The Anonymous Widower

ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on the Crown Estate Scotland web site.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Crown Estate Scotland has today announced the outcome of its application process for ScotWind Leasing, the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in over a decade and the first ever since the management of offshore wind rights were devolved to Scotland.

The results coming just months after Glasgow hosted the global COP26 climate conference show the huge opportunity that Scotland has to transform its energy market and move towards a net zero economy.

Some highlights are then listed.

  • 17 projects have been selected out of a total of 74 applications.
  • A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.
  • The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2.
  • Initial indications suggest a multi-billion pound supply chain investment in Scotland
  • The potential power generated will move Scotland towards net-zero.

This map shows the position of each wind farm.

Note, that the numbers are Scotwind’s lease number in their documents.

Fixed Foundation Wind Farms

These are the six fixed foundation wind farms.

  • 1 – BP Alternative Energy Investments – 859 km² – 2.9 GW
  • 6 – DEME – 187 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 9 – Ocean Winds – 429 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 13 – Offshore Wind Power – 657 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 16 – Northland Power – 161 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 17 – Scottish Power Renewables – 754 km² – 2.0 GW

Adding up these fixed foundation wind farms gives a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².

Floating Wind Farms

These are the ten floating wind farms.

  • 2- SSE Renewables – 859 km² – 2.6 GW
  • 3 – Falck Renewables Wind – 280 km² – 1.2 GW
  • 4 – Shell – 860 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 5 – Vattenfall – 200 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 7 – DEME Concessions Wind – 200 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 8 – Falck Renewables Wind – 256 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 10 – Falck Renewables Wind – 134 km² – 0.5 GW
  • 11 – Scottish Power Renewables – 684 km² – 3.0 GW
  • 12 – BayWa r.e. UK  – 330 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 14 – Northland Power – 390 km² – 1.5 GW

Adding up the floating wind farms gives a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Mixed Wind Farms

This is the single wind farm, that has mixed foundations.

15 – Magnora – 103 km² – 0.5 GW

This wind farm appears to be using floating wind turbines.

I have a few general thoughts.

Are Floating Wind Farms Further Out?

There does appear to be a pattern, where the wind farms that are further from the land tend to be floating wind farms and those closer to the land appear to be fixed.

Consider.

  • As the water gets deeper, fixed wind turbines will surely get more expensive.
  • Floating wind turbines are the newer and more unproven technology, so only those bidders, who have done their research and are happy with it, will have bid.

Falck Renewables Wind Seem To Be Working With BlueFloat Energy

In the three Falck Renewables successes with leases 3, 8 and 10, BlueFloat Energy is a partner in the lease.

According to their web site, BlueFloat Energy were very much involved in WindFloat Atlantic, where this is said.

Top members of our team were key contributors to the development and construction of the WindFloat Atlantic project from concept to Final Investment Decision to commissioning. This 25 megawatt (MW) floating offshore wind project in Portugal marked a turning point in the offshore wind industry as it was the first floating offshore wind project to secure bank financing. With 3 x MVOW’s 8.4 MW turbines, the WindFloat Atlantic project was the world’s first semi-submersible floating wind project and continental Europe’s first floating wind project.

So do Falck Renewables intend to use WindFloat technology in their areas, which are to produce a total of 2.7 GW?

Perhaps a fleet of two hundred floating wind turbines based on WindFloat technology each with a capacity of 14 MW would be ideal.

  • Wind turbines would be interchangeable between all three farms.
  • There could be a few standby turbines to allow for maintenance.
  • It would be possible to borrow a turbine to explore a new site.

All it would need is technology to be able to position and connect a turbine into the wind farm and disconnect and remove a turbine from the wind farm, with simple procedures.

Did BP Avoid the Floating Wind Farms?

BP, who are relatively new to offshore wind, only had one success, for a large fixed wind farm. So did they avoid the floating wind farms?

Do Shell and Scottish Power Have A Bigger Plan? 

Shell and Scottish Power were successful with leases 4 and 11, which are reasonably close together.

They also won lease 17, which I wrote about in MacHairWind Wind Farm, where I concluded this.

The MacHairWind wind farm seems a well-positioned wind farm.

  • It is close to Glasgow.
  • It can be used in tandem with the Cruachan pumped hydro power station.
  • It will have access to the Western HVDC Link to send power to the North-West of England.

Is Scotland replacing the 1.2 GW Hunterston B nuclear power station with a 2 GW wind farm, with help from Cruachan and other proposed pumped storage hydro schemes to the North of Glasgow?

So did Shell and Scottish Power get the pick of the bunch and will build two large floating wind farms close together?

Shell and Scottish Power seem to be using French company; Eolfi’s floating wind technology.

Why Do Floating Wind Farms Have A Higher Density?

The floating wind farms have an average energy density of 3.5 MW per sq. km, whereas the fixed wind farms only manage 3.2 MW per sq. km.

It may be only ten percent, but does that help the economics? It certainly, wouldn’t make them worse.

I do wonder though, if the reason for the higher density is simply that a floating turbine can be bigger, than a corresponding fixed turbine.

I also have a few more specific thoughts about individual farms.

Lease 15 – The Odd Bid Out

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 discuss this project in more detail in ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm.

A Conclusion About Floating Wind

The various successful bids in this round of Scottish wind farm leases can be split by capacity into two groups.

  • Floating + Mixed – 15.1 GW – 61 %
  • Fixed – 9.7 GW – 39 %

Note that I have included Magnora’s successful mixed bid with the successful floating bids, as it uses floating wind turbines to generate electricity.

The over 60 % of successful bids involving floating wind farms, indicates to me, that the day of floating wind farms has arrived.

 

 

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Shell And ScottishPower Win Bids To Develop 5 GW Of Floating Wind Power In The UK

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

This is three paragraphs from the press release.

Shell and ScottishPower have secured joint offers for seabed rights to develop large-scale floating wind farms as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing. The partners have won two sites representing a total of 5 gigawatts (GW) off the east and north-east coast of Scotland.

The new wind farms will be delivered through two joint ventures called MarramWind and CampionWind. They bring together ScottishPower’s and Shell’s decades of experience working offshore and significant presence in Scotland, as well as their strong innovation capabilities for delivering world-class offshore energy projects.

The development, construction and operation of ScotWind projects is set to bring new skilled jobs and manufacturing opportunities and boost local supply chains.

ScottishPower are actually involved in three large ScotWind projects; one by themselves and two in partnership with Shell.

MacHairWind

MachairWind is a project that Scottish Power is developing alone.

I wrote about this project in MacHairWind Wind Farm.

MarramWind And CampionWind

These two wind farms are being developed in partnership with Shell.

They both have their own web sites.

MarramWind’s web site has this introduction.

ScottishPower and Shell have joined forces to develop the MarramWind offshore windfarm following success in the recent ScotWind auction process by Crown Estate Scotland.

Located 75 kilometres off the North East coast of Scotland in water depths averaging 100 metres, the proposed MarramWind floating offshore windfarm could deliver up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of cleaner renewable energy.

This map clipped from the MarramWind web site, shows the location of the wind farm.

CampionWind’s web site has this introduction.

ScottishPower and Shell have joined forces to develop the CampionWind offshore windfarm following success in the recent ScotWind auction process by Crown Estate Scotland.

Located 100 kilometres from the east coast of Scotland, in water depths averaging 77 metres, the proposed CampionWind floating offshore windfarm could deliver up to 2 gigawatts (GW) of cleaner renewable energy.

This map clipped from the CampionWind web site, shows the location of the wind farm.

Note.

  1. The two wind farms will be within a few miles of each other.
  2. Both wind farms will use floating wind turbines.
  3. The water is a bit deeper at MarramWind, but this surely doesn’t bother a floating turbine.
  4. MarramWind and CampionWind will have a total capacity of 5 GW.
  5. Hywind Scotland is the world’s first commercial wind farm using floating wind turbines, situated 29 kilometres off Peterhead. This wind farm is only 30 MW, but in its first years of operation has achieved a capacity factor of over 50 %.
  6. The proposed turbines at Northern Horizons‘ 10 GW wind farm, which is 130 kilometres to the North-East of Shetland will be 20 MW giants and nearly as tall as The Shard in London.

So will Scottish Power and Shell design and build a combined field, similar in concept to Northern Horizons’ wind farm, using an armada of 250 floating wind turbines?

  • The wind turbines might be moored around a fixed or floating mother platform or structure, that will collect the electricity and deliver it to the shore.
  • Turbines could be serviced in situ or moved into port, as needed.
  • Extending the wind farm could just be a matter of mooring the extra turbines in position and then connecting them to the mother platform.
  • Is there a convenient disused oil or gas platform, that could be repurposed as the mother platform?

It certainly would appear to be a way of building large offshore fields in deep waters.

Where Would The Combined MarramWind And CampionWind Rank In Terms of UK Wind Farms?

Consider.

  • MarramWind and CampionWind will have a total capacity of 5 GW.
  • Phase one of the Hornsea Wind Farm is the largest offshore wind farm in the world, with a capacity of just over 1.2 GW and when complete it will have a capacity of 6 GW.
  • Northern Horizons is planned to be 10 GW.
  • The East Anglian Array could be as large as 7.2 GW.
  • The Dogger Bank Wind Farm is planned to be as large as 4.8 MW.
  • Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas are a pair of 1.8 GW wind farms.
  • MacHairWind will be a 2 GW wind farm.

Note.

  1. This is not a complete list of large wind farms in the development pipeline.
  2. BP have obtained leases, but have not published their plans.
  3. Most farms under development are at least one GW.
  4. These farms are a total of 38.6 GW.

The Combined MarramWind and CampionWind would be one of several large wind farms around 5 GW.

There Is A Desperate Need For Energy Storage

If we are generating upwards of 40 GW of wind and solar energy in the UK, there will be a desperate need for energy storage to cover for the times, when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

Scotland should be OK, as there are various energy storage projects in development.

  • The 1.5 GW/ 30 GWh Coire Glas project is according to SSE shovel-ready and has planning permission.
  • The 450 MW/2.8 GWh Red John project is being constructed.
  • Drax, ILI Group and SSE have several other projects under development.

So what would happen in the South?

The government appears to be on the case as I wrote in Ministerial Roundtable Seeks To Unlock Investment In UK Energy Storage.

But there is also the possibility of using hydrogen.

  • Hydrogen could be created by a series of giant electrolysers.
  • It could be blended with natural gas to eke out our natural gas and save carbon. According to HyDeploy, it appears that up to 20 % can be added, without needing to change boilers and appliances.
  • It can be stored in depleted offshore gas fields.
  • It can be used to power heavy transport like buses, trucks, trains and ships.
  • It can be burned in gas-fired power stations to generate electricity.

Hydrogen can also be used as a feedstock or green energy source for the making of chemicals, concrete and steel.

Conclusion

We are approaching the end of the first phase of the development of renewable energy in the UK.

Massive floating wind farms using armadas of floating wind farms, a large expansion of pumped storage hydro and a huge expansion of the use of hydrogen will see us through to a carbon-free future.

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MacHairWind Wind Farm

MachairWind wind farm has its own page on the ScottishPower Renewables web site.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

The MacHairWind project off the coast of Islay, which could deliver 2GW of cleaner renewable energy, will make a significant contribution to tackling climate change and achieving Net Zero, with the potential to generate enough clean electricity to power over 2 million homes in Scotland.

It will also build on ScottishPower’s long-standing presence and positive track record of investing in and working with local communities and businesses across Argyll & Bute to realise the benefits of renewable energy developments.

This Google Map shows the area of the wind farm, which is to the North West of the island of Islay.

Note.

  1. There certainly is a large space of empty sea to the North-West of Islay.
  2. Glasgow is not far away.

This second Google Map shows the area to the North-East of Islay.

Note.

Wikipedia says this about the relationship of the Cruachan power station and Hunterston’s nuclear stations.

Construction began in 1959 to coincide with the Hunterston A nuclear power station in Ayrshire. Cruachan uses cheap off-peak electricity generated at night to pump water to the higher reservoir, which can then be released during the day to provide power as necessary.

Now that the two nuclear stations are being decommissioned, will the MacHairWind wind farm be used to pump water to Cruachan’s higher reservoir?

Conclusion

The MacHairWind wind farm seems a well-positioned wind farm.

  • It is close to Glasgow.
  • It can be used in tandem with the Cruachan pumped hydro power station.
  • It will have access to the Western HVDC Link to send power to the North-West of England.

Is Scotland replacing the 1.2 GW Hunterston B nuclear power station with a 2 GW wind farm, with help from Cruachan and other proposed pumped storage hydro schemes to the North of Glasgow?

It also looks like increasing the power at Cruachan from the current 440 MW to a GW, by the building of Cruachan 2 would give the area even more energy security.

 

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments