The Anonymous Widower

XLCC Obtains Planning Approval To Build UK’s First HVDC Cable Factory In North Ayrshire

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

On 29th June 2022, the North Ayrshire Council Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for XLCC’s HVDC subsea cable manufacturing operations in Hunterston, Scotland.

Breaking ground in the coming months, the brownfield site will create a new UK industry to support global decarbonisation targets. Once fully operational, the facility will support 900 jobs in the area, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.

XLCC’s first order is for four 3,800km long cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the UK for the Xlinks Morocco-UK power project.

XLCC have also issued two other important press releases.

XLCC To Build New Cable Laying Vessel To Address Increase In Future Demand For HVDC Cable

These are the first paragraphs.

XLCC, the new HVDC, renewable energy focused business in the UK, has completed the concept design of an advanced, first-of-a-kind Cable Laying Vessel to be delivered in the first half of 2025.

As the world strives for Net Zero, the UK, EU and other world economies have set themselves ambitious targets for decarbonisation. The UK, for example, has stated that it will be powered entirely by clean energy by 2035 and that it will fully decarbonise the power system in the same time frame. This ambition is driving an exponential growth in high voltage cable demand as the increase in installation of offshore wind and interconnectors drive a forecast six times increase (2020 – 2027 over 2014 – 2020) for HVDC cable.

The planned delivery of the XLCC CLV will support the Morocco – UK Power Project, the first client project, through the delivery of four 3,800km subsea HVDC cables from a wind and solar generation site in Morocco to the UK.

This press release can be read in full here.

XLCC Signs UK Steel Charter For New Export-Led Cable Industry

These are the first paragraphs.

XLCC signed the UK Steel Charter at an event in Parliament on 19 April 2022, alongside representatives from politics, business and the trade union movement.

XLCC will create a new export-led HVDC cable manufacturing industry for the UK, nearly doubling the world’s current production. It aims to support renewable energy projects with the first factory planned for Hunterston, Scotland. XLCC will deliver its first project for the Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, consisting of four 3,800km long subsea cables, with the first phase between 2025-2027 connecting wind and solar power generated in Morocco exclusively to the UK in Devon.

Signing the UK Steel Charter shows a commitment to supporting existing and future jobs within the sector and the supply chain. Along with strengthening UK-based business, sourcing steel locally will cut transport emissions and seek to support decarbonisation in a sector dedicated to finding ways to minimise environmental impact of steel use.

This press release can be read in full here.

I have a few thoughts.

You Wait For A Large Interconnector Project To Come Along And Then Two Arrive Holding Hands

This paragraph introduces the Morocco-UK Power Project.

The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project will be a new electricity generation facility entirely powered by solar and wind energy combined with a battery storage facility. Located in Morocco’s renewable energy rich region of Guelmim Oued Noun, it will cover an approximate area of 1,500km2 and will be connected exclusively to Great Britain via 3,800km HVDC sub-sea cables.

XLCC have this mission statement on their home page.

XLCC will establish a new, export-led, green industry in the UK: world class HVDC subsea cable manufacturing.

Our mission is to provide the connectivity required for renewable power to meet future global energy needs.

Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project and XLCC appear to be made for each other.

In some ways it takes me back to the 1970s, where large oil and gas projects in the North Sea were paired with platform building in Scottish lochs.

There Are Several Interconnector Projects Under Development

We will see a lot of undersea interconnectors in the next few years.

  • Country-to-country interconnectors
  • Interconnectors along the coast of the UK.
  • Connections to offshore wind farms.

This capacity, with a ship to lay it, is being created at the right time.

Icelink

Icelink is a proposed interconnector between Iceland and the UK.

  • It would be up to 1200 km long.
  • It would have a capacity of around 1 GW

XLCC could spur the development of this project.

Floating Wind Farms Hundreds Of Miles Out To Sea

The developer of a floating wind farm, say a hundred miles out to sea, is not going to develop it, if there isn’t a secure supply of cable.

Where Will Finance Come From?

Wind farms have proven to be good investments for finance giants such as Aviva.

See World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant, for Aviva’s philosophy.

As mathematical modelling for electrical systems get better, the estimates of the finance needed and the returns to be made, will indicate whether these mega-projects can be funded.

It was done with North Sea oil and gas and it can be done with offshore wind power and its interconnectors.

In The Times on the 4th of July 2022, there is this article, which is entitled Schroders Chief Buzzing To Take Finance Offshore Wind Farms.

It is a must-read!

Conclusion

XLCC and its cable factory will spur the expansion of zero-carbon electricity in the UK.

July 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Could Rolls-Royce SMRs Be The Solution To Europe’s Gas Shortage?

Of all the offshore wind farms, that I’ve looked at recently, I find Magnora’s ScotWind N3 wind farm the most interesting.

I wrote about it in ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm.

I said this.

In any design competition, there is usually at least one design, that is not look like any of the others.

In the successful bids for the ScotWind leases, the bid from Magnora ASA stands out.

  • The company has an unusual home page on its offshore wind web site.
  • This page on their web site outlines their project.
  • It will be technology agnostic, with 15MW turbines and a total capacity of 500MW
  • It will use floating offshore wind with a concrete floater
  • It is estimated, that it will have a capacity factor of 56 %.
  • The water depth will be an astonishing 106-125m
  • The construction and operation will use local facilities at Stornoway and Kishorn Ports.
  • The floater will have local and Scottish content.
  • The project will use UK operated vessels​.
  • Hydrogen is mentioned.
  • Consent is planned for 2026, with construction starting in 2028 and completion in 2030.

This project could serve as a model for wind farms all round the world with a 500 MW power station, hydrogen production and local involvement and construction.

I very much like the idea of a concrete floater, which contains a huge electrolyser and gas storage, that is surrounded by an armada of giant floating wind turbines.

These are my thoughts.

Floating Concrete Structures

To many, they may have appear to have all the buoyancy of a lead balloon, but semi-submersible platforms made from concrete have been used in the oil and gas industry for several decades.

Kishorn Yard in Scotland was used to build the 600,000-tonne concrete Ninian Central Platform,in 1978. The Ninian Central Platform still holds the record as the largest movable object ever created by man.

The Ninian Central Platform sits on the sea floor, but there is no reason why a semi-submersible structure can’t be used.

Electrolysers

There is no reason, why a large electrolyser, such as those made by Cummins, ITM Power or others can’t be used, but others are on the way.

  • Bloom Energy are working on high temperature electrolysis, which promises to be more efficient.
  • Torvex Energy are developing electrolysis technology that used sea water, rather than more expensive purified water.

High Temperature Electrolysis

High temperature electrolysis needs a heat source to work efficiently and in Westinghouse And Bloom Energy To Team Up For Pink Hydrogen, I described how Bloom  Energy propose to use steam from a large nuclear power station.

Offshore Nuclear Power

I’ve never heard of offshore nuclear power, but it is not a new idea.

In 1970, a company called Offshore Power Systems was created and it is introduced in its Wikipedia entry like this.

Offshore Power Systems (OPS) was a 1970 joint venture between Westinghouse Electric Company, which constructed nuclear generating plants, and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, which had recently merged with Tenneco, to create floating nuclear power plants at Jacksonville, Florida.

Westinghouse’s reactor was a 1.150 MW unit, which was typical of the time, and is very similar in size to Sizewell B.

The project was cancelled before the reactors were towed into position.

Nuclear Knowledge Has Improved

Consider.

  • In the fifty years since Offshore Power Systems dabbed their toes in the water of offshore nuclear power, our knowledge of nuclear systems and engineering has improved greatly.
  • The offshore oil and gas industry has also shown what works impeccably.
  • The floating offshore wind industry looks like it might push the envelop further.
  • There has been only one nuclear accident at Fukushima, where the sea was part of the problem and that disaster taught us a lot.
  • There have been a large number of nuclear submarines built and most reached the planned end of their lives.
  • Would a small modular nuclear reactor, be safer than a large nuclear power plant of several GW?

I would suggest we now have the knowledge to safely build and operate a nuclear reactor on a proven semi-submersible platform, built from non-rusting concrete.

An Offshore Wind Farm/Small Modular Reactor Combination Producing Hydrogen

Consider.

  • A typical floating offshore wind farm is between one and two gigawatts.
  • A Rolls-Royce small modular reactor is sized to produce nearly 0.5 GW.
  • The high temperature electrolyser will need some heat to achieve an optimum working temperature.
  • Spare electricity can be used to produce hydrogen.
  • Hydrogen can be stored platform.
  • Hydrogen can be sent ashore using existing gas pipes.
  • Hydrogen could even be blended with natural gas produced offshore to create a lower-carbon fuel.
  • It would also be possible to decarbonise nearby offshore infrastructure.

A balance between wind and nuclear power can be obtained, which would provide a steady output of energy.

Conclusion

There are a large numbers of possibilities, to locate a Rolls-Royce small modular reactor close to a wind farm to use high temperature electrolysis to create green hydrogen, which can be used in the UK or exported through the gas network.

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Equinor And Partners Consider 1 GW Offshore Wind Farm Off The Coast Of Western Norway

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

This is the first paragraph.

Equinor and its partners Petoro, TotalEnergies, Shell and ConocoPhillips in the Troll and Oseberg fields, have initiated a study and are looking into possible options for building a floating offshore wind farm in the Troll area some 65 kilometres west of Bergen, Norway.

This second paragraph describes the production and use of the electricity.

With an installed capacity of about ~1 GW and an annual production of ~4.3 TWh, with a startup in 2027, Trollvind could provide much of the electricity needed to run the offshore fields Troll and Oseberg through an onshore connection point. The Bergen area already serves several of these installations with power – and needs more input to its electricity grid. The plan is that the partnership will buy as much energy as the wind farm can produce at a price that can make the project possible.

The press release includes a map of the wind farm, the oil and gas fields and Bergen.

This is not the first time, I’ve heard of plans to use wind-generated electricity to power offshore oil and gas fields.

It could be argued that if the gas is sold to the UK or Germany, then that country is responsible for the carbon emissions.

I doubt that Vlad the Mad’s bloodstained gas is produced using a carbon-free process.

June 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will It Be Third-Time Lucky For Grand Union Trains In Wales?

It is three years since I wrote Grand Union Seeks ’91s’ To Cardiff and their proposal has not been accepted and the third iteration has been announced.

This article on Wales Online is entitled Independent Rail Firm Bids To Launch As Rival To Great Western On The Mainline From South Wales To London.

These are the introductory paragraphs.

An independent rail firm is hoping to launch a rival train service in Wales which they say will slash journey times between Carmarthen and London. Grand Union Trains is making a fresh bid to introduce an initial service in both directions between Cardiff and London on the existing Great Western line.

The company believes the move will “create passenger choice” and increase the number of trains available, with the hope that the service can be extended west in South Wales towards Carmarthen.

Other points in the article include.

  • Swansea will be by-passed, which will speed up services to and from Llanelli and Carmarthen.
  • A new Park-and-Ride station will be built by Grand Union at Felindre, which is to the North of Swansea.
  • Services will stop at Llanelli, Cardiff Central, Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol Parkway.
  • When Cardiff Parkway opens, this will be an extra stop.

An article in the June 2022 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Grand Union Bids For London To Carmarthen, gives extra details.

  • Three classes.
  • 2203 start for the service.
  • Five return trains per day.
  • Cycle provision.
  • Vanload freight will be carried.
  • Electric trains could start between London and Cardiff by 2023.
  • In 2025, trains could be nine-car bi-modes.
  • South Wales-based operation and maintenance.
  • 125 full-time jobs created.

It certainly seems to be a comprehensive and well-thought out plan.

These are my thoughts and observations.

Felindre Station

Felindre station is named in Wikipedia as the West Wales Parkway station, where it is introduced like this.

West Wales Parkway is a proposed railway station north of Swansea, near to the boundaries of the neighbouring principal area of Carmarthenshire, and the villages of Felindre and Llangyfelach. The station is proposed to be situated at the former Felindre steelworks, near Junction 46 of the M4 and A48, and near Felindre Business Park and Penllergaer Business Park. The project is in the planning stages, as part of a wider Department for Transport proposal to re-open the Swansea District line to passenger traffic.

This Google Map shows where, it appears the Felindre station will be built.

Note.

  1. The Felindre Business Park in the North-West corner of the map, with a Park-and-Ride.
  2. The M4 running across the bottom of the map.
  3. The Swansea District Line runs East-West between the motorway and the Business Park.

It looks that the new station could be located on the South side of the Business Park.

According to Wikipedia, the station would cost £20 million to build.

  • It would need a comprehensive rethinking of transport improvements in the Swansea area.
  • But it could result in time savings on services between Carmarthen and Cardiff.

The Modern Railways article says this.

GU proposes to build the Felindre station near Swansea and invest in Severn Tunnel Junction station, where it says it will increase parking, provide direct access from the M4 motorway and improve passenger and staff facilities, backing up plans being evaluated by the Welsh Government for the station.

Grand Union is not a charity and does this indicate that a bank or infrastructure company is prepared to fund parking and the extra passengers pay the charges.

Rolling Stock

Wikipedia says that the rolling stock could be nine-car InterCity 225s hauled by Class 91 or Class 93 locomotives.

As the Class 93 locomotives are bi-modes, these would handle the Carmarthen and Cardiff leg.

The Modern Railways article says this.

Trains could start between Cardiff and London Paddington as early as May 2023 if electric only, with services extended west around two years later with new bi-mode trains in up to nine-car formations.

Would a new Class 93 locomotive count as a new bi-mode train?

I suspect the new locomotive would be more affordable, than a new bi-mode train.

Vanload Freight

This is an interesting idea and it follows similar thinking to Royal Mail’s latest ideas, that I wrote about in Royal Mail Rolling Back The Years To Put More Post On Trains.

One coach could be a nice little earner, if it were modified to carry roller cages, that were loaded and unloaded at the end of the route.

One advantage of the InterCity 225s is that they are 125 mph trains, so that this will be high speed freight.

Timings

Consider.

  • A GWR Carmarthen and London service takes three hours and 47 minutes.
  • This includes a nine-minute reverse at Swansea.
  • GWR makes seven more stops than Grand Union will.
  • GWR does seven diesel stops, whereas Grand Union will only do two.

I would estimate that Grand Union will be under three hours and thirty minutes.

Carmarthen Station

This Google Map shows Carmarthen station.

Note.

  1. The station has two platforms.
  2. There are certainly pictures of the station with an InterCity 125 in the station.

These pictures show the station.

I suspect that the station will be upgraded to accommodate Grand Union.

Rrenewable Energy Developments In South West Wales

In Enter The Dragon, I talked about renewable energy developments in South West Wales.

I used information from this article on the Engineer, which is entitled Unlocking The Renewables Potential Of The Celtic Sea.

The article on the Engineer finishes with this conclusion.

For now, Wales may be lagging slightly behind its Celtic cousin to the north, but if the true potential of the Celtic Sea can be unleashed – FLOW, tidal stream, lagoon and wave – it looks set to play an even more prominent role in the net zero pursuit.

The Red Dragon is entering the battle to replace Vlad the Mad’s tainted energy.

South West Wales could see a massive renewable energy boom.

The Railways To The West Of Carmarthen

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the rail lines to the West of Carmarthen.

There are three main branches to Fishguard, Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock.

I can see the railways becoming increasingly important in supporting the growing renewable energy in the area.

  • There would be more frequent services.
  • Services would tie in with London and Cardiff trains at Carmarthen.
  • Closed stations could be reopened and new ones built.

It may also be possible to bring in large components needed by the renewable energy industry.

Conclusion

I feel that Grand Union have seen the opportunities presented to a frequent Carmarthen and London service and have grabbed them with both hands.

 

 

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Offshore Wind Champion Appointed As £160m Floating Offshore Wind Fund Opens For Expressions Of Interest

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

These three paragraphs describe the policy.

Ambitious plans to expand offshore wind around the United Kingdom to power homes and businesses with cheap, homegrown energy received a further boost today with the appointment of a new government champion and a multimillion-pound manufacturing fund opening for expressions of interest.

The appointment of Tim Pick as the first UK Offshore Wind Champion was confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng today.

The Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) will provide £160 million in government funding to boost floating offshore wind capability around the UK at sites in Scotland, Wales and elsewhere by supporting manufacturers and giving private investors the confidence to back this emerging sector which is expected to rapidly expand in the years ahead.

Floating offshore wind needs the following components.

  • Wind turbines, which are the same as those used onshore.
  • Floats, which are generally made from steel, but concrete can also be used. There are a few proven designs, like the Windfloat from Principle Power.
  • Mooring systems for the turbines.
  • Electrical substations and cables.

There is also a need for deep water docks, with large cranes to assemble the systems, prior to towing the turbines into position.

Floating offshore wind is a new industry and there will be new ideas coming through from innovators.

I feel that the strategy could help bring new ideas through.

 

May 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | 10 Comments

Wind And Solar Boom Will Bring Energy Surplus

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

Under the picture, is this sub-title.

The government has set a target of 50 gigawatts of offshore wind farms by 2030, up from about 10 gigawatts at present.

According to this Wikipedia list of offshore wind farms, the UK currently has 2180 offshore turbines with a capacity of 8113 MW.

These wind farms appear to be planned.

Hornsea

The Hornsea wind farm is currently supplying 1.2 GW to the grid, but it is planned to be expanded to 6 GW, which is another 4.8 GW.

East Anglia Array

The East Anglia Array is currently supplying 0.7 GW to the grid, but it is planned to be expanded to 7.2 GW, which is another 6.5 GW.

Sofia

The Sofia wind farm will supply 1.4 GW from 2026.

Moray East

The Moray East wind farm will supply 0.95 GW from 2022.

Neart Na Gaoithe

The Neart Na Gaoithe wind farm will supply 0.45 GW from 2023.

Triton Knoll

The Triton Knoll wind farm will supply 0.86 GW from 2022.

Seagreen

The Seagreen wind farm will supply 1.1 GW from 2023.

Dogger Bank

The Dogger Bank wind farm will supply 3.6 GW from 2025.

Moray West

The Moray West wind farm will supply 1.2 GW from 2025.

Rampion 2

The Rampion 2 wind farm will supply 1.2 GW before 2030.

Norfolk Boreas

The Norfolk Boreas wind farm will supply 1.8 GW before 2030

Norfolk Vanguard

The Norfolk Vanguard wind farm will supply 1.8 GW before 2030

These wind farms total up to 31.1 GW

Morgan And Mona

The Morgan and Mona wind farms will supply 3 GW from 2028.

ScotWind

This map shows the wind farms in the latest round of leasing in Scotland.

These wind farms should be providing 24.8 GW by 2030.

Celtic Sea

In Two More Floating Wind Projects In The Celtic Sea, I give details of six wind farms to be developed in the Celtic Sea, that will produce a total of 1.2 GW.

All should be delivered by 2030.

Northern Horizons

In Is This The World’s Most Ambitious Green Energy Solution?, I talk about Northern Horizons, which will produce 10 GW of wind energy from 2030.

An Armada Of Wind Farms

As many of these wind farms will be floating and wind-powered, the collective noun must surely be an armada.

These are some figures.

  • The size is certainly spectacular at 70.1 GW.
  • As the UK electricity consumption in 2020-2021 was 265.4 TWh, the average hourly production throughout the year is 30.3 GW.
  • As I write this post, the UK is generating 30.1 GW.

As the best offshore wind farms have a capacity factor of around fifty percent, we should be able to power the UK with wind power alone.

So when The Times says this in the first two paragraphs of the article.

Britain will have excess electricity supplies for more than half of the year by 2030 as a huge expansion of wind and solar power transforms the energy system, a new analysis suggests.

Energy storage technologies, including batteries and electrolysers to make hydrogen, will need to be deployed at massive scale to prevent this surplus electricity going to waste, according to LCP, a consultancy.

The article would appear to correct.

The Need For Energy Storage

If we look at energy production at the current time, energy production is as follows.

  • Biomass – 0.5 GW
  • Gas – 17 GW
  • Nuclear – 5 GW
  • Onshore Wind – 12 GW with 20 % capacity factor – 2.4 GW
  • Offshore Wind – 8.1 GW with 30 % capacity factor – 2.4 GW
  • Interconnects – 0.4 GW
  • Others – 0.5 GW

This totals up to 28.2 GW.

In 2030, energy production could be as follows.

  • Biomass – 0.5 GW
  • Nuclear – 5 GW
  • Onshore Wind – 12 GW with 20 % capacity factor – 2.4 GW
  • Offshore Wind – 30 GW with 30 % capacity factor – 9 GW
  • Floating Offshore Wind – 40 GW with 50 % capacity factor – 20 GW
  • Others – 0.5 GW

This totals up to 37.4 GW.

So if you take a typical day, where on average throughout the day we are producing around 7 GW more of electricity than we need, we will actually produce around 7 * 24 GWh = 168 GWh of excess electricity

Whichever was you look at it, we have got to do something concrete with a large amount of electricity.

  • Store it in batteries of various types from lithium ion, through new types of batteries like those being developed by Highview Power and Gravitricity to pumped hydro storage.
  • Store the energy in the batteries of electric cars, vans, buses, trucks, trains and ships.
  • Store the energy in Norwegian pumped hydro storage.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and blend the hydrogen with the natural gas supply.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and use the hydrogen to make zero-carbon steel, concrete and chemicals.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and develop new zero-carbon industries.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and store the hydrogen in a depleted gas field.
  • Sell it to Europe, either as electricity or hydrogen.

Note.

  1. We are going to have to build a lot of batteries and I suspect they will be distributed all round the country.
  2. We are going to have to build a lot of hydrogen electrolysers.
  3. We have world class battery and electrolyser companies.

We should also fund the following.

  • Developments of technology, that makes better batteries, electrolysers, boilers and heat pumps.
  • I would also do a lot of work to increase the capacity factor of wind farms.

I also believe that if we have masses of electricity and hydrogen, we might find as a country, it’s very beneficial in terms of jobs, exports and a healthier economy to invest in certain industries.

Conclusion

The future is rosy.

 

May 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 4 Comments

DP Energy And Offshore Wind Farms In Ireland

DP Energy are a company that are developing these offshore wind farms in Ireland.

Clarus Offshore Wind Farm

Located off the West Coast of Ireland, the Clarus Offshore Wind Farm project will utilise Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) technology and upon completion, will have the potential capacity of up to 1 GW.

Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park

Located off the South Coast of Ireland, the Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park project will utilise Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) technology and upon completion, will have the potential capacity of up to 1 GW.

Latitude 52 Offshore Wind Farm

DP Energy has given the name Latitude 52 to the area it is exploring for a potential future offshore wind farm off the coast of Counties Wicklow and Wexford.

It appears to be another 1 GW project.

Shelmalere Offshore Wind Farm

Located off the East Coast of Ireland, the Shelmalere Offshore Windfarm project will utilise fixed bottom wind turbines and upon completion, will have the potential capacity of up to 1 GW.

Note.

  1. These wind farms are being developed in a partnership with Spanish Energy company; Iberdrola.
  2. Each is a one GW offshore wind farm.

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.

Interconnectors

Interconnectors are to be built to connect Ireland, UK and France.

The Celtic Interconnector is being built between County Cork in Ireland and the North West Coast of France.

Greenlink is being built between County Wexford in Ireland and Pembroke in Wales.

Conclusion

Are the British, Irish and French governments, planning to build a large wind power resource in the Celtic Sea?

May 1, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Massive Task For Ukraine?

After the Russians are thrown out of Ukraine, it will be a massive task to rebuild Ukraine.

But one of Ukraine’s traditional industries can also be used to transform the world.

The Transformation Of Energy Production To Floating Offshore Wind

I believe that over the next few years, we will see an enormous transformation of zero-carbon energy to floating offshore wind.

  • The floating offshore wind industry is planning to use the next-generation of larger wind turbines of up to 20 MW.
  • These turbines are too large and intrusive to install onshore.
  • Floating wind turbines generally have a higher capacity factor of over 50 %, than onshore turbines.
  • Each wind turbine will be mounted on a substantial semi-submersible float, which is built out of large-diameter steel tubes
  • The wind turbines are of the same design, as those installed onshore.
  • There are several designs for the floats and they are usually based on designs that have worked in the oil and gas industry.

The world will need millions of floating turbines and an equivalent number of floats to fully decarbonise.

Could The Ukrainians Build The Floats?

Consider.

  • The Russians have destroyed Mariupol, whilst the Ukrainians have defended the city in the steelworks.
  • Mariupol used to have a large shipbuilding industry.
  • Ukraine is in the world’s top ten of iron ore producers.
  • There is a lot of scrap steel available in the Ukraine, that the Russians have left behind.
  • The Ukrainians probably have a lot of workers, who have the skills to build the floats.

I’m sure something could be arranged for the benefit of everybody.

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two More Floating Wind Projects In The Celtic Sea

In Two Celtic Sea Floating Wind Projects Could Be Delivered By 2028, I said this.

There now appears to be four floating wind farms under development in the Celtic Sea between the South-West corner of Wales and the Devon and Cornwall Peninsular.

  • 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

But they do create a starter for a GW.

Last night, I found two other projects being developed in the Celtic Sea, under the collective name of the Llŷr Project.

The sponsoring company, which appears to be called Llŷr Wind has a web site, with a title of Harnessing Welsh Energy, which has this outline description underneath.

Situated off the Pembrokeshire coast, in southwest Wales, is a flagship project that could transform the world’s ability to generate renewable electricity from wind. The Llŷr projects are exploring the potential of two innovative floating offshore wind technologies.

The next statement is key.

Combined, the two 100MW projects will generate enough renewable electricity to power around 250,000 homes. If successful, we will be able to offer highly cost-effective, floating offshore wind farms to the rest of the world by 2030.

The Llŷr Project would appear to be a research project to find the best way to generate electricity using floating wind turbines in deep water.

  • It appears that the two wind farms will use different floats for the turbines.
  • The Llŷr projects are located in the approaches to the Bristol Channel in the Celtic Sea approximately 40 kilometres offshore at depths averaging 60-70 metres.
  • These offshore sites enjoy high average windspeeds which are, typically, in excess of 10 metres per second. That is over twenty miles per hour.
  • Each 100MW project will comprise 6 to 8 next-generation turbines which are too large to be deployed on land.
  • 6 x 20 MW turbines will be 120 MW.
  • 8 x 12 MW turbines will be 96 MW.
  • Each project will have an offshore substation.
  • There will be up to two connections for each substation.
  • Will the Llŷr Projects test manufacturers’ new turbine designs?
  • It is hoped that installation of the turbines will start in 2025/26, with power being delivered in 2026/7.
  • The project is being developed by Floventis Energy, which is a joint venture of SBM Offshore and Cierco.

It does look to me that SBM Offshore, who are a Dutch company, are using their extensive oil and gas experience to develop floating offshore wind.

This appears to be a very well-thought out research project in a location, where there is everything needed.

  • Lots of wind, which can be boosted by dragons if needed.
  • Deep water.
  • Ports for assembly of turbines onto floats.
  • Steelworks and fabrication.
  • Good electrical connections to the National Grid.
  • Excellent universities.
  • Good transport connections.
  • An experienced engineering workforce.

There is also the ultimate potential of 50 GW of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.

Conclusion

The Llŷr Project could have a very positive input into the worldwide development of floating offshore wind.

I have read the web sites of Floventis, SBM Offshore and Cierco and these companies appear to be aiming to dominate the floating offshore wind industry.

Their strategy is stated on the Floventis web site.

Our strategy is simple. We plan to maximize the local benefits of our projects and minimize their impact. Our technologies are far more benign than conventional offshore wind and more suited for deployment in remote and sensitive environments.

Already driving demonstration projects in California and the UK, Floventis is building a portfolio of projects to take floating offshore wind, through a stepwise process – increasing project size, to full scale commercial development proposals by 2030.

We believe that the floating offshore wind industry is a model for a “just transition” to clean energy, at scale, which will reward communities, in the broadest sense, with skilled jobs and enhanced social equity.

I can certainly live with that! And I’m certain the world can too!

 

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , | 1 Comment

Highview Chief Rupert Pearce On The Cold Batteries That Could Save The Planet

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

It is an article very much worth a read, as it talks about former Inmarsat boss; Rupert Pearce and his new position as boss at Highview Power.

I have followed Highview Power for a few years.

I first wrote about the company in British Start-Up Beats World To Holy Grail Of Cheap Energy Storage For Wind And Solar, after reading about the company in the Daily Telegraph in August 2019.

They seem to have had good press in the last three years and have generated a steady stream of orders from Spain, Chile and Scotland.

But progress seems to have been slow to get the first full-size system at Carrington completed.

It does seem , that Rupert Pearce could be the professional boss they need?

Highview Power ‘s CRYOBatteries certainly have potential.

Highview Power CRYOBatteries Compared To Lithium-Ion Batteries

Highview Power ‘s CRYOBatteries do not use any exotic metals or materials, that are not readily available, whereas lithium-ion batteries use lots of rare metals and electricity in their manufacture.

CRYOBatteries can also be expanded in capacity by just adding more liquid-air tanks.

Highview Power CRYOBatteries Typically Cost £500 Million

This figure is disclosed in the Sunday Times article.

For that you probably get a power station, with these characteristics.

  • 50 MW Output.
  • Five to eight hour storage.
  • No emissions.
  • Well-understood maintenance.
  • An environmentally-friendly plant.
  • Long battery life.

But my experience tells me, that like large lithium-ion batteries used for grid storage, that CRYOBatteries could be an asset that will appeal to large financial companies.

  • At present, Highview Power have not run a 50 MW CRYOBattery, but once they show high reliability, I can envisage the energy storage funds taking a good look.
  • At £500 million a throw, they are a good size with probably a decent return for insurance companies and pension funds.

See World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant for Aviva’s view on investing in massive green infrastructure.

I very much feel, that with his City connections and experience, that Rupert Pearce might be the right person to arrange financing for CRYOBatteries.

I will add a story from the financing of Artemis, which was the project management system, that I wrote in the 1970s.

Normally we leased or rented the systems, but some companies wanted to buy them outright, so we came up with a price of something like £125,000. Our bank were happy to fund these systems, when the purchaser was someone like BP, Shell, Bechtel, Brown & Root or British Aerospace. Later on, the bank would package together several systems and get us a better deal.

Intriguingly, £125,000 in the late 1970s is about half a billion now. I suspect, I’m being naive to suggest that Highview’s problem of funding multiple sales is similar to the one we had fifty years ago.

Highview Power CRYOBatteries And Wind And Solar Farms

I discussed the use of CRYOBatteries with solar power in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery.

As the Highview Power press release, on which I based the article has now been deleted, I would assume that that project has fallen through. But the principles still apply!

But surely, a wind farm paired with an appropriately-sized CRYOBattery would ensure a steady supply of power?

Could CRYOBatteries Be Used With Floating Offshore Wind Farms?

In ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm, I described an unusual wind farm proposed by Magnora ASA.

  • This page on their web site outlines their project.
  • It will be technology agnostic, with 15MW turbines and a total capacity of 500MW
  • It will use floating offshore wind with a concrete floater
  • It is estimated, that it will have a capacity factor of 56 %.
  • The water depth will be an astonishing 106-125m
  • The construction and operation will use local facilities at Stornoway and Kishorn Ports.
  • The floater will have local and Scottish content.

The floater will be key to the whole wind farm.

  • It will certainly have an offshore substation to connect the wind turbines to the cable to the shore.
  • Magnora may be proposing to add a hydrogen electrolyser.
  • Tanks within the concrete floater can be used to store gases.

I wonder if CRYOBatteries could be installed on the concrete floaters, that would be used to smooth the electrical output of the wind farm?

Note that in the past, concrete semi-submersible concrete structures have been used to host all kinds of gas and oil processing equipment.

Conclusion

I feel that Highview Power have made a good choice of Chief Executive and I have high hopes he can awaken a company with masses of potential.

 

 

April 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments