emissions at Drax.
  • Use underwater cables as much as possible to transfer the power, to avoid the disruption of digging in underground cables.

It looks to be a good plan.

February 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Offshore Service Facilities

Some years ago at a wedding in The Netherlands, I got talking to a Dutch engineer, who had a lot to do with the creation of the Delta Works.

Also in The Netherlands, I visited the Watersnoodmuseum, which describes the floods in the Netherlands, that brought about the Delta Works.

So I was not surprised to see the spectacular offshore construction ideas talked about on the Offshore Service Facilities web site.

The site talks about a project to create a four GW wind farm, eighty kilometres off the coast, all serviced from an artificial island.

This is their overview of what they call the IJVER project.

IJmuiden Ver (IJVER) is one of the designated wind farm areas under the Dutch offshore wind road map 2030. With a capacity of at least 4 GW and a distance to shore of approximately 80 km, it is currently the largest foreseen Dutch wind farm zone, and the furthest from shore. The area also includes legacy oil & gas asset, including several gas pipelines that can be retrofitted to transport other gasses such as hydrogen or for CCS-purposes.

Note.

  1. 80 km. is not far offshore, when you consider the UK’s Dogger Bank C wind farm is 196 km from Teesside.
  2. There are depleted gas fields for storage and pipelines to transport gases to and from the shore.

This page describes the concept, starting with this introductory paragraph.

A multi-purpose island provides additional benefits over fixed offshore platforms (so-called jackets). It stimulates the energy transition, drives down the costs of the renewable energy transition, creates room for nature inclusive island design, facilitates Research & Development (R&D) and innovation, creates a safe working environment, as well as additional economic opportunities.

One feature they are proposing is an interconnector to the UK.

In Is There A Need For A Norfolk-Suffolk Interconnector?, I suggested that Bacton, Sizewell and Felixstowe could be places, where wind power from the North Sea were to be landed.

Distances to the IJVER island would be as follows.

  • Bacton – 85 miles
  • Sizewell – 77 miles
  • Felixstowe – 92 miles

These distances are feasible for an interconnector.

There is this explanatory video.

Conclusion

My experience of the Dutch, their civil and marine engineers and their creations, indicates to me, that the Dutch could build an island like this.

Once you have built the island and it can stand up to the weather, you could of course fit it out how you want. Even with a football pitch, as shown in the video.

As with many ideas, the realisation of this concept will depend on the costs involved.

It should be noted, that some UK wind farms have been built with offshore substations, but nothing appears to be as ambitious as this idea and is probably based on proven oil and gas platform technology.

The Dutch also have plans with the Germans and the Danes to create the North Sea Wind Power Hub in the middle of the North Sea.

  • This would probably connect to the UK’s Dogger Bank wind farms.
  • It would feed electricity as required to the countries around the North Sea.
  • Hydrogen could be created on the hub.
  • Over a hundred GW of electricity could be generated according to some forecasts.

I like the concept of the North Sea Wind Power Hub and suspect that the Dutch will see it built.

February 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dogger Bank C In UK Offshore Wind First To Provide Reactive Power Capability

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the Dogger Bank wind farm.

This paragraph gives an explanation.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm has secured a UK power first by becoming the first offshore wind farm project to win a tender from National Grid ESO to provide reactive power capability. The sector-first contract will help deliver a greener grid, maintain a stable voltage power supply, and help drive down UK consumer costs by millions of pounds.

Note that the three Dogger Bank wind farms; A, B and C will each have a capacity of 1.2 GW and that Hartlepool nuclear power station has a capacity of 1.32 GW. The latter is due to be decommissioned in 2024.

So the wind farms will effectively replace the nuclear power station.

This paragraph describes the contract.

Under new £22.5m Pennines Voltage Pathfinder contracts announced today, National Grid ESO has awarded a 10-year power contract to Dogger Bank C that will see its onshore converter station at Lazenby in the North-East of England provide 200 MVAr* of reactive power capability between 2024 and 2034. This marks the first time that an offshore wind transmission asset has been awarded a contract through a reactive power tender by National Grid ESO.

I suspect that there will need to be some form of energy storage added to the system somewhere, either at Lazenby or could we see a system like one of Highview Power’s CRYOBattery installed offshore?

It should be noted that CRYOBatteries are no more complicated, than some of the equipment installed on offshore gas and oil platforms.

The Lackenby Substation

It does seem that there has been a mix-up between the two nearby villages of Lazenby and Lackenby.

I can’t find a Lazenby substation, but I can find one at Lackenby.

This Google Map shows that the location of the Lackenby substation.

This second map shows the substation in more detail.

Note.

  1. There are a lot of large chemical works on both banks of the Tees.
  2. I can find nothing on the route of the cable from Dogger Bank C to Lackenby substation.
  3. Perhaps, it’s planned to go up the River Tees or it could come ashore South of the mouth of the River Tees.

Plans must be published soon, so that the substation can be updated before the wind farm is commissioned.

February 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 26 Comments