The Anonymous Widower

13 Offshore Wind Projects Selected In World’s First Innovation And Targeted Oil & Gas Leasing Round

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

This is the sub-heading.

Crown Estate Scotland has selected 13 out of a total of 19 applications with a combined capacity of around 5.5 GW in the world’s first leasing round designed to enable offshore wind energy to directly supply offshore oil and gas platforms.

This paragraph outlines INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) and its objectives.

INTOG, which has been designed in response to demand from government and industry to help achieve the targets of the North Sea Transition Sector Deal through decarbonising North Sea oil and gas operations, is also expected to further stimulate innovation in Scotland’s offshore wind sector, create additional supply chain opportunity, assist companies to enter the renewable energy market, and support net-zero ambitions.

This is undoubtedly the most important news of the day.

  • When complete it will generate 5416 MW of electricity.
  • 4068 MW will be used primarily to decarbonise oil and gas platforms with surplus electricity going to the grid.
  • The amount of carbon dioxide released by oil and gas platforms in the North Sea will be reduced.
  • The gas saved by decarbonising oil and gas platforms, will be transported to the shore and used in the UK gas grid.
  • 449 MW will be generated in innovative ways in small wind farms, with a capacity of less than 100 MW.

One of the benefits of INTOG is that the UK will be able to reduce gas imports, which must increase energy security.

This map from this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, shows the INTOG wind farms.

This is a list of the farms.

  • 1 – Bluefloat Energy/Renantis Partnership – Innovation – Commercial – 99.45 MW
  • 2 – Bluefloat Energy/Renantis Partnership – Innovation – Supply Chain – 99.45 MW
  • 3 – Simply Blue Energy (Scotland) – Innovation – Supply Chain – 100 MW
  • 4 – BP Alternative Energy Investments – Innovation – New Markets – 50 MW
  • 5 – ESB Asset Development – Innovation – Cost Reduction – 100 MW
  • 6 – Floatation Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 560 MW
  • 7 – Cerulean Winds – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1008 MW
  • 8 – Harbour Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 15 MW
  • 9 – Cerulean Winds – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1008 MW
  • 10 – Cerulean Winds – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1008 MW
  • 11 – Floatation Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1350 MW
  • 12 – TotalEnergies – Targeted Oil & Gas – 3 MW
  • 13 – Harbour Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 15 MW

Note.

  1. The five Innovation sites seem to be as close to the coast as is possible.
  2. I thought some Innovation sites would be closer, so supply difficult to reach communities, but they aren’t.
  3. Floatation Energy and Cerulean Winds seemed to have bagged the lion’s share of the Targeted Oil & Gas.
  4. Sites 6 and 7 sit either side of a square area, where Targeted Oil & Gas will be considered. Is that area, the cluster of oil and gas facilities around Forties Unity, shown on the map in this page on the BP web site?
  5. Harbour Energy have secured two 15 MW sites for Targeted Oil & Gas.

These are my thoughts on the various companies.

Bluefloat Energy

Bluefloat Energy has posted this press release on their web site, which is entitled Bluefloat Energy | Renantis Partnership Bid Success For Two 99mw Innovation Projects In Crown Estate Scotland’s INTOG Process.

The press release starts with these three bullet points.

  • BlueFloat Energy | Renantis Partnership offered exclusivity rights to develop its Sinclair and Scaraben floating wind projects north of Fraserburgh – leveraging synergies via its 900MW Broadshore project.
  • The projects seek to trial innovative floating wind technology solutions, kick-starting supply chain growth and job creation in Scotland and providing a ‘stepping-stone’ to the partnership’s ScotWind projects.
  • Bid proposals include the intention to develop a scalable community benefit model – creating a potential blueprint for floating offshore wind in Scotland.

The first three paragraphs expand the bullet points.

The BlueFloat Energy and Renantis Partnership has been offered seabed exclusivity rights to develop two 99MW projects under the innovation arm of Crown Estate Scotland’s INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) auction process. The auction saw ten projects bid to bring forward the development of small-scale innovation projects.

The Sinclair and Scaraben projects, located north of Fraserburgh and adjacent to the Partnership’s 900MW Broadshore project, seek to trial innovative foundation technologies, associated fabrication works and mooring systems with a view to maximising opportunities for the Scottish supply chain, driving local investment and job creation.

A key element of the bid proposals is the opportunity to test and adapt a community benefit model, governed independently, and directed by the communities in which the schemes will operate, through collaboration with our supply chain and project partners. The model could create a blueprint, shaping the future of community benefit from floating offshore wind throughout the whole of Scotland. This builds on Renantis’ successful track record of deploying similar schemes via its onshore wind farms in Scotland.

Note.

  1. Companies called Sinclair Offshore Wind Farm and Scaraben Offshore Wind Farm were registered a few months ago in Inverness.
  2. I couldn’t find the websites, so I suspect they’re still being created.
  3. These two projects appear to be pathfinders for the 900 MW Broadshore project, with regards to the supply chain and community involvement.

It certainly looks like the partnership are going about the development of these two projects in a professional manner.

BP Alternative Energy Investments

There has been no press release from BP as I write this, so I will have to deduce what BP are planning.

This map from this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, shows the Southern INTOG wind farms.

Note.

  1. Site 4 is the site of BP Alternative Energy Investments’s proposed wind farm.
  2. Sites 6 and 7 could be either side of the cluster of platforms around Forties Unity.

Consider.

  • In the wider picture of wind in the North Sea, BP’s proposed 50 MW wind farm is a miniscule one. SSE’s Dogger Bank wind farm is over a hundred times as large.
  • A cable to the shore and substation for just one 50 MW wind farm would surely be expensive.
  • BP Alternative Energy Investments are also developing a 2.9 GW wind farm some sixty miles to the South.

For these are other reasons, I believe that there is no reason to believe that the proposed 50 MW wind farm is a traditional wind farm.

But if I’m right about sites 6 and 7 indicating the location the position of Forties Unity, it might open up other possibilities.

This document from INEOS, who own the Forties Pipeline System, explains how the pipeline works.

The Forties Pipeline System (FPS) is an integrated oil and gas transportation and processing system. It is owned and operated by INEOS and utilises more than 500 miles of pipeline to smoothly transport crude oil and gas from more than 80 offshore fields for processing at the Kinneil Terminal. At Kinneil the oil and gas are separated, with the oil returned as Forties Blend to customers at Hound Point or pumped to the Petroineos refinery at Grangemouth.
At the same time the gas goes to our LPG export facilities or is supplied to the INEOS petrochemical plant. FPS transports around 40% of the UK’s oil production supply and brings over 400,000 barrels ashore every day.

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

If BP were to pair the wind farm with a  50 MW electrolyser it will produce 21.7 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

Could it be brought to the shore, by linking it by a pipeline to Forties Unity and then using the Forties Pipeline System?

As the category on site 4, is New Markets, are BP and INEOS investigating new markets for hydrogen and hydrogen blends?

  • Some of the latest electrolysers don’t need pure water and can use sea water. This makes them more affordable.
  • Do BP and/or INEOS have the capability to extract the hydrogen as it passes through the Cruden Bay terminal, to provide the hydrogen for Aberdeen’s buses and other users?
  • INEOS and BP probably have some of the best oil and gas engineers in the world.
  • How many other places in the world have an offshore oil or gas field set in a windy sea, where floating wind- turbine/electrolysers could generate hydrogen and send it ashore in an existing pipeline?
  • Several of these offshore oil and gas fields and the pipelines could even be owned by BP or its associates.
  • Remember that hydrogen is the lightest element, so I suspect it could be separated out by using this property.

This BP site, is to me, one of the most interesting of the successful bids.

  • BP probably have a large collection of bonkers ideas, that have been suggested during their long involvement with offshore oil and gas.
  • Some ideas could be even suggested by employees, whose fathers worked for BP fifty years ago. I’ve met a few BP employees, whose father also did.
  • Will the wind farm, be a floating electrolyser at the centre of a cluster of a few large floating turbines?
  • Will each turbine have its own electrolyser and the substation only handle hydrogen?
  • Will the floating electrolyser have hydrogen storage?
  • Have BP got a floating or semi-submersible platform, that could either go to the breakers or be repurposed as the floating electrolyser?
  • Repurposing a previous platform, would make all the right noises.

So many possibilities and so far, no clues as to what will be built have been given.

Cerulean Winds

In What Is INTOG?, I said this about Cerulean Winds.

Cerulean sounds like it could be a sea monster, but it is a shade of blue.

This article on offshoreWind.biz is entitled Cerulean Reveals 6 GW Floating Offshore Wind Bid Under INTOG Leasing Round.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Green energy infrastructure developer Cerulean Winds has revealed it will bid for four seabed lease sites with a combined capacity of 6 GW of floating wind to decarbonise the UK’s oil and gas sector under Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round.

This scale will remove more emissions quickly, keep costs lower for platform operators and provide the anchor for large-scale North-South offshore transmission, Cerulean Winds said.

Note.

    1. It is privately-funded project, that needs no government subsidy and will cost £30 billion.
    2. It looks like each site will be a hundred turbines.
    3. If they’re the same, they could be 1.5 GW each.
    4. Each site will need £7.5 billion of investment. So it looks like Cerulean have access to a similar magic money tree as Kwasi Kwarteng.

Effectively, they’re building four 1.5 GW power stations in the seas around us to power a large proportion of the oil and gas rigs.

For more on Cerulean Winds’s massive project see Cerulean Winds Is A Different Type Of Wind Energy Company.

So does it mean, that instead of 6 GW, they were only successful at three sites and the other or others were in the six unsuccessful applications?

There is a press release on the Cerulean Winds web site, which is entitled Cerulean Winds Wins Bid For Three INTOG Floating Wind Sites, where this is said.

Cerulean Winds and Frontier Power International have been awarded three lease options for the Central North Sea in the highly competitive INTOG leasing round, the results of which were announced by Crown Estate Scotland today.

The sites, in the Central North Sea, will enable the green infrastructure developer and its partners to develop large floating offshore windfarms to decarbonise oil and gas assets. The scale of the development will enable a UK wide offshore transmission system, that can offer green energy to offshore assets in any location and create a beneficial export opportunity.

Nothing about unsuccessful applications was said.

This map from this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, shows the Southern INTOG wind farms.

Note.

  1. Sites 7, 9 and 10 are Cerulean’s sites.
  2. Sites 6 and 11 are Floatation Energy’s sites.
  3. Site 4 is BP Alternative Energy Investments’s Innovation site.
  4. Sites 8, 12 and 13 are much smaller sites.

It looks like Cerulean and Floatation Energy are well-placed to power a sizeable proportion of the platforms in the area.

ESB Asset Development

ESB Asset Development appear to be a subsidiary of ESB Group.

The ESB Group is described like this in the first paragraph of their Wikipedia entry.

The Electricity Supply Board is a state owned (95%; the rest are owned by employees) electricity company operating in the Republic of Ireland. While historically a monopoly, the ESB now operates as a commercial semi-state concern in a “liberalised” and competitive market. It is a statutory corporation whose members are appointed by the Government of Ireland.

This press release, is entitled ESB Offered Exclusive Rights To Develop Innovative 100MW Floating Offshore Wind Project In The Malin Sea.

These two paragraphs outline the project.

ESB today welcomes the outcome of Crown Estate Scotland’s latest seabed leasing process which has resulted in the offer of exclusive development rights to ESB for a 100MW floating wind project in Scottish waters off the north coast of Northern Ireland. The successful project, Malin Sea Wind, is a collaborative bid between ESB and leading technology developers Dublin Offshore Technology and Belfast-based CATAGEN. The outcome underscores ESB’s growing capabilities and expanding presence in the offshore wind industry.

The Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) seabed leasing process, run by Crown Estate Scotland, aims to drive cost reduction in the offshore wind sector by enabling the deployment of new and innovative technologies, and to harness wind energy to decarbonize the oil and gas sector. Malin Sea Wind aims to support the reduction of floating offshore wind costs by demonstrating Dublin Offshore’s patented load-reduction technology. Furthermore, the project will support decarbonisation of the aviation sector by powering sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production technology currently under development by net-zero technology specialists, CATAGEN.

Note.

  1. I’ve just looked at the Technology page of the Dublin Offshore Technology web site.
  2. In the 1970s, I built large numbers of mathematical models of steel, concrete and water cylinders in my work with a Cambridge University spin-out called Balaena Structures.
  3. I believe, that an experienced mathematically modeller could simulate this clever system.

That would prove if it works or not!

This Google Map shows the Malin Sea.

Note.

  1. Malin Head is marked by the red arrows on the Northern Irish coast.
  2. The most Westerly Scottish island is Islay and the most Easterly is the Isle of Arran.
  3. Between the two islands is the Kintyre peninsula.
  4. Portrush can be picked out on the Northern Irish coast.

By overlaying the two maps, I suspect the centroid of the wind farm will be North of Portrush about a few miles North of the Southern end of Arran.

I suspect that if all goes well, there could be a lot of floating wind turbines in the area.

This Google Map shows the River Foyle estuary and Foyle Port to the North-East of Londonderry/Derry.

Note.

  1. Coolkeeragh ESB and Lisahally biomas power station on the South bank of the River Foyle.
  2. Lisahally biomas power station has a capacity of 16 MW.
  3. There appears to be a large substation at Coolkeeragh ESB.
  4. A tanker of some sort seems to be discharging.

Until told, I’ve guessed wrong, it looks to me like Coolkeeragh ESB could be the destination for the electricity generated by Malin Sea Wind. Given that this project’s aim is cost reduction, a 100 MW wind farm could make a difference.

In addition could Foyle Port be used to assemble and maintain the floating turbines?

Floatation Energy

Floatation Energy have posted this press release on their web site, which is entitled Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn Awarded Exclusivity To Develop Up To 1.9 GW Of Floating Offshore Wind In Scotland.

The first part of the press release, has a graphic.

It shows how their proposed system will work.

  • A floating wind farm will be placed between the shore and oil and gas platforms to be decarbonised.
  • The wind farm will be connected to the shore by means of a bi-directional cable, so that the wind farm can export electricity to the grid and when the wind isn’t blowing the grid can power the platforms.
  • A cable between the wind farm and the platforms completes the system.

It is a simple system, where all elements have been built many times.

Floatation Energy must have been fairly confident that their bids would be successful as they have already named the farms and set up web sites.

The websites are very informative.

The Timeline for 2019-2021 on the Green Volt web site describes the describes the progress so far on the project.

2019 – As construction of the Kindardine offshore floating wind farm kicks off, Flotation Energy identifies the Buzzard oil facility (a relatively new oil and gas platform with a long field life and high electrical load) as the optimal starting point for a significant contribution to the North Sea Transition Deal – the process of replacing large scale, inefficient gas-fired power generation with renewable electricity from offshore wind.

2020 – Flotation Energy begins environmental surveys on the Ettrick/Blackbird oil field, a redundant site nearby Buzzard, which is in the process of decommissioning. The “brownfield” site is confirmed as an exceptional opportunity to create an offshore floating wind farm, with water depths of 90-100m and high quality wind resource.

2021 – Flotation Energy works with regulators to understand the potential for project “Green Volt” to decarbonise offshore power generation for Buzzard. Flotation Energy completes and submits an Environmental Scoping report to Marine Scotland, reaching the first major milestone in the Marine Consent process. Crown Estate Scotland announces a new leasing round for Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas Decarbonisation (INTOG).

On a section on the Cenos web site, there is a section called Efficient Grid Connection, where this is said.

The power generated by the wind turbines will be Alternating Current (AC) and routed to a substation platform. AC power will be exported to the oil and gas platforms.

For efficient export to the UK grid, the substation platform will include a converter station to change the AC power to Direct Current (DC) before the power is transported to shore. This is due to transporting AC power over long distances leading to much of the power being lost.

Cenos is working in partnership with the consented NorthConnect interconnector project, to utilise their DC cable routing where possible. Cenos will also use the NorthConnect onshore converter station planned for Fourfields near Boddam, which then has an agreed link into the Peterhead Substation. This collaboration minimises the need to construct additional infrastructure for the Cenos project.

That all sounds very practical.

Note.

  1. Floatation Energy delivered the Kincardine offshore floating wind farm.
  2. Both wind farms appear to use the same shore substation.
  3. Buzzard oil field is being expanded, so it could be an even more excellent oil field to decarbonise.
  4. NorthConnect is a bit of an on-off project.

Floatation Energy seem to have made a very professional start to the delivery of their two wind farms.

Harbour Energy

The Wikipedia entry for Harbour Energy describes the company like this.

Harbour Energy plc is an independent oil and gas company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the United Kingdom’s largest independent oil and gas business. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

But if you look at news items and the share price of the company, things could look better for Harbour Energy.

On their map of UK operations, I can count nearly twenty oil and gas fields.

As they have other oil and gas fields around the world, decarbonisation of their offshore operations could increase production by a few percent and substantially cut their carbon emissions.

That is a philosophy that could be good for profits and ultimately the share price.

So has the company gone for a very simple approach of two identical floating wind turbines?

They have been successful in obtaining leases for sites 8 and 13.

  • Both have a capacity of 15 MW, so are the farms a single 15 MW wind turbine?
  • I think this is likely, unless it is decided to opt for say a 16 MW turbine.
  • Or even a smaller one, if the platform is in a bad place for wind.
  • The wind turbine would be parked by the platform to be decarbonised and connected up, to a simple substation on the platform.
  • I would recommend a battery on the platform, so that if the wind wasn’t blowing, power was still supplied to the platform.
  • There would be no need for any cable between shore and wind farm and the only substation, would be a relatively simple one with a battery on the platform.

It could be a very efficient way of decarbonising a large number of platforms.

Once Harbour Energy have proved the concept, I could build a simple mathematical model in Excel, to work out any change in profitability and carbon emissions for a particular oil or gas platform.

Who Is Britannia Ltd?

In this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, there is a section that gives the partners in each project.

Listed for site 8 are Chrysaor (U.K.) and Britannia Limited and for site 13 is Chryasaor Petroleum Company UK Limited.

This page on the Harbour Energy web site gives the history of Chrysaor and Harbour Energy.

This is the heading.

Chrysaor was founded in 2007 with the purpose of applying development and commercial skills to oil and gas assets and to realise their value safely.

This is the history.

The Group grew rapidly over the years through a series of acquisitions. With backing from Harbour Energy – an investment vehicle formed by EIG Global Energy Partners – Chrysaor acquired significant asset packages in the UK North Sea from Shell (2017) and ConocoPhillips (2019) to become the UK’s largest producer of hydrocarbons.

In 2021, Chrysaor merged with Premier Oil to become Harbour Energy plc.

So that explains the use of the Chrysaor name or Chryasaor as someone misspelt it on the Crown Estate Scotland document.

I asked myself, if Britannia Ltd. could be a technology company, so I checked them out. The only company, I could find was a former investment trust, that was dissolved over ten years ago.

But Britannia is an oil and gas field in the North Sea, which is partially owned by Harbour Energy. It has a page on Harbour Enerrgy’s web site, which is entitled Greater Britannia Area.

This is said about the Britannia field.

Britannia in Block 16/26 of the UK central North Sea sits approximately 210-kilometres north east of Aberdeen. The complex consists of a drilling, production and accommodation platform, a long-term compression module of mono-column design and a 90-metre bridge connected to a production and utilities platform. Britannia is one of the largest natural gas and condensate fields in the North Sea. Commercial production began in 1998. Condensate is delivered through the Forties Pipeline to the oil stabilisation and processing plant at Kerse of Kinneil near Grangemouth and natural gas is transported through a dedicated Britannia pipeline to the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) facility at St Fergus.

Looking at the maps on the Crown Estate Scotland, Harbour Energy and others, it looks like site 8 could be close to the

Greater Britannia Area or even the Britannia field itself.

Simply Blue Energy

Simply Blue Energy are developing the 100 MW Salamander wind farm.

I wrote about this project in The Salamander Project.

Did it get chosen, as it was a project, where the design was at an advanced stage?

TotalEnergies

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that TotalEnergies have gone a very similar route to Harbour Energy, but they are trying it out with a 3 MW turbine.

Conclusion

They are an excellent group of good ideas and let’s hope that they make others think in better and move innovative ways.

Politics will never save the world, but engineering and science just might!

 

March 25, 2023 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Belgians To Start Building World’s First Artificial Energy Island Next Year (VIDEO)

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

This is the sub-heading.

Belgian offshore construction companies Jan De Nul and DEME, through their consortium TM EDISON, have won the tender for the construction of the Princess Elisabeth Island in their home country and the first artificial energy island in the world.

And this first paragraph outlines the project.

The artificial island, which will be built some 45 kilometres off the Belgian coast and will occupy an area of approximately five hectares above the waterline, will serve as the link between the offshore wind farms in the country’s second, 3.5 GW Princess Elisabeth offshore wind zone and its onshore high-voltage grid.

Initial plans don’t seem to be putting any wind turbines or solar panels on the island.

The most impressive part of the article is the video, which shows how the island will be constructed.

To some people of my age, the construction of the island will seem familiar, as the island will be built in a similar way to the Mulberry harbours of World War II.

A few years ago, I went inside some of the giant Pheonix caissons in The Netherlands, where they were initially used to plug the dykes after the North Sea Flood of 1953. They are now a museum of the floods called the Watersnoodmuseum.

Engineering is repeating itself.

 

 

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Entrion Wind Wins ScotWind Feasibility Deal For Its 100-Metre Depth Foundation Tech

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

This is the sub-heading.

Entrion Wind has been awarded a project to evaluate the feasibility of its patent-pending fully restrained platform (FRP) offshore wind foundation technology by a Scotwind developer.

Having worked on similar structures for reusable oil platforms in the 1970s, I reckon these FRP monopoles can be made to work.

The structures, I mathematically-modelled were for a company called Balaena Structures, that had been started by two Cambridge University engineering professors. The structures were about a hundred metres high and perhaps thirty metres in diameter.

They would have been built horizontally in the sort of dock, where you would build a supertanker and would have been floated into position horizontally. Water would then be let in to the cylinder and they would turn to the vertical.  I From that position, they would be lowered to the sea-bed by adjusting the water in the cylinder. They had a method of holding the Balaena to the seabed, which relied mainly on the weight of the structure.

Sadly, they never sold any platforms and the company folded.

Until recently, you could find the expired patents on the Internet.

There’s more on Entrion Wind’s technology on this page on their web site.

February 25, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Hydrogen The Fuel Of The Future?

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on Engineering and Technology Magazine.

The article is a must read about hydrogen.

November 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Centrica Re-Opens Rough Storage Facility

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

It has this sub-heading.

Rough Operational For Winter And Increases UK’s Storage Capacity By 50%.

On the face of it, this sounds like good news and these two paragraphs give more details.

Centrica has announced the reopening of the Rough gas storage facility, having completed significant engineering upgrades over the summer and commissioning over early autumn.

The initial investment programme means the company has made its first injection of gas into the site in over 5 years and is in a position to store up to 30 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas for UK homes and businesses over winter 2022/23, boosting the UK’s energy resilience.

Note.

  1. The Rough gas storage facility has been able to hold up to 100 billion cubic feet of gas in the past.
  2. Rough is a complex field with two platforms and thirty wells transferring gas to and from the facility.
  3. Additionally, there is an onshore gas-processing terminal at the Easington Gas Terminal, where it connects to the UK gas network.

It appears to be a comprehensive gas storage facility, that should get us through the 2022/3 winter.

These two paragraphs from the press release, which are the thoughts of the Centrica Chief Executive are significant.

Centrica Group Chief Executive, Chris O’Shea, said “I’m delighted that we have managed to return Rough to storage operations for this winter following a substantial investment in engineering modifications. Our long-term aim remains to turn the Rough field into the world’s biggest methane and hydrogen storage facility, bolstering the UK’s energy security, delivering a net zero electricity system by 2035, decarbonising the UK’s industrial clusters, such as the Humber region by 2040, and helping the UK economy by returning to being a net exporter of energy.

“In the short term we think Rough can help our energy system by storing natural gas when there is a surplus and producing this gas when the country needs it during cold snaps and peak demand. Rough is not a silver bullet for energy security, but it is a key part of a range of steps which can be taken to help the UK this winter.”

Note.

  1. Effectively, in the short term, Rough is a store for gas to help us through the winter.
  2. In the long-term, Rough will be turned into the world’s largest gas storage facility.
  3. It will be able to store both methane (natural gas) and hydrogen.

Having worked with project managers on complex oil and gas platforms and chemical plants, I wouldn’t be surprised to find, that when the design of this facility is released, it will be something special.

Centrica certainly seem to have upgraded Rough to be able to play a significant short term role this winter and they also seem to have developed a plan to give it a significant long-term role in the storage of hydrogen.

Aldbrough Gas Storage

A few miles up the coast is SSE’s and Equinor’s Aldbrough Gas Storage, which is being developed in salt caverns to hold natural gas and hydrogen.

Blending Of Hydrogen And Natural Gas

I believe that we’ll see a lot of blending of hydrogen and natural gas.

  • Up to 20 % of hydrogen can be blended, without the need to change appliances, boilers and processes.
  • This cuts carbon dioxide emissions.

I wrote about this in a post called HyDeploy.

It might be convenient to store hydrogen in Aldbrough and natural gas in Rough, so that customers could have the blend of gas they needed.

With two large gas stores for hydrogen under development, the HumberZero cluster is on its way.

October 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What Is INTOG?

This page on the Crown Estate Scotland web site outlines INTOG.

This is the introduction at the top of the page.

Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) is a leasing round for offshore wind projects that will directly reduce emissions from oil & gas production and boost further innovation.

Developers can apply for seabed rights to build two types of offshore wind project:

IN – Small scale, innovative projects, of less than 100MW

TOG – Projects connected directly to oil and gas infrastructure, to provide electricity and reduce the carbon emissions associated with production

INTOG is designed, in response to demand from government and industry, to help achieve the targets of the North Sea Transition Sector Deal, which is a sector deal between government and the offshore oil and gas industry.

I have a few thoughts and have also found some news stories.

Isolated Communities

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 that were announced yesterday.

The document introduces the concept of Remote Island Wind, which I wrote about in The Concept Of Remote Island Wind.

I don’t know of one, but there might be isolated communities, with perhaps a dodgy power supply, who might like to improve this, by means of a small offshore wind farm, meeting perhaps these criteria.

  • Less than 100 MW.
  • Agreement of the locals.
  • A community fund.
  • An important use for the electricity.

Locations and applications could be.

  • A small fishing port, where winds regularly bring the grid cable down in winter.
  • A village with a rail station to perhaps charge battery-electric trains.
  • A deep loch, where floating wind turbines are erected.
  • To provide hydrogen for transport.

We shall see what ideas are put forward.

Floating Power Stations

Floating wind farms are generally made up of individual turbines on floats.

  • Turbines can be up to the largest used onshore or on fixed foundations.
  • The Kincardine floating offshore wind farm in Scotland uses 9.5 MW turbines.
  • The floats are anchored to the sea bed.
  • There is a power cable connecting the turbines appropriately to each other, the shore or an offshore substation.

But we are talking innovation here, so we might see some first-of-a-kind ideas.

Single Floating Turbines

A large floating wind farm, is effectively a large number of floating wind turbines anchored in the same area of sea, and connected to the same floating or fixed substation.

I can’t see any reason, why a single floating wind turbine couldn’t be anchored by itself to provide local power.

It might even be connected to an onshore or subsea energy store, so that it provided a more constant output.

Surely, a single turbine perhaps ten miles offshore wouldn’t be a very large blot on the seascape?

I grew up in Felixstowe and got used to seeing HM Fort Roughs on the horizon from the beach. That is seven miles offshore and some people, I know have windsurfed around it from the beach.

TwinHub

I talked about TwinHub in Hexicon Wins UK’s First Ever CfD Auction For Floating Offshore Wind.

TwinHub mounts two turbines on one float and this is a visualisation of a TwinHub being towed into place.

Note.

  1. The design turns into the wind automatically, so that the maximum amount of electricity is generated.
  2. A Contract for Difference for a 32 MW TwinHub has been awarded, at a strike price of £87.30/MWh, that will be installed near Hayle in Cornwall.
  3. With a capacity factor of 50 %, that will produce just over 140,160 MWh per year or over £12 million per year.

This article on the BBC, which is entitled Funding Secured For Floating Wind Farm Off Cornwall, gives more details of the Hayle TwinHub.

The possibility of a floating wind farm off the coast of Cornwall has moved a step closer after securing government funding, project bosses have said.

Swedish company Hexicon plans to install its TwinHub system, with the hope it could begin operating in 2025.

It would be deployed about 10 miles (16km) off Hayle.

Project supporters said it could be a boost to the local economy and help establish Cornwall in the growing renewable energy sector.

Figures have not been released, but it is understood the government funding has effectively secured a fixed price for the power TwinHub would produce for 15 years, making it economically viable.

The article says that this 32 MW system could develop enough electricity for 45,000 homes.

This could be a very suitable size for many applications.

  • As at Hayle, one could be floated just off the coast to power a remote part of the country. As Cornwall has a few old mine shafts, it might even be backed up by a Gravitricity system on shore or another suitable non-lithium battery.
  • Could one float alongside an oil or gas platform and be tethered to it, to provide the power?

Scotland’s hydroelectric power stations, prove that not all power stations have to be large to be successful.

Vårgrønn and Flotation Energy’s Joint Bid

This article on offshoreWIND.biz is entitled Vårgrønn And Flotation Energy To Jointly Bid in INTOG Leasing Round, gives a few details about their joint bid.

But there is nothing substantial about ideas and locations.

I can see several joint ventures with a suitable system, bidding for various projects around the Scottish coast.

Cerulean

Cerulean sounds like it could be a sea monster, but it is a shade of blue.

This article on offshoreWind.biz is entitled Cerulean Reveals 6 GW Floating Offshore Wind Bid Under INTOG Leasing Round.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Green energy infrastructure developer Cerulean Winds has revealed it will bid for four seabed lease sites with a combined capacity of 6 GW of floating wind to decarbonise the UK’s oil and gas sector under Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round.

This scale will remove more emissions quickly, keep costs lower for platform operators and provide the anchor for large-scale North-South offshore transmission, Cerulean Winds said.

Note.

  1. It is privately-funded project, that needs no government subsidy and will cost £30 billion.
  2. It looks like each site will be a hundred turbines.
  3. If they’re the same, they could be 1.5 GW each.
  4. Each site will need £7.5 billion of investment. So it looks like Cerulean have access to a similar magic money tree as Kwasi Kwarteng.

Effectively, they’re building four 1.5 GW power stations in the seas around us to power a large proportion of the oil and gas rigs.

For more on Cerulean Winds’ massive project see Cerulean Winds Is A Different Type Of Wind Energy Company.

Will There Be An Offshore Wind Supermarket?

I can see the big turbine, float and electrical gubbins manufacturers establishing a one-stop shop for developers, who want to install small wind farms, that meet the INTOG criteria.

So suppose, the archetypal Scottish laird in his castle on his own island wanted a 6 MW turbine to go green, he would just go to the B & Q Offshore web site and order what he needed. It would then be towed into place and connected to his local grid.

I can see modular systems being developed, that fit both local infrastructure and oil and gas platforms.

Conclusion

I can see scores of projects being submitted.

I even know the son of a Scottish laird, whose father owns a castle on an island, who could be taking interest in INTOG. They might also apply under Remote Island Wind in another leasing round.

But we will have to wait until the end of March 2023, to find out who have been successful.

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Rolls-Royce SMR Web Site

Rolls-Royce now have a web site for their proposed small modular reactor (SMR) design.

This page is entitled Why Rolls-Royce SMR?, has this outline of the reactor program.

Rolls-Royce SMR offers a radically different approach to delivering nuclear power, we have drastically reduced the amount of construction activities and transformed the delivery environment, from a large complex infrastructure programme into a factory built commoditised product.

Our design has evolved in response to a definitive set of market driven outcomes, this is not technology for technology’s sake, but innovation, to create a transformational clean energy solution that will deliver clean affordable energy for all.

This would appear to be an approach driven by proven engineering principles and excellence, good low-risk design, backed up by the best project management.

These are all traditions inherent in the Rolls-Royce DNA.

But I also believe that Rolls-Royce have looked at the world market for nuclear reactors and designed a product to fit that market.

This paragraph is in a long section entitled Global & Scalable.

The compact footprint increases site flexibility and maximises potential plant locations, including replacement for existing coal or gas-fired plants.

Many things said on the Rolls-Royce SMR Web Site, appear to be very much market led.

In my view, this is the web site of a product designed to dominate the world market for nuclear energy.

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

The Birmingham Bull – 5th August 2022

The non-human star of the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham was a mechanical bull.

This article on the BBC is entitled Commonwealth Games: Scots Creator Reveals Secrets Of Metal Bull.

These three introductory paragraphs give an overview of the design.

The secrets of the mechanical bull that wowed audiences during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games have been revealed by its Scottish creator.

The 10m high scrap metal sculpture was one of the stars of the celebration in Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

Michael Dollar, of creative model makers Artem, said it took six people to operate the giant structure.

The BBC also revealed today, that the bull would be parked for a few days in Centenary Square outside the Library of Birmingham.

So as my day had fallen apart, I got on a Chiltern train to Birmingham and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. The first picture has the The Library Of Birmingham in the background, with its lattice frontage and gold dome.
  2. The Bull seems to have been built on a loader chassis.
  3. There were a large crowd in Centenary Square looking at the Bull.

I have never seen a public work of art surrounded by such a crowd, most of whom were taking selfies or traditional pictures.

This article on the BBC is entitled Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Ceremony Bull To Stay.

The BBC article says this about the future of the bull.

A giant mechanical bull that became the star of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony it set to stay in the city.

The 10m sculpture is on display in Centenary Square after its debut last week, although its future has been less clear.

Largely made of foam, it was due to be dismantled at the end of the Games, sparking public outcry.

But Birmingham City Council has confirmed the bull has won a reprieve.

It will stay in the square until the end of September before being moved indoors.

This wonderful work of engineering art, is far too good and is now too well-loved to be scrapped.

As it needs to go inside, why not bring it inside High Speed Two’s new Curzon Street station, to greet passengers visiting Birmingham?

 

August 5, 2022 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s A Tough Job, But Someone’s Got To Do It!

For a couple of stops today, on the Elizabeth Line, I shared my section of the carriage, with a party of four Japanese tourists, who I took to be mother, father and son, with an older man, who was probably one of the boy’s grandfathers. The father had his camera out and was photographing his family and the train. As I passed him to leave the train, he said “Good train!” He also pointed to himself and said. “Japanese railway engineer!”

I wonder how many other professional railway engineers will visit London and run their eyes over the Elizabeth Line?

June 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail’s Fans At Canary Wharf Station

I have just watched today’s episode of The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway on the BBC.

In one storyline, they negotiate a giant ventilation fan into Canary Wharf station.

Installing the fans is a fascinating tale, where in the end the last movements are performed using hover-pads and several strong men.

I am reminded of a tale I heard in my youth.

  • At the age of 15 and 16, I spent two summers working at a company in North London called Enfield Rolling Mills.
  • The boss of the company was John Grimston, who was a friend of my father and ERM were the largest customer of his printing business.
  • I got a superb introduction to working in a large factory, where I installed simple valve-based electronic control systems on heavy machinery.

The most important rolling mill in the company, was a mill, that reduced copper wirebars to wire about half a centimetre in diameter.

  • The machine had been acquired from Krupp, as war-reparations after the First World War and was still marked with Krupp’s trademark of three interlocked railway tyres.
  • Enfield Rolling Mills had a trademark of four rings.
  • The hot wire zig-zagged from one side to the other and it was turned by men using tongs.
  • The machine was powered by a massive flywheel driven by an electric motor.

At some time in the 1950s, the flywheel needed to be replaced, by a new 96-ton wheel.

The Chief Engineer of the company was an Austrian Jew, known to all as Shimmy, which was a contraction of his surname Shimatovich.

  • He had spent some time in a Nazi concentration camp and walked with a distinct stoop.
  • He was widely recognised as one of the experts on roll grinding and very much respected by management, staff and workers alike.
  • He had supposedly calculated, that if the new flywheel had come off its bearings at full speed, it would have gone a couple of miles through all the housing surrounding the factory.

There was very much a problem of how the new flywheel would be installed until Shimmy announced at a Board Meeting. “We will do it the way, we’d have done it in the concentration camp. We will use men! But our men are fit, well-fed and strong.”

So one Sunday morning, a large force turned up and rolled the flywheel off the low loader and into position using ropes, blocks and tackle and other equipment, that would have been familiar to ancient builders, after which it was duly fixed in place.

The job was completed just before one and the Managing Director of the company then asked if anybody would like a drink and indicated that everybody follow him to the company’s social club.

They arrived just as the steward was cleaning the last of the glasses and getting ready to lock up. On being asked to provide a large number of pints of bitter, he announced he was closed.

On this the Managing Director, by the name of Freddie Pluty, who was a strong man picked up the steward and sat him on the bar.

He then asked the two large workers at the front of the queue. “Are you going to hit him or shall I?”

They got their drinks.

 

June 12, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment