The Anonymous Widower

Ireland Awards 3.1 GW Offshore Wind Capacity In First ORESS 1 Auction

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

This is the sub-heading.

Ireland has selected four projects with a combined capacity of nearly 3,100 MW in the first offshore wind auction under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 1).

The four wind farms are.

  1. The 1,300 MW Codling Wind Park owned and developed by a 50/50 joint venture of Fred Olsen Seawind and EDF Renewables.
  2. The 824 MW Dublin Array owned and developed by RWE.
  3. The 500 MW North Irish Sea Array (NISA), owned and developed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Statkraft.
  4. The 450 MW Sceirde Rocks wind farm owned and developed by Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (FST), a joint venture owned by Corio Generation, a portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, and global infrastructure investor, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.


  1. That makes a total of 3074 MW.
  2. All wind farms already have web sites.
  3. Looking at the web sites, it appears all wind farms will have fixed foundations and some seem to be located on convenient sandbanks.
  4. This is equivalent to over a third of Ireland’s entire electricity consumption this year and over a quarter of projected 2030 electricity demand.
  5. This  article on, which is entitled Fred. Olsen Seawind And EDF Renewables Win Big Offshore Ireland, gives more details of the first wind farm.
  6. This  article on, which is entitled 500 MW for Statkraft And CIP In First Irish Offshore Wind Auction, gives more details of the third wind farm.
  7. Given SSE’s large presence in Ireland, I’m surprised they didn’t obtain a lease.

The auction results appear to have surpassed the expectations of the Irish government.





May 11, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Irish ESB Joins Northland Power On Two Scottish Offshore Wind Projects

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

This is the sub-heading.

ESB will acquire a 24.5 per cent interest in Northland Power’s ScotWind projects, the fixed-bottom offshore wind farm Spiorad na Mara and the floating wind project Havbredey. Northland will retain 75.5 per cent in each project and continue to lead their development, construction, and operation

This is the first paragraph.

The companies have signed definitive agreements on ESB’s purchase of project stakes, with all commitments made prior to the agreements to remain in place.

Last month, I wrote ESB Invests In Floating Offshore Wind Mooring Tech. so are they in acquisitive mode?

This map from Cross Estate Scotland shows all the ScotWind contracts.

ESB now lrasr the following stakes in ScotWind.

Their details are as follows.

  • 14 – Havbredey – Floating – 1500 MW – 25 %
  • 16 – Spiorad na Mara – Fixed – 840 MW – 25 %
  • 20 – Unnamed – Floating – 500 MW – 100 %

These figures mean they lease about a GW.

I have my thoughts.

Will There Be A Multi-Purpose Interconnector between Ireland And Scotland?

Nothing has been mentioned yet, but could new wind farms om the future to the West of the Hebrides be connected to both the North of Scotland and the North of Ireland by a multi-purpose interconnector?

May 10, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ireland To Develop National Industrial Strategy For Offshore Wind

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

This is the sub-heading.

Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, has announced plans to develop a National Industrial Strategy for Offshore Wind which will set out how Ireland can maximise the economic opportunity arising from the production of offshore wind energy

Ireland’s current objectives for offshore wind are.

  1. To deliver 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
  2. A further 2 GW of floating wind to be in development by 2030.
  3. The target for offshore wind could rise to at least 37 GW by 2050.
  4. There is a target to provide 80 per cent of the country’s electricity to be from renewable sources by 2030.

The government appears to recognise collaborative approach between state and industry is needed.

Nothing is said about co-operation with Northern Ireland or the UK.

This is despite.

  • UK and Irish companies like ESB, Flotation Energy, Simply Blue Group and SSE have projects in both countries.
  • Irish company; ESB is developing the Malin Sea Wind wind farm in Scottish waters and landing the electricity near Derry City.
  • Scottish company; SSE is building biomass power stations in Ireland.
  • Some promising waters for wind power are shared between the two countries.
  • There are three interconnectors between the two main islands.

I would expect that there could be some multi-purpose interconnectors across the Irish and Celtic Seas.

These would connect windfarms between the islands to both the UK and Ireland. National Grid and TenneT are building the LionLink between England and The Netherlands, which I wrote about in World’s Largest-Of-Its-Kind Power Line To Deliver Clean Power To 1.8m UK Homes And Boost Energy Security.

I very much feel, that there will be a lot of co-operation between the UK and Irish governments as if they work together, the development of Ireland’s offshore wind and that of the West Coast of the UK could be more efficient.


May 10, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Businesses Back Hydrogen Trials To Accelerate Net Zero Ambitions

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on Centrica.

These are the three main findings of a business survey, to ascertain attitudes to hydrogen.

  • Three quarters (77%) of businesses back hydrogen as part of their energy improvement strategy with a quarter (27%) intending to trial or implement it in the next two years.
  • Almost one in ten (8%) respondents say they have already installed hydrogen-ready combined heat and power (CHP) units.
  • A third (33%) of firms say energy costs are motivating them to adopt hydrogen.

This paragraph details who were surveyed.

We surveyed 500 executives in December 2022 and January 2023 across food and beverage manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality and travel, pharmaceutical manufacturing, heavy industry, horticulture and light industry. 24% of respondents were from the UK, 16% Ireland, 20% Netherlands, 20% Italy, 20% Hungary.

It certainly looks to be a well-constructed survey, with a wide range of respondents.

I have some thoughts.

Centrica And Combined Heat And Power

I was initially surprised that eight percent of respondents had already installed hydrogen-ready combined heat and power units.

But according to Centrica Announces Hydrogen Ready Combined Heat And Power Partnership With 2G, Centrica are preparing themselves for selling systems in this area.

Businesses Are Certainly Looking At Hydrogen

A figure of 77 % of businesses are looking at hydrogen and 27 % are investing in hydrogen.

But I don’t think the average man on the Clapham Omnibus would be so enthusiastic.

Costs Are Motivating Firms To Adopt Hydrogen

I would be surprised if costs didn’t have an effect.

But if costs are driving them towards hydrogen, then hydrogen must be more affordable.

Which is one in eye for hydrogen deniers, who always tell me it is more expensive.

Are Centrica Working To Drop Their Costs?

These posts would suggest they are.

They are doing deals with start-ups and repurposing old plants and pipelines.


Centrica seem to be leading the charge to hydrogen in the UK.

April 19, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SSE Renewables Unveils Plans For Wind Farm Offshore Ireland’s Atlantic Coast

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

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Renewables is seeking an investigative foreshore licence to facilitate survey work for a possible new offshore wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Tarbert, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

This Google Map shows the approximate location of Tarbert.

These two paragraphs outline the project.

SSE Renewables has recently submitted an application for an investigative foreshore licence to Ireland’s Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and is seeking approval for investigative surveys of the seabed for an offshore wind project which could generate up to 1 GW of energy.

These geophysical, geotechnical, and environmental surveys are required to inform the renewable energy developer’s understanding of the prevailing environmental and met-ocean conditions at the foreshore investigative array area, which is a minimum of 13 kilometres offshore.

This is SSE Renewables’ first licence application for an offshore wind project off the west coast of Ireland.

In SSE Thermal Secures 10-year Contracts For Two New Low-Carbon Power Stations In Ireland, I talked about two biomass power stations at Tarbert in Co. Kerry and Platin in Co. Meath.

It looks like the Tarbert wind farm and power station will work as a team and back each other up.

We Mustn’t Forget Platin!

This Google Map shows Dublin and its position relative to the North Wales coast.


  1. Platin is marked by the red arrows to the North of Dublin.
  2. Platin also appears to be the head office and a manufacturing site of Irish Cement, who probably are a large user of energy.
  3. The sea between Blackpool, Liverpool, Anglesey and the Isle of Man is full of wind turbines.

These wind farms are located in this area of UK waters.

  • Barrow – 30 MW
  • Burbo Bank – 90 MW
  • Burbo Bank Extension – 258 MW
  • Gwynt y Môr – 576 MW
  • Ormonde – 150 MW
  • Rhyl Flats – 90 MW
  • Walney – 367 MW
  • Walney Extension – 650 MW
  • West Of Duddon Sands – 389 MW
  • Mona – 1500 MW – Being Planned
  • Morecambe – 480 MW – Being Planned
  • Morgan – 1500 MW – Being Planned
  • Awel y Môr – 500 MW – Being Planned


  1. 2600 MW has been commissioned.
  2. 3980 MW is being planned.

I would not be surprised to see SSE or one of their friends, build a GW-scale wind farm between Anglesey, Dublin and Dundalk.

Is Ireland apparently lagging behind the UK, because the waters near the Irish coast are deeper and would need still-developing floating wind technology?


It looks like the Irish government and SSE are planning a low-carbon electricity system for Ireland.

April 6, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

SSE Thermal Secures 10-year Contracts For Two New Low-Carbon Power Stations In Ireland

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

These first two paragraphs outline the two projects.

SSE Thermal, as part of SSE plc, has provisionally secured 10-year capacity agreements for its two proposed new-build power stations in Ireland which would run on sustainable biofuel.

The proposed low-carbon units at Tarbert in Co. Kerry and Platin in Co. Meath received the contracts in the T-4 Capacity Auction to commence in the 2026/27 delivery year.


  1. Both plants would help to protect security of supply and provide flexible backup to Ireland’s growing renewables sector.
  2. This Wikipedia entry is entitled Renewable Entry In Ireland and states that by the end of 2021, Ireland had 4.4 GW of onshore wind, with the intention of adding 5 GW of offshore wind, by 2030.
  3. The proposed units will initially run on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (or HVO), which is produced by processing waste oils to create a fossil-free alternative to diesel in accordance with EU sustainability standards.
  4. It looks like the two new-build HVO-powered station will back up the renewables.
  5. It is intended that the two new power stations will be in operation in 2026.

The two new power stations will be convertible to hydrogen in the future.

As at Keadby in Lincolnshire, which I wrote about in SSE Thermal Charts Path To Green Hydrogen Future With First-Of-A-Kind Project. it looks like SSE have developed a comprehensive plan to keep the electricity at full power, even when the wind isn’t blowing.


SSE Thermal are showing that in addition to gas, nuclear and pumped storage hydroelectric, renewables can also be backed up by biomass.


April 5, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Platform Canopies To Be Renovated For Passengers At Lancaster Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from Network Rail.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Station platform canopies are being renovated at Lancaster to improve passenger journeys on the West Coast Main Line.

Network Rail is investing £9.5m to restore and upgrade the station building for the future.

This picture from Network Rail shows an aerial view of the station.

Note that the camera is looking South.

This picture shows the current canopies.

Network Rail can surely do better on a Grade II Listed Building.

The press release lists that this work will be done.

  • Replacing all glazing in the platform canopies
  • Repairing and strengthening the structure of the canopy structures
  • Repainting across the station

The press release says the work won’t affect train services, but will be done when trains aren’t running.

These are my thoughts.

Lancaster Station and High Speed Two

Lancaster station will be a terminus on the High Speed Two Network.


  1. Train 4 , which is a pair of 200 metre High Speed Classic Compatible trains, leaves London Euston  and splits at Crewe, with one train going to Liverpool Lime Street and the other to Lancaster.
  2. Train 12, which runs between Birmingham Curzon Street and Scotland, also calls at Lancaster.

Both trains will be single 200 metre High Speed Classic Compatible trains at Lancaster station and platforms 3, 4 and 5 can handle them.

But how will the Lancaster train terminate?

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the lines through Lancaster station.


  1. The red lines are electrified with 25 KVAC overhead wires.
  2. In the North-West corner of the station are the bay platforms 1 and 2, which handle Morecambe services.
  3. West Coast Main Line services between London Euston and Scotland, go through platforms 3 and 4 in the middle of the station.
  4. On the East side of the station is platform 5 which is on a loop off the West Coast Main Line.

I would expect that the London Euston and Lancaster service will generally terminate in platform 5.

Wikipedia says this about platform 5 and the signalling.

Platform 5, which can be used by both northbound and southbound trains or by terminating services.

All platforms are signalled for arrivals and departures in either direction.

That all sounds very convenient.

There may be some minor changes for the longer High Speed Two trains, but I doubt it would be too challenging.

Onward To Morecambe

The Eden Project North at Morecambe  could attract a lot of traffic.

  • Lancaster will be just two hours and three minutes from London by High Speed Two.
  • There are numerous rail connections from Lancaster to all over the North of England and Scotland.
  • Would you drive for two hours to the Eden Project North, if there was a convenient and quicker train?
  • Train companies may offer combined tickets for the attraction with rail tickets.

Wikipedia says this about the development and opening of the attraction.

Having been granted planning permission in January 2022 and with £50 million of levelling-up funding granted in January 2023, it is due to open in 2024 and predicted to benefit the North West economy by £200 million per year.

I’ve always wanted to go to the Eden Project in Cornwall, but it’s difficult if you don’t drive.

However, I might manage to get to Eden Project North.

Trains between Morecambe and Lancaster are at least hourly.

  • I think they can use any platform at Lancaster.
  • Morecambe station has two platforms.
  • Morecambe and Lancaster stations are four miles apart, with probably half electrified.
  • A battery-electric train could work between Morecambe and Lancaster.

I can envisage two main ways to arrange the connection between Morecambe and Lancaster.

  • Trains arrive in Lancaster and passengers for Morecambe catch the next Morecambe train for two stops, that take ten minutes.
  • When High Speed Two serves Lancaster from Euston, the shuttle train can wait in the Northern end of Platform 5 and when the High Speed Two train arrives passengers can just walk up the platform to the shuttle.

But if the Eden Project North is as successful as the Cornish original, there is going to be a need for more trains between Morecambe and Lancaster.

This Google Map shows Morecambe station.

Note that the island platform is probably about 160 metres long.

This would accommodate.

  • A five-car Class 802 or Class 805 train.
  • A pair of four-car Class 319, Class 321 trains.
  • A pair of three-car Class 331 trains.

But why not be bold and lengthen at least one platform to the full two hundred metres, so that it can accommodate a High Speed Classic Compatible train?

This would also accommodate.

  • A seven-car Class 807 train.
  • A pair of four-car Class 331 trains.

All of these electric trains would need the Morecambe branch line to be electrified to Morecambe station.

But the Eden Project North would get the public transport access it needs.

Electrifying To Morecambe

This map from OpenRailwayMap, shows the Morecambe Branch Line between the West Coast Main Line and Morecambe station.


  1. The tracks shown in red on the Eastern side of the map are the West Coast Main Line.
  2. The black lines are the unelectrified tracks of the Morecambe branch line.
  3. Morecambe station is marked by the blue arrow.
  4. Much of the Morecambe branch line is single track, with some sections of double track.
  5. The distance between the West Coast Main Line and Morecambe station is around 2.1 miles.

I don’t think it would be the most challenging of electrifications.

A Green Route To The Isle Of Man And Ireland

This map from OpenRailwayMap, shows the terminal of the Morecambe Branch Line at Heysham Port.


  1. There is a rail connection to the West Coast Main Line via Morecambe, which is shown in yellow.
  2. The port appears to have three berths for ferries.
  3. There are only a couple of train services per day.
  4. South of the port is the Heysham nuclear power station, which has a capacity of 2.5 GW.

At a first glance, it would appear, that a rail-served passenger terminal could be built close to the port.

I suspect most passengers using Heysham are travelling with a vehicle.

The problem is also that the ferry crossing to Belfast takes around eight hours and there are faster and more convenient routes.

The ferries could be decarbonised by using ammonia or hydrogen fuel, but I doubt that they would be any faster.

I suspect that getting more passengers to use Heysham for the Isle of Man or Ireland will be a difficult proposition to sell to passengers.

And it is made even more difficult with such an infrequent train service.

Before High Speed Two

Avanti West Coast might like to run a train between Euston and Morecambe for the Eden Project North.

Are National Rail Promoting Theme Parks?

I found this page on the National Rail web site, which is entitled Theme Parks.

It gives a list of most theme parks and their nearest stations.

Does such a page exist for hospitals, cathedrals and other similar groups.






March 20, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Irish Green Hydrogen Could Be Europe’s Cheapest In 2030, Aurora Finds

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

These two paragraphs outline the story.

Ireland could produce the cheapest green hydrogen in Europe by 2030, achieving a levelised cost of EUR 3.50 (USD 3.73) per kg under optimal conditions, Aurora Energy Research said on Tuesday.

This would be 8% below optimal production costs in Spain and 35% below those in Germany, with Ireland’s cost advantage driven by the country’s high wind speeds and rising grid congestion.

Aurora also sees the possibility of exports to Germany before 2030.

March 7, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment

SSE Thermal Is Charting A Path For Low-Carbon Flexible Generation In Ireland

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item from SSE.

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Thermal, as part of SSE plc, is exploring options to develop two new low-carbon power stations in Ireland which would help to protect security of supply and provide flexible backup to renewable generation.

This three paragraphs outline the project.

Sites in Tarbert in County Kerry and at Platin in County Meath, could provide the location for these new power stations, which would initially run on sustainable biofuel with the potential to convert to hydrogen in the future.

Biofuel provides a lower carbon option for use in power stations, using waste feedstocks to produce valuable flexible electricity making it an important transitionary solution as plans for a greater use of hydrogen and carbon capture are developed. The proposed units will run on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (or HVO), which is produced by processing waste oils to create a fossil-free alternative to diesel in accordance with EU sustainability standards.

Development at the two sites could provide up to 450MW of new generation capacity to the grid, with up to 300MW at Tarbert and 150MW at Platin. While in early development and still subject to a final investment decision, these new power stations could be operational as early as 2027, bringing with them the potential to underpin demand for low-carbon hydrogen in Ireland.

One problem is that SSE’s existing Tarbert Power Station is required to close by the end of 2023 in line with its environmental licence. So it looks like they’ll have to get going quickly.

Lessons From Keadby 2

Keadby 2 is one of SSE Thermal’s newest power stations and it is described in this page on the SSE Thermal web site, which is entitled Keadby 2 Power Station.

These are first three paragraphs from the page.

Keadby 2 is a new 893MW gas-fired power station in North Lincolnshire currently being constructed by our EPC contractor Siemens Energy. The project is adjacent to our operational Keadby 1 Power Station.

SSE Thermal has partnered with Siemens Energy to introduce first-of-a-kind, high-efficiency gas-fired generation technology to the UK. When completed, Keadby 2 is expected to become the cleanest and most-efficient gas-fired power station in Europe.

The station will also be capable of being upgraded to further decarbonise its generation through carbon capture or hydrogen technology, as routes to market develop.


  1. Siemens Energy seem to be able to deliver large gas-fired power stations to satisfy SSE Thermal.
  2. Looking at the data sheets for Siemens Energy’s heavy-duty gas-turbines, they can run on a wide range of fuel including biodiesel.
  3. This document from Siemens Energy describes work to run their gas-turbines on HVO.
  4. If Keadby 2 can be upgraded to run on hydrogen, I can see no reason why Tarbert and Platin won’t be able to be similarly upgraded in the future.

SSE Thermal seem to be following a similar philosophy to generate lower-carbon electricity at Keadby and in Ireland.

Could We See A Large HVO-Fuelled Power Station In The UK?

I wonder, if we’ll see a large HVO-fuelled power station in the UK?

It appears SSE and Siemens will have the technology and expertise.

I suspect it depends on there being large amounts of HVO available.


March 4, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Activity Ramping Up On Irish Floating Wind Test Site

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

This is the sub-heading.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is busy with bringing forward its Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS), a floating wind and wave energy technology test site which has been in development for several years now. Along with offshore surveys scheduled for next month, SEIA has also commenced work on procuring an onshore substation and a floating LiDAR for AMETS.

It all sounds very professional.

The Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site will be located off Annagh Head in the West of Ireland. This Google Map shows the location of Annagh Head on the island of Ireland.

I do have a imperfect memory of a weekend of good hospitality and gourmet food at a hotel called the Cashel House Hotel to the West of Galway, but I can’t remember how C and I flew there. Did we fly to Knock or Shannon either using a scheduled airline or my Cessna 340 A?

All I can remember of the holiday, was that it was very windy at times and driving through Westport. So did we explore towards Annagh Head?

This Google Map shows a close-up of Annagh Head.

I suspect that Annagh Head is an ideal location to test floating wind and wave power.

There will also be good hospitality and airlinks to the UK and Europe.

In So Many Floating Wind Designs, So Few Test Sites – Norwegian METCentre Sold Out, I wrote about the shortage of test sites for wind power.

So perhaps, AMETS will help to fill the gap?


February 27, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment