The Anonymous Widower

Three Steps To Unlocking The Potential Of High-Power Wind Turbines

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

This is the first paragraph.

The critical role of wind in the world’s future energy needs is clear: the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition states that 1,400 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind power will sustain one tenth of global electricity demand by 2050. Key to achieving this is the upward power rating of wind turbines, which we anticipate will reach an individual turbine capacity of 20 GW within the next five years.

The article is a must-read.

After reading the article, I am convinced that there will be 20 MW turbines in five years.

When turbines of this size are readily available, it is likely that the rate of installation of wind turbines will increase.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , | 2 Comments

BP, Equinor And Ithaca To Explore Electrification Options Of West Of Shetland Oil And Gas Fields

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

This is the sub-heading.

BP, Equinor, and Ithaca Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore electrification options for their offshore production facilities in the West of Shetland area.

Three oil & gas fields off the UK are to be electrified.

  • the BP-operated Clair is 47 miles to the West of Shetland
  • the Equinor-operated Rosebank is 90 miles to the North-West of Shetland
  • the Ithaca-operated Cambo is 78 miles to the North-West of Shetland

Note

  1. Clair is the largest oilfield on the UK Continental Shelf.
  2. Rosebank could be a very difficult field to develop.
  3. Clair is operating and Rosebank and Cambo are being developed.

If these fields were operated conservatively and in a carbon-free manner, they could provide a steady amount of oil and gas, to help deliver the UK to the new age of renewables and hydrogen.

The article says this about electrification.

Electrification solutions could include power from the shore, potentially from onshore wind or from offshore wind. Full electrification of the abovementioned fields would require around 200 MW of power, Equinor said.

Note.

  1. I would suspect the distance to Shetland and the need for 200 MW, will mean that an offshore solution will be chosen.
  2. Would the Shetlanders welcome a wind farm of up to twenty large turbines?
  3. Waters are likely to be so deep, that floating wind turbines will be likely to be needed.
  4. In a year, 1752 GWh of electricity will be needed.

I will now answer some simple questions.

How Much Carbon Dioxide Would Be Saved?

According to this web page, the CO2 generated by burning natural gas is 0.185 kg / kWh.

I estimate that electrifying these three fields will stop the emission of around 324,120 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

How Many Turbines Will Be Needed?

Current floating wind turbines are around eight to ten MW. So somewhere between 20 and 25 turbines will be needed.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like 24 x 8.3 MW turbines arranged in three wind farms of eight turbines, with one wind farm to each oil or gas field.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Powerhouses Clash Offshore California In Bid To Build Wind Farms

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

This is the first paragraph.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is holding a live auction, starting on 6 December, for the rights to develop floating offshore wind energy projects in five areas off the California Coast.

Note, that the auction is live. It could be a new television sport with companies bidding billions, for up to 4.5 GW of leases.

The heavyweights from Europe, who are qualified to bid include BP, EDF, Equinor, Ferrovial, Hexicon, Ideol, Orsted, RWE, Shell, SSE and TotalEnergies.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Project To Develop 20+ MW Floating Offshore Wind Technology Kicks Off

This is the introductory paragraph.

A consortium of thirteen partners has launched the NextFloat project in Paris aimed at accelerating the rollout of the next generation of floating wind technology for a competitive, more scalable, and industrial deployment. 

As some of the thirteen partners are serious players in the development and deployment of floating wind, I would assume that they believe that 20+ MW turbines are more than a remote possibility.

I remember in the days of North Sea oil and gas, a senior project manager told me, that as cranes got larger, this meant that modules could get larger and project times got shorter.

As turbines get larger, I wouldn’t be surprised to see construction times for wind farms get shorter.

This will have various beneficial effects.

  • Expensive equipment like cranes and support ships, will not be hired for so long.
  • The wind farm will be commissioned and start to deliver electricity earlier.
  • The total wind turbine capacity installed in a year will increase.

Cashflows will be generally be more favourable all round.

December 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Secret Of The TwinHub

I was reading about the TwinHub, which is a pair of wind turbines, that are to be mounted on a single float.

There is an explanatory video on the TwinHub home page. Just scroll the page down and you’ll find a full page video, that is rather beautiful and slightly hypnotic.

But note how it stops and starts in the wind and turns itself into a position, so that it is generating the maximum amount of wind.

So how does it do that?

It is not by clever computers and a whole host of actuators, but by good old-fashioned aerodynamics.

Above the video, there is a picture of the sea, with these words underneath.

This demonstration project will be located at the Wave Hub site, and will consist of two floating platforms anchored to the seabed. Each floating platform will host two turbines with inclined towers. The total installed capacity will be between 30 to 40 MW.

Two words are the key to the design – inclined towers.

The wind will apply a force to each turbine and because the towers are inclined, this will apply a force, that will turn the turbines so they are facing the wind. This will maximise the power generated.

The design is elegant, efficient and enchanting.

I can see the TwinHub becoming an unusual tourist attraction in Cornwall.

 

November 30, 2022 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , | 1 Comment

Small Nuclear Power Plants To Replace Gas In Quest For Net Zero

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

I was very much involved in the writing of project management software in the last three decades of the last century and if there’s one thing we’re generally good at in the UK, it’s complex project management.

Usually problems arise because of political or ignorant senior management meddling.

Our Energy Saviours

I believe our two energy saviours will be floating offshore wind and small nuclear reactors (SMRs) and both need good project management to be built successfully on production lines.

So I don’t see any reason, why we can’t build large numbers of floating offshore wind farms to supply our electricity.

They are also complimentary, in that the fleet of SMRs back up the wind.

Floating Wind First

Floating wind is likely to be developed at scale first, as certifying anything involving nuclear will take an inordinate time.

The electricity from floating wind farms will keep us going, but it is also starting to develop a nice line in exports.

This press release from Drax is entitled Britain Sending Europe Power Lifeline – Report, where this is the sub-title.

For the first time in over a decade, Britain became a net exporter of electricity to its European neighbours, making around £1.5bn for the economy in three months.

Note.

  1. The report was written by Imperial College.
  2. Two new interconnectors; Viking Link and NeuConnect between the UK and Europe are under construction.
  3. Several large wind farms are under construction and will be commissioned in 2023/24 and could add over 4 GW to UK electricity production.

Exports will only get better.

A Sprint For Wind

So we must have a sprint for wind, which will then provide the cash flow to allow the SMRs to roll in.

Or will that be too much for the ultra-greens, who would object to cash-flow from GWs of wind being used to fund SMRs?

November 26, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Celtic Cluster Launches New Regional Strategy To Maximise Offshore Wind Benefits

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

This is the sub-heading.

The Celtic Sea Cluster has released a new Regional Strategy that outlines how Wales and South West England can maximise floating offshore wind technology benefits, in line with the forthcoming Celtic Sea leasing process being delivered by the Crown Estate.

Who comprise the Celtic Cluster? This paragraph gives the answer.

According to the Cluster, which is led by its founding partners, the Welsh Government, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, Celtic Sea Power, Marine Energy Wales, and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the strategy will allow the region’s stakeholders to ensure their activities are aligned and can achieve their common objectives.

I am surprised the Irish aren’t involved politically.

  • The Irish Republic has a coastline on the Celtic Sea.
  • There are a lot of Irish companies, finance and engineers involved in wind farm development.

But the cluster does have a firm ambition, according to the article.

The Cluster’s ambition is to establish the Celtic Sea region as a world leader in floating offshore wind by 2030 and to deliver 4 GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea by 2035, with the potential to grow to 20 GW by 2045.

Note.

  1. The Wikipedia entry for the Celtic Sea, gives the sea an area of 300,000 km2.
  2. 20 GW or 20,000 MW is to be installed by 2045.

That is an energy density of just 0.067 MW/km2.

In ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations, I calculated that ten floating wind farms had an average energy density of about 3.5 MW per km².

I wouldn’t bet against a few more floating wind turbines being squeezed into the Celtic Sea.

 

November 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

100 MW Scottish Floating Wind Project To Deliver Lifetime Expenditure Of GBP 419 Million

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

This is the sub heading, that gives more details on lifetime expenditure and full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs created.

The 100 MW Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm in Scotland is estimated to deliver lifetime expenditure of GBP 419 million in the UK and to support the creation of up to 1,385 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

It does seem these figures have been compiled using the rules that will apply to all ScotWind leases and have used methods laid down by Crown Estate Scotland. So they should be representative!

Does it mean that a 1 GW floating wind farm would have a lifetime expenditure of £4.19 billion and create 13, 850 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs?

This article from Reuters is entitled UK Grid Reforms Critical To Hitting Offshore Wind Targets and contains this paragraph.

The government aims to increase offshore wind capacity from 11 GW in 2021 to 50 GW by 2030, requiring huge investment in onshore and offshore infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland.

If I assume that of the extra 39 GW, half has fixed foundations and half will float, that means that there will be 19.5 GW of new floating wind.

Will that mean £81.7 billion of lifetime expenditure and 270,075 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs?

Conclusion

It does seem to me, that building floating offshore wind farms is a good way to bring in investment and create full time jobs.

 

November 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MingYang Turbines to Spin on Hexicon’s Floating Offshore Wind Project

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

This is the sub-heading, which outlines MingYang’s part in the project.

Hexicon has selected China-headquartered Mingyang Smart Energy (Mingyang) as the preferred turbine supplier for its flagship 32 MW TwinHub floating offshore wind project in the UK.

These two paragraphs add more detail.

Hexicon has also awarded Mingyang the wind turbine generator Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract for the project, which is located 16 kilometres off the coast of Cornwall, England.

TwinHub will use Hexicon’s TwinWind floating foundation technology which will allow two of Mingyang’s MySE 8.0-180 wind turbines to be placed on a single foundation, which could enable more energy to be generated in a given area while reducing the environmental impact compared with a single foundation.

It’s rather a pity, that Swedish company; Hexicon should be using Chinese turbines and design contracts.

  • I’m sure that one of the European manufacturers could have supplied 8 MW turbines.
  • Some might even have parts made in the UK.

Perhaps, Hexicon see China as a major market for their TwinHub floating foundation technology.

On the other hand, I have experience of doing the floatation mathematics for large structures from my work with Balaena Structures in the 1970s and feel they are not as straightforward as some might think. But Hexicon may feel their design doesn’t hold any secrets!

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hywind Tampen

In Equinor Sets Sights On Gigawatt-Scale Floating Offshore Wind Projects In Celtic Sea, I said this about Hywind Tampen.

Equinor is also currently constructing the 88 MW Hywind Tampen project in Norway, which will be the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world when completed in 2023.

This page on the Equinor web site gives more details of Hywind Tampen.

  • Hywind Tampen is a floating wind farm under construction that will provide electricity for the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas fields in the Norwegian North Sea.
  • It will be the world’s first renewable power for offshore oil and gas.
  • With a system capacity of 88 MW it will also be the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm.
  • The wind farm will consist of eleven 8 MW turbines.

When Hywind Tampen is operational, Equinor will operate nearly half (47 percent) of the world’s floating wind capacity.

This paragraph from the Equinor web page is significant.

The wind farm is estimated to meet about 35% of the annual electricity power demand of the five Snorre A and B, and Gullfaks A, B and C platforms. In periods of higher wind speed this percentage will be significantly higher.

I take this to mean that the gas turbines that currently supply the five platforms will be left in place and that their output will be replaced by wind power, when it is available.

The INTOG Program

I described this in What Is INTOG?, and it is the UK’s program, that includes electrification of rigs and platforms.

The first leases under INTOG would appear to be expected in March 2023.

Decarbonisation Of Offshore Operations Around The World

I’m sure that if Hywind Tampen and/or INTOG is successful, that the technology will be used where possible around the world.

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment