The Anonymous Widower

So, What Exactly Is Long-Duration Energy Storage?

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

This is the sub-title.

Everyone’s talking about it, and Californians are buying in. Here’s what you need to know about this emerging grid sector.

It describes what California is doing and the sector, with particular reference to Hydrostor, Form Energy and Highview Power.

The article finishes with a section entitled What’s The Catch?

This is the first two paragraphs.

The obvious barrier to a thriving long-duration storage industry is convincing generally conservative power plant customers that emerging technologies quite unlike anything the grid currently uses are safe bets for decades of operation.

Lab tests can reduce the risk, but nothing beats operational, megawatt-scale installations for proving that something works. That’s why the Form deal with Great River Energy is so crucial, as are early projects by Highview Power and Hydrostor. The big exception to technology risk is pumped hydro, which has been used at scale for decades. Those projects grapple instead with high capital expense and environmental concerns.

The article is a must-read and hopefully, this and more articles like it, will convince conservative energy company owners, regulators and governments, that long duration energy storage is the missing link between renewable power and electricity consumers.

At least, the current UK Government has backed two of the most promising British long duration energy storage companies; Gravitricity and Highview Power.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

Highview Power, Enlasa Form JV To Bring Cryogenic Storage To LatAm

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

This is the opening paragraph.

UK’s Highview Power has formed a joint venture (JV) with Chilean backup power supplier Energia Latina SA (Enlasa) to co-develop giga-scale cryogenic energy storage projects in Chile and across Latin America, it was announced on Wednesday.

Highview has designed the CRYOBattery, its proprietary cryogenic energy storage system that uses liquid air as the storage medium and is capable of delivering from 20 MW/100 MWh to more than 200 MW/2 GWh. The company says that its system is comparable to thermal and nuclear in baseload power delivery.

I’ve always liked Highview Power‘s simple idea of storing energy as liquid air.

  • The technology is simple.
  • No nasty or envionmentally-unfriendly substances are used.
  • There must be few countries in the world, who don’t have the expertise to run these plants safely and to the designed performance.
  • As the extract says, the systems can store gigawatts of power.

Not bad, when you consider that cryogenic energy storage was invented by a garage inventor in Hertfordshire.

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Work Underway On Gravitricity Storage Demo

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Winch specialists Huisman have begun on the fabrication of Gravitricity’s €1.1m energy storage demonstrator, which is due for trial in Edinburgh early next year.

The article also gives a few details of the system.

  • It uses a 16 metre lattice tower.
  • Two twenty-five tonne weights are raised and lowered.
  • An output of 250 kW is quoted.

Unless they are using a deep hole to increase the height, Omni’s Potential Energy Calculator says that the stored energy is only 2.18 kWh.

So it will only supply 250 kW for about half a minute.

But as it’s a demo, that is probably enough to validate the concept.

Coal mines with shafts around a thousand metres deep are not unknown in the UK and a system with two twenty-five weights would be able to store a very useful 136 kWh.

But that is still very small compared to Highview Power‘s liquid air battery being build in Manchester, that I wrote about in Climate Emission Killer: Construction Begins On World’s Biggest Liquid Air Battery. That battery has these characteristics.

  • The size of the battery is 250 MWh.
  • It can delivery up to 50 MW of power. which translates to five hours at full power, if the battery is full.
  • If it was already working, it would be the ninth biggest battery of all types, except for pumped storage, in the world.
  • It will be double the size of the largest chemical battery, which was built by Tesla in South Australia.

Both battery technologies are being backed by the UK government.

Conclusion

I don’t believe that the two battery systems will compete directly.

In terms of size in Explaining Gravitricity, I state that in the UK, 2.2 MWh of storage might be possible for Gravitricity. This is very small compared with Highview Power’s 250 MWh in Manchester.

I suspect though, that capital and running costs may well be in Gravitricity’s favour and the system will be ideal for some applications, where space is limited.

Gravitricity’s systems may also be an innovative way of capping dangerous mine shafts.

August 31, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 2 Comments

Gore Street Energy Welcomes Green Light For Larger Battery Projects In England And Wales

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

These are the introductory paragraphs..

Gore Street Energy Fund has welcomed legal changes to allow battery projects larger than 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales.

The new legislation removes energy storage, except pumped hydro, from the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime in England and Wales, said the fund.

This will allow larger projects to receive planning permission without government approval.

I can see why they are pleased, as it removes a level of bureaucracy.

I suspect companies like Highview Power will also be pleased as 50 MW is at the lower end of their battery range.

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , | Leave a comment

Keadby 3 Low-Carbon Power Station

This article on Business Live is entitled Huge Green Power Station Proposed By SSE As It Embraces Hydrogen And Carbon Capture.

SSE Thermal is working on a low-carbon 910 MW gas-fired power station to join Keadby and Keadby 2 power stations in a cluster near Scunthorpe.

A spokesman for SSE is quoted as saying they will not build the plant without a clear route to decarbonisation.

On this page of their web site,  SSE Thermal, say this about Keadby 3.

As part of our commitment to a net zero emissions future, Keadby 3 will only be built with a clear route to decarbonisation, either using hydrogen as a low-carbon fuel, or equipping it with post-combustion carbon capture technology. The project is at the early stages of development and no final investment decision has been made.

It should also be noted that SSE Renewables have also built a wind farm at Keadby. The web site describes it like this.

Keadby Wind Farm is England’s largest onshore wind farm. This 68MW renewable energy generation site can power approximately 57,000 homes.

There are a lot of good intentions here and I think that SSE haven’t disclosed the full picture.

It would seem inefficient to use hydrogen to power a gas-fired power station to achieve zero-carbon power generation.

  • If you are using hydrogen created from steam reforming of methane, this creates a lot of carbon-dioxide.
  • If you are using green hydrogen produced by electrolysis, then, why don’t you store the electricity in a battery?

Perhaps, SSE are trying out a new process?

This Google Map shows the area of Keadby to the West of Scunthorpe.

Note.

The River Trent meandering through the area.

  1. Althorpe station is in the bend of the River,
  2. I’m fairly certain, that I remember an old airfield in the area.
  3. Keadby power station is a bit to the North of the waterway running West from the River and close to where the railway crosses the waterway.

This second Google Map shows a close-up of the power station.

This visualisation from SSE Thermal shows how the site might look in the future.

For me the interesting location is the village of Althorpe, where C and myself had friends.

They were always getting tourists arriving in the village looking for Princess Diana’s grave!

Carbon Capture And Storage At Keadby

If SSE have three large power stations at Keadby, a shared carbon capture and storage system could be worthwhile.

  • There are numerous gas fields in the area and a big gas terminal at Theddlethorpe, to where they all connect.
  • I was surprised to see, that one of thee fields; Saltfleetby is owned by President Putin’s favourite gas company; Gazprom.
  • Some of these fields are actually on-shore.
  • The power stations probably get their gas from the same terminal.

Some of these gas fields that connect to Theddlethorpe could be suitable for storing the carbon dioxide.

As there is masses of space at Keadby, I can see more gas-fired power stations being built at Keadby.

All would feed into the same carbon capture and storage system.

If gas was needed to be imported in a liquified form, there is the Port of Immingham nearby.

Absorption Of Carbon Dioxide By Horticulture

Consider.

  • Increasingly, horticulture is getting more automated and efficient.
  • Automatic harvesters are being developed for crops like tomatoes and strawberries.
  • Instead of storing the carbon-dioxide in worked-out gas fields, it can also be fed directly to fruit and vegetables that are being grown in greenhouses.
  • Keadby is surrounded by the flat lands of Lincolnshire.

How long will it be before we see tomatoes, strawberries, peppers and cucumbers labelled as British zero-carbon products?

Offshore Hydrogen

I’ll repeat what I said in ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration.

This is from a press release from ITM Power, which has the same title as the linked article.

This is the introductory paragraph.

ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to share details of a short project sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in late 2019, entitled ‘Hydrogen supply competition’, ITM Power and Ørsted proposed the following:  an electrolyser placed at the wind turbine e.g. in the tower or very near it, directly electrically connected to the DC link in the wind turbine, with appropriate power flow control and water supplied to it. This may represent a better design concept for bulk hydrogen production as opposed to, for instance, remotely located electrolysers at a terminal or platform, away from the wind turbine generator, due to reduced costs and energy losses.
Some points from the remainder of the press release.

  • Costs can be saved as hydrogen pipes are more affordable than under-water power cables.
  • The proposed design reduced the need for AC rectification.

After reading the press release, it sounds like the two companies are performing a serious re-think on how wind turbines and their links to get energy on-shore are designed.

  • Will they be using redundant gas pipes to bring the hydrogen ashore?
  • Will the hydrogen come ashore at Theddlethorpe and use the existing gas network to get to Keadby?

It sounds inefficient, but then the steelworks at Scunthorpe will probably want masses of hydrogen for carbon-free steel making and processing.

Boosting Power Station Efficiency

There is also a section in the Wikipedia entry for Combined Cycle Power Plant called Boosting Efficiency, where this is said.

The efficiency of CCGT and GT can be boosted by pre-cooling combustion air. This is practised in hot climates and also has the effect of increasing power output. This is achieved by evaporative cooling of water using a moist matrix placed in front of the turbine, or by using Ice storage air conditioning. The latter has the advantage of greater improvements due to the lower temperatures available. Furthermore, ice storage can be used as a means of load control or load shifting since ice can be made during periods of low power demand and, potentially in the future the anticipated high availability of other resources such as renewables during certain periods.

So is the location of the site by the Trent, important because of all that cold water?

Or will they use surplus power from the wind farm to create ice?

The Proposed North Sea Wind Power Hub

The North Sea Wind Power Hub is a proposed energy island complex on the Eastern part of the Dogger Bank.

  • The Dutch, Germans and Danes are leading the project.
  • Along with the Belgians, we have been asked to join.
  • Some reporting on the Hub has shown, airstrips in the middle of the complex to bring the workforce to the site.
  • A Dutch report, says that as much as 110 GW of wind power could be developed by 2050.
  • We are also looking at installing wind farms on our section of the Dogger Bank.

Geography says, that one of the most convenient locations to bring all this electricity or hydrogen gas ashore is North Lincolnshire

A Very Large Battery

I would also put a very large battery on the site at Keadby.

One of Highview Power‘s proposed 1 GWh CRYOBatteries would be a good start. This will be four times the size of the 250 MWh CRYOBattery, which the company is currently designing and building at Carrington in Greater Manchester.

Conclusion

The three power stations at Keadby are the following sizes

  • Keadby 1 – 734 MW
  • Keadby 2 – 803.7 MW
  • Keadby 3 – 010 MW

This adds up to a total of 2447.7 MW. And if they fit carbon capture and storage it will be zero-carbon.

Note.

  • Hinckley Point C is only 3200 MW and will cost around £20 billion or £6.25 billion per GW.
  • Keadby 2 power station is quoted as costing £350 million. or £0.44 billion per GW.

These figures don’t include the cost of carbon capture and storage, but they do show the relatively high cost of nuclear.

 

 

 

July 11, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , | 6 Comments

Highview Power On The Good News Network

If the Good News Network, is what it says on the tin, then I’m pleased that they’ve written this article, which is entitled World’s Biggest Liquid-Air Battery – ‘The Climate-Emission Killer’ – Is Now Under Construction In England.

The article, appears to be a rehash of what appeared in the Guardian, slanted for American readers.

It has the usual American fault of mixing up England with the UK, but surely the fact that it’s on the site, is good news for Highview Power.

June 28, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | | 1 Comment

Do We Need A UK Lithium-Ion Battery Factory?

My post, Gore Street Acquires 50MW Ferrymuir Battery Project, Eyes More In Scotland and the article on the Energyst with the same name, got me thinking.

It was this statement about Gore Street Energy Fund, that really started the thought.

The fund said the addition takes its portfolio built or under development to 293MW and added that is has options for a further 900MW.

Gore Street obviously have the money to build all of this energy storage.

  • I have also looked at some of their projects on Google Maps and there are still plenty of sites on green- or brown-field land close to electricity sub-stations, where energy storage would be easy to connect.
  • I suspect, they have some good engineers or electricity marketing specialists available.
  • My worry, would be, with many countries going the energy storage route, is there enough capacity to build all the batteries we need.

We have three routes, we could easily take in this country.

  • Convert suplus energy to hydrogen using electrolysers from ITM Power in Rotherham.
  • Develop some BALDIES (Build Anywhere Long Duration Intermittent Energy Storage). British technology is available as the CRYObatteryfrom Highview Power, who signed to build their first full-size plant in the UK, last week.
  • Build a lithium-ion battery factory. Preferably of the next generation, so that battery vehicles will go further on a charge.

It is my view, that we should do all three!

Will Gore Street, add a BALDIES to their portfolio of lithium-ion energy storage.

I think the decision makers at Gore Street would sleep comfortably in their beds if they bought a CRYObattery for a location, that needed a larger battery.

Conclusion

As to the answer to my question, the answer is yes, as mobile application will need more and better batteries and on balance, we should have our own supply.

 

 

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | 2 Comments

Air-Powered Energy Storage Knocks Out Coal & Gas — Wait, What?

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

After reading, this must read article, it could have had a title with Knocks Out Coal, Gas and Nuclear.

It makes a passionate article for Highview Power’s long term air-powered energy storage and other systems with a similar energy profile like Form Energy.

It also showed this good graphic from Highview Power, which shows how their system works.

This paragraph gives Highview’s view on what their CRYObatteries will do.

Grid operators are turning to long-duration energy storage to improve power generation economics, balance the grid, and increase reliability. At giga-scale, CRYOBatteries paired with renewables are equivalent in performance to – and could replace – thermal and nuclear baseload power in addition to supporting electricity transmission and distribution systems while providing additional security of supply,” enthuses Highview.

The author then chips in with the attitude of the US Department of Energy.

Don’t just take their word for it. The US Department of Energy is eyeballing long duration energy storage for the sparkling green grid of the future despite all the hot air blowing out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In an interesting twist, the Energy Department’s interest in long duration storage was initially connected to its interest in at least preserving, if not growing, the nation’s aging fleet of nuclear power plants.

Will renewables be able to see off nuclear in a country with plenty of sun and/or wind like the United States?

Conclusion

With a lot of help from their friends in the long term energy storage business, the answer must be yes!

 

June 20, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

World First As Liquid-Air Energy Storage Makes Commercial Debut Near Manchester United Ground

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

I can add some extra information starting with this picture from Highview Power, which shows a visualisation of the CRYObattery.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t show any objects, which can give an idea of the size of the plant.

Levelised Cost Of Energy

LCOE or Levelised Cost Of Energy will be a term, that will be increasing used, when electricity generation is discussed. This is Wikipedia’s definition of the term.

The levelized cost of energy (LCOE), or levelized cost of electricity, is a measure of the average net present cost of electricity generation for a generating plant over its lifetime. The LCOE is calculated as the ratio between all the discounted costs over the lifetime of an electricity generating plant divided by a discounted sum of the actual energy amounts delivered. The LCOE is used to compare different methods of electricity generation on a consistent basis. The LCOE “represents the average revenue per unit of electricity generated that would be required to recover the costs of building and operating a generating plant during an assumed financial life and duty cycle.” Inputs to LCOE are chosen by the estimator. They can include cost of capital, “fuel costs, fixed and variable operations and maintenance costs, financing costs, and an assumed utilization rate.

Make sure, when comparing different LCOE values for different methods of energy generation, that the same method was used to calculate LCOE.

Comparative Costs

The article quotes the following costs on an LCOS or Levelised Cost Of Storage basis, which enables comparison to be made according to the same rules.

  • A 200 MW/2 GWh CRYObattery will cost £110/MWh
  • Pumped storage/hydro will cost £123-150/MWh
  • Lithium-ion will cost £231-470/MWh

I have converted some from dollars.

I do think that  a 2 GWh CRYObattery could be very good value!

Income

The article says this about how the CRYObattery will earn us keep.

Income will come through grid balancing, ancillary services such as frequency response and voltage support, and arbitrage — buying electricity when wholesale prices are low and selling it when prices are high.

I suspect that if a company like Carlton Highview Power had several large batteries around the country, this would be an advantage to the company.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | | 1 Comment

Will BALDIES Save The World?

I just had to use this new acronym, I’ve just found on the Internet.

BALDIES are Build-Anywhere-Long-Duration-Intermittent-Energy-Storage.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | 2 Comments