The Anonymous Widower

BayWa r.e. Unveils Subsidy-Free Floating Wind Project Offshore Portugal

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

This is the first paragraph.

BayWa r.e. has officially applied to secure the rights for an exclusive use of the seabed for a commercial-scale floating offshore wind project in Portugal, which the company said will be the first subsidy-free floating wind farm in the world.

Note.

  1. BayWa are a German company headquartered in Munich.
  2. The windfarm will have a 600 MW capacity in total, in a dedicated zone off the coastline of Viana do Castelo.
  3. It will be a floating wind farm.
  4. Viana do Castelo is situated at the mouth of the Lima River and is about 74 km. to the North of Porto.

But surely the most significant fact about this project is that it is subsidy-free.

BayWa And Subsidy-Free Wind Farms

This page on the BayWa web site is entitled BayWa r.e. Sells UK’s First Subsidy-Free Wind Farm.

This is the first paragraph.

BayWa r.e. has reached a milestone for itself and the UK renewable energy sector with the completion and sale of the country’s first subsidy-free windfarm to James Jones & Sons Ltd and London-based specialist asset manager, Gresham House Asset Management.

Note.

  1. This is the first time, I’ve seen Gresham House associated with wind farms.
  2. BayWa appear to have a fifteen year agreement with Tesco for the generated electricity.

The whole page is a must read.

 

Conclusion

Does this mean, that we will be seeing subsidy-free floating wind farms around the UK?

Get the engineering, manufacturing and financial support right for floating wind farms in the UK and wind farms could be bumper-to-bumper around these islands.

October 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Will Highview Power Affect The Lithium-Ion Grid Battery Market?

In this article on the Telegraph, Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive and ex-head of the satellite company Inmarsat, discloses this.

Highview is well beyond the pilot phase and is developing its first large UK plant in Humberside, today Britain’s top hub for North Sea wind. It will offer 2.5GW for over 12 hours, or 0.5GW for over 60 hours, and so forth, and should be up and running by late 2024.

The Humberside plant is new to me, as it has not been previously announced by Highview Power.

  • If it is built it will be megahuge with a storage capacity of 30 GWh and a maximum output of 2.5 GW.
  • Humberside with its connections to North Sea Wind, will be an ideal location for a huge CRYOBattery.
  • The world’s largest battery is at Ouarzazate Solar Power Station in Morocco and it is 3 GWh.
  • The world’s largest pumped storage power station is Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China and it is 40 GWh.

The proposed Humberside battery also has a smaller sibling under construction at Carrington in Manchester.

This will have a storage capacity of 250 MWh and a maximum output of 50 MW.

Factors Affecting The Choice

Several factors will affect the choice between lithium-ion batteries and Highview Power’s CRYOBattery.

Reliability

Reliability is paramount and whilst lithium-ion batteries batteries have a high level of reliability, there probably needs to be more development and quality assurance before CRYOBatteries have a similar level of reliability.

Size

The largest lithium-ion battery, that has been proposed in the UK, is the 320 MW/640 MWh battery that will be installed at the Gateway Energy Centre in Essex.

This size of CRYOBattery should be possible, but this size is probably in range of both lithium-ion and CRYOBatteries.

Safety

The Wikipedia entry for Battery Storage Power Station has this to say about Safety.

Some batteries operating at high temperatures (sodium–sulfur battery) or using corrosive components are subject to calendar ageing, or failure even if not used. Other technologies suffer from cycle ageing, or deterioration caused by charge-discharge cycles. This deterioration is generally higher at high charging rates. These two types of ageing cause a loss of performance (capacity or voltage decrease), overheating, and may eventually lead to critical failure (electrolyte leaks, fire, explosion).

An example of the latter was a Tesla Megapack in Geelong which caught fire, fire and subsequent explosion of battery farm in Arizona, fire of Moss Landing battery farm. Concerns about possible fire and explosion of a battery module were also raised during residential protests against Cleve Hill solar farm in United Kingdom. Battery fire in Illinois resulted in “thousands of residents” being evacuated, and there were 23 battery farm fires in South Korea over the period of two years. Battery fires may release a number of dangerous gases, including highly corrosive and toxic hydrogen fluoride.

The long term safety of a CRYOBattery is probably not yet known in detail, but I suspect in some applications, CRYOBatteries could be safer than chemical batteries.

Environmental Factors

I suspect that CRYOBatteries can be built without any hard-to-mine or environmentally-unfriendly materials like lithium.

Cost

The article in The Telegraph, says this about costs.

Mr Pearce said Highview’s levelised cost of energy (LCOE) would start at $140-$150, below lithium, and then slide on a “glide path” to $100 with over time.

It does look that the all important factor of cost could be the clincher in the choice between the two systems.

For larger batteries, the CRYOBattery will probably have a larger advantage.

Conclusion

I can see Highview Power and their CRYOBatteries putting up a good fight against lithium-ion batteries, especially with larger batteries, where they have a larger cost advantage.

In the UK, we will know they have won an advantage, if the two big battery-storage funds; Gore Street and Gresham House, start to install CRYOBatteries.

 

 

July 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two-Hour Energy Storage Offers Better Value As UK Frequency Response Market Saturating, Investor Gresham House Says

The title of this post, is the same as this article on Energy Storage News.

I would agree with what Gresham House says and it is my view that we need a lot more energy storage.

I like the system that Highview Power are building at Carrington near Manchester.

  • It has an output of 50 MW.
  • It has a capacity of 250 MWh.

This means it can supply 50 MW for five hours.

As they have sold other systems to Chile, Spain and the United States, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of their systems sold in the UK.

January 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

When Will Energy Storage Funds Take The Leap To New Technology?

This article on the Motley Fool is entitled 3 UK Dividend Shares To Buy Yielding 6%.

This is a paragraph from the article.

The first company on my list is the Gore Street Energy Storage Fund (LSE: GSF). With a dividend yield of just over 6%, at the time of writing, I think this company looks incredibly attractive as an income investment. It is also an excellent way for me to build exposure to the green energy industry.

Just as everybody has a fridge in their house to stop food being wasted, electricity networks with a lot of intermittent resources like wind and solar, needs a device to store electricity, so that it isn’t wasted.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund is being very safe and conservative at the current time, often using batteries from one of Elon Musk’s companies.

You can’t fault that, but they are only barely making a dent in the amount of batteries that will be needed.

If we are generating tens of GW of wind energy, then we need batteries at the GWh level, whereas at the moment a typical battery in Gore Street’s portfolio has only an output of a few megawatts. They don’t state the capacity in MWh.

There is this statement on their web site, about the technology they use.

Although the projects comprising the Seed Portfolio utilise lithium-ion batteries and much of the pipeline of investments identified by the Company are also expected to utilise lithium-ion batteries, the Company is generally agnostic about which technology it utilises in its energy storage projects. The Company does not presently see any energy storage technology which is a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries. However, there are a number of technologies which are being researched which if successfully commercialised, could prove over time more favourable and the Company will closely monitor such developing technologies.

They say they are agnostic about technology and are looking around, but they are sticking with lithium-ion technology.

That technology works, is safe and gives a good return.

But they are at least thinking about moving to new technology.

In the rail industry, it is common for rail leasing companies to get together with train manufacturers or remanufacturers to develop new trains.

As an example, Eversholt Rail and Alstom formed a partnership to develop a hydrogen-powered train for the UK, which I wrote about in Alstom And Eversholt Rail Sign An Agreement For The UK’s First Ever Brand-New Hydrogen Train Fleet.

Worldwide, there are probably upwards of a dozen very promising energy storage technologies, so I am very surprised that energy storage funds, like Gore Street and Gresham House have not announced any development deals.

Conclusion

Energy storage funds could benefit from using some of the financing methods used by rolling stock leasing companies.

December 13, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

1.5GW Of Irish PV To Receive Grid Connection Offers Through ECP Process

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

Note.

  1. There are 85 projects in total.
  2. Several also involve energy storage
  3. Gresham House and Gore Street Energy Storage Funds are involved.

It all seems to be happening in Ireland.

November 23, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Financial Incentive Needed To Drive UK Energy Storage

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

This is the first paragraph.

The lack of an incentive regime for battery projects and the like – whether a fixed feed-in tariff or market-driven contracts-for-difference program – is likely to see the COP26 host miss its 100%-clean-power-by-2035 commitment, according to K2 Management.

As a Control Engineer, I would go for a market-driven contracts-for-difference program, which if properly setup should give feedback, so that eventually, storage and renewable energy production are in equilibrium with the power needed.

It’s not as if, we’re short of ideas for energy storage in the UK.

I think the breakthrough will come, when one of the big energy storage funds like Gresham House or Gore Street decides to back one of the viable environmentally-friendly energy storage concepts, that are currently under development.

I am watching energy storage, as I suspect there could be a big announcement at COP26.

 

November 4, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , | Leave a comment

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund Revenues Boosted Amid Market Volatility

Over the last few years, I have blogged about energy storage and two energy storage funds; Gore Street and Gresham House.

According to an article on Proactive Investors, with the same title as this post, Gore Street hasn’t been doing badly lately and says this about their recent performance.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund PLC said its assets in Great Britain generated revenues two times above forecast in September and added that industry is only at the start of its growth curve.

When I saw the concept of an energy storage fund, as a Control Engineer, I liked it.

The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, so something is needed to cover the gaps in the supply.

The obvious way to cover the gaps is to put a battery in the circuit.

  • When the electricity supply is higher than the demand, the surplus electricity can be stored in a convenient battery connected to the grid.
  • When the reverse is true and there is a deficit of electricity, the energy in the battery can be used to make up the difference.

The battery works with electricity, just like a bank works with money, except that batteries don’t pay interest.

  • The battery owners do make money by buying electricity, when it’s cheap and selling it back at a higher price.
  • Tesla and others will sell you both batteries and the controlling software.
  • Some areas with perhaps high levels of wind and solar or unreliable power supplies could use batteries improve the robustness of the electricity supply.
  • More wind and solar power will inevitably lead to a need for more energy storage.
  • Battery technology will get cheaper in terms of the cost per MWh of storage.
  • Battery-grid interface hardware will get more capable.
  • Management software will get better at balancing the grid.

This all adds up to increasing opportunities at possibly lower costs for energy storage funds like Gore Street and Gresham House.

So we will inevitably see a growth of energy storage funds.

But they will change.

New Battery Technology

There are several new battery technologies, that I believe could prove to be competitive in terms of capacity, cost, efficiency and reliability when compared to lithium-ion batteries.

Some of them will also have the advantage of only using easy-to-source, environmentally-friendly materials in their manufacture.

Some battery technologies are also easier to scale up, in that your have a central unit, which is connected to several stores. So to scale up, you add another store to the central unit. Highview Power’s CRYOBattery works on this principle.

I can see energy storage funds taking off faster, when someone designs the ideal battery for their purposes.

More Energy Storage Funds

We will see more players enter the energy storage fund market, just as we saw more players enter the peer-to-peer lending market. But just as that market attracted men with silly hats, boots and horses, not all will be reputable. But there are signs that banks I might trust are entering the market.

I also think there could be a hybrid model, which is almost a cross between an energy storage fund and peer-to-peer technology.

But be prepared for financial innovation.

And always do due diligence before investing.

Local Energy Storage Funds

I can envisage sensible established players offering investment on a local basis.

So perhaps the residents of a town with a need for a battery, might like to help fund it.

Or just as Aviva with their strong connections to East Anglia helped to fund Greater Anglia’s new trains, they might fund a battery in perhaps Cromer.

Conclusion

I feel the future is very rosy for energy storage funds.

 

October 26, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tesla Batteries Power UK Energy Storage Plan

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

Britain’s energy problems could be alleviated by a new scheme to build power-storage sites across the UK using batteries produced by Tesla, the electric carmaker.

Six sites will be built by Harmony Energy Income Trust.

  • The trust intends to raise £230 million in a stock market listing.
  • The trust was registered on the 1st October 2021.
  • The batteries will be built in rural locations.
  • The sites will use Tesla Magapack batteries and Autobidder software.
  • These batteries charge up in two hours and provide energy for two hours.
  • The sites are “shovel ready”
  • All planning permissions and contracts have been signed.

It would appear that everything is ready to go.

This is a paragraph in The Times article.

The trust is a spin-off from developer Harmony Energy, which found the six sites and obtained the permissions for construction. The developer will retain a minority stake after the listing.

It is also said in the article that two sites at Holes Bay in Dorset and Contego in West Sussex, have already been developed using Tesla batteries.

The Harmony Energy web site lists fifteen wind projects and thirteen battery projects.

  • The average size of the battery projects is an output of 44 MW.
  • If they can supply that for two hours, the average capacity would be 88 MWh.

The company does appear to be developing smaller batteries than the two established energy storage funds; Gore Street and Gresham House. But then everyone can use their own plan.

October 10, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

Cheesecake Energy Secures £1M Seed Investment

The title of this post, is the same as that of this Press Release from Cheesecake Energy.

This is the first paragraph.

Cheesecake Energy Ltd (CEL), a Nottingham, UK-based energy storage startup today announced it has raised £1M in Seed funding to fuel the development of its manufacturing capabilities and support product development of its eTanker storage system. The round was led by Imperial College Innovation Fund alongside prominent investors including Perivoli Innovations, former Jaguar Chairman, Sir John Egan and other angel investors.

And the third and fourth paragraphs describe the technology.

The company’s unique technology, dubbed eTanker, takes established compressed air energy storage concepts and revolutionises them by storing two-thirds of the electricity in the form of heat which can be stored at far lower cost. To store the energy, electric motors are used to drive compressors, which deliver high pressure air & heat into storage units. When the electricity is required, the high-pressure air and heat is passed back through the same compressor (but now working as a turbine), which turns a generator to produce electricity. The company believes its system will cut the cost of storing energy by 30-40% and offers a solution that can be used in several sectors including electric vehicle (EV) charging, heavy industry and renewable energy generation.

The startup has filed 10 patents for stationary, medium-long-duration, long-lifetime energy storage technology. It is based on innovative design work by CEL, a spin-out from over a decade of research at University of Nottingham. Employing circular economy principles, truck engines are converted into zero-emission electrical power-conversion machines for putting energy into and out of storage. Its technology brings together the low cost of thermal storage, the turnaround efficiencies of compressed air energy storage, together with the long life and robustness of a mechanical system, making a game-changing technology in a modular containerised package.

It all sounds feasible to me and if I’d have been asked, I’d have chipped in some of my pension.

The system in some ways can almost be considered a hybrid system that merges some of the principles of Highview Power’s CRYOBattery and Siemens Gamesa’s ETES system of heating large quantity of rock. Although, Cheesecake’s main storage medium is comptressed air, as opposed to the liquid air of the CRYOBattery.

One market they are targeting is the charging of fleets of electric vehicles like buses and from tales I have heard about operators of large numbers of electric buses, this could be a valuable market.

I also noted that the Press Release mentions a National Grid report, that says we will need 23 GW of energy storage by 2030. Assuming we will need to store enough electricity to provide 23 GW for five hours, that will be 115 GWh of energy storage.

At present, pumped storage is the only proven way of storing tens of GWh of energy. In 1984, after ten years of construction, Dinorwig power station (Electric Mountain) opened to provide 9.1 GWh of storage with an output of 1.8 GW.

So ideally we will need another thirteen Electric Mountains. But we don’t have the geography for conventional pumped storage! And as Electric Mountain showed, pumped storage systems are like Rome and can’t be built in a day.

Energy storage funds, like Gresham House and Gore Street are adding a large number of lithium-ion batteries to the grid, but they will only be scratching the surface of the massive amount of storage needed.

Note that at the end of 2020, Gresham House Energy Storage Fund had a fleet of 380 MWh of batteries under management, which was an increase of 200 MWh on 2019. At this rate of growth, this one fund will add 2GWh of storage by 2030. But I estimate we need 115 GWh based on National Grid’s figures.

So I can see a small number of GWh provided by the likes of Gresham House, Gore Street and other City funds going the same route.

But what these energy storage funds have proved, is that you have reliable energy storage technology, you can attract serious investment for those with millions in the piggy-bank.

I believe the outlook for energy storage will change, when a technology or engineering company proves they have a battery with a capacity of upwards of 250 MWh, with an output of 50 MW, that works reliably twenty-four hours per day and seven days per week.

I believe that if these systems are as reliable as lithium-ion, I can see no reason why City and savvy private investors money will not fund these new technology batteries, as the returns will be better than putting the money in a deposit account, with even the most reputable of banks.

At the present time, I would rate Highview Power’s CRYOBattery and Siemens Gamesa’s ETES system as the only two battery systems anywhere near to a reliable investment, that is as safe as lithium-ion batteries.

  • Both score high on being environmentally-friendly.
  • Both rely on techniques, proven over many years.
  • Both don’t need massive sites.
  • Both systems can probably be maintained and serviced in nearly all places in the world.
  • Highview Power have sold nearly a dozen systems.
  • Highview Power are building a 50 MW/250 MWh plant in Manchester.
  • Siemens Gamesa are one of the leaders in renewable energy.
  • Siemens Gamesa have what I estimate is a 130 MWh pilot plant working in Hamburg, which I wrote about in Siemens Gamesa Begins Operation Of Its Innovative Electrothermal Energy Storage System.

Other companies are also targeting this market between lithium-ion and pumped storage. Cheesecake Energy is one of them.

I believe they could be one of the winners, as they have designed a system, that stores both compressed air and the heat generated in compressing it. Simple but efficient.

I estimate that of the 115 GWh of energy storage we need before 2030, that up to 5 GWh could be provided by lithium-ion, based on the growth of installations over the last few years.

So we will need another 110 GWh of storage.

Based on  50 MW/250 MWh systems, that means we will need around 440 storage batteries of this size.

This picture from a Google Map shows Siemens Gamesa’s pilot plant in Hamburg.

I estimate that this plant is around 130 MWh of storage and occupies a site of about a football pitch, which is one hectare.

I know farmers in Suffolk, who own more land to grow wheat, than would be needed to accommodate all the batteries required.

Conclusion

I believe that National Grid will get their 23 GW of energy storage.

 

 

September 28, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gresham House Unveils 45-MW Battery Storage Purchase

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc (LON:GRID) has acquired a 45-MW portfolio of battery storage systems in England, growing its operational fleet to 395 MW.

Gresham House are certainly growing.

As a Control Engineer and mathematical modeller, I certainly like what they are doing.

Modelling the cash-flow and earnings from all these batteries are is one of the sort of multi-variable problems, that I cut my teeth on, in early 1970s.

If I was starting out on my own now, as I did in 1972, Gresham House would be one of the companies I’d approach.

Their latest purchase is interesting in that it includes a 35 MW battery with a twelve year control to load balance for the National Grid.

There must also be a business model emerging for the developers of energy storage.

  • Design and build an energy storage system to satisfy a company or local area’s need.
  • Show it is working successfully for a period of time.
  • Add a nice lucrative contract if you can!

The whole setup is then sold to someone like Gresham House.

At present, Gresham House has a portfolio, which is all lithium-ion storage. I don’t think, it will be a long time before other types of storage are added.

February 2, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment