The Anonymous Widower

How Is The XLinks Project Progressing?

 

The Wikipedia entry for the XLinks project has this introductory paragraph.

The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project is a proposal to create 10.5 GW of renewable generation, 20 GWh of battery storage and a 3.6 GW high-voltage direct current interconnector to carry solar and wind-generated electricity from Morocco to the United Kingdom. Morocco has far more consistent weather, and so should provide consistent solar power even in midwinter.

I ask the question in the title of this post, as there are two articles about the XLinks project in The Times today.

This article is optimistic and is entitled Xlinks Morocco Project Could Throw Britain A Renewable Energy Lifeline.

On the other hand this article is more pessimistic and is entitled Britain ‘Risks Losing Out’ On Green Energy From The Sahara.

This is the first paragraph of the second article.

Sir Dave Lewis has complained of “frustratingly slow” talks with the government over an £18 billion plan to generate power in the Sahara and cable it to Britain. The former Tesco chief executive has warned that the energy could be routed elsewhere unless ministers commit to the scheme.

It appears there have been little agreement on the price.

I have some thoughts.

Will XLinks Get Funding?

Xlinks is going to be privately funded, but I have doubts about whether the funding will be made available.

As an engineer, who was involved in many of the major offshore projects of the last forty years of the last century, I believe that the XLinks project is feasible, but it is only 3.6 GW.

These wind farm projects are also likely to be privately funded.

  • SSE’s Berwick Bank project opposite Berwick is 4.1 GW
  • Aker’s Northern Horizon off Shetland is 10 GW.
  • The Scotwind Leasing Round is 25 GW.
  • There is talk of 10 GW being possible off East Anglia.
  • 50 GW may be being possible in the Celtic Sea.
  • BP is planning 3 GW in Morecambe Bay.

Many of these enormous wind power projects are looking for completion on or before 2030, which is the date given for the Morocco cable.

I do wonder, if those financing these energy projects will find these and other projects better value than a link to Morocco.

Is the Project Bold Enough?

Consider.

  • Spain has high levels of solar, wind and hydro power.
  • France is developing wind to go with their nuclear.
  • Both countries and Portugal, also have mountains for sensibly-sized pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations.
  • France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland also have the Atlantic for wind, tidal and wave power.

Perhaps, the solution, is an Atlantic interconnector linking the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar to West Africa.

Any excess power would be stored in the pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations and withdrawn as required.

In the UK, the National Grid are already using the huge 7800 GWh Ulla-Førre pumped-storage hydroelectric power station to store excess wind-generated energy using the North Sea Link from Blyth.

To my mind XLinks is just a UK-Morocco project.

BP’s Project In Mauretania

In bp And Mauritania To Explore Green Hydrogen At Scale, I discussed BP’s deal to create green hydrogen in Mauretania.

Is this a better plan, as hydrogen can be taken by tanker to where it is needed And for the best price.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the XLinks project change direction.

November 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Is The Morocco-UK Power Project Just A Taste Of The Future?

After writing WSP Lends Hand On Morocco-UK Power Link, about WSP’s involvement in the ambitious project to create a 3.6 GW interconnector to bring power from Morocco to the UK, I’m now certain, that this major project will come to fruition.

Out of curiosity, I created this Google Map of North-West Africa.

Note.

  1. Morocco is at the North edge of the map.
  2. The map is filled with the Sahara Desert.
  3. The Caqnary Islands are off the coast of Africa.
  4. Three of the least developed countries in the world; Western Sahara, Mauritania and Mali, circle the desert to the South-West and South.

I do wonder if the Morocco-UK Power Project is a success, if other developers and countries will decide to developer their renewable energy resources.

  • France, Portugal and Spain may want to get involved.
  • High-Temperature Electrolysis boosted by solar energy,  could be used to generate hydrogen for shipment to Europe.
  • The interconnectors to Europe will be upgraded.

Given the size of the desert, I’m sure that several GW of electricity could be delivered to Europe.

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

Will We See More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

In this blog, I have talked about various deals, where two or more countries and/or companies are getting together to generate electricity in one country and transfer it to another, either as electricity or as hydrogen

Examples include.

There are also all the hydrogen deals done by Fortescue Future Industries.

Where Are There Possibilities Of More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

These are a few serious possibilities.

Argentina

This is an extract from this page on Wind Energy International, which is entitled Argentina.

Argentina has an estimated technical wind energy potential of 300 GW. In southern Patagonia (Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces), average wind speeds range between 9.0 and 11.2 m/s, whereas in the north (Neuquén and Río Negro provinces), wind speeds range from 7.2 to 8.4 m/s. The general average capacity factor for Argentina is 35% and in the Patagonia region it ranges between as much as 47% and 59%. Especially in Northwest Patagonia, locally known as the Comahue region, hydro and wind may seasonally complement each other and.benefit both technologies. One other promising region for wind power development is the Atlantic sea coast.

As I wrote in Australia’s FFI Plans $8.4 Billion Green Hydrogen Project In Argentina, it appears that Andrew Forrest and FFI are already on the ground.

Australia

There are already three major schemes based on Australia and I am certain they will be more. Especially, as Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore will need the zero-carbon energy.

It would appear that except for the Australia-Asia PowerLink, the energy will be transferred as liquid hydrogen or liquid ammonia.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh wouldn’t be on the lists of many, where ideal countries for renewable energy are being discussed.

But, this report on Energy Tracker Asia is entitled The Renewable Energy Potential of Bangladesh, where this is said.

A report investigating the renewable energy technical capacity of Bangladesh found that the country could deploy up to 156 GW of utility-scale solar on 6,250 km2 of land and 150 GW of wind. Offshore wind power would account for 134 GW of this total capacity.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bangladesh, supplying renewable energy to the East, with international companies and organisations developing the renewable infrastructure.

I think it should be noted that international companies flock to countries, where the investment opportunities are good. That has happened in the UK, with offshore wind, where many wind farms have been developed by companies such as Equinor, Iberola, RWE and Wattenfall.

Chile

Chile has started to develop the 100,000 square kilometres of the Atacama Desert for solar power and I wrote about this in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery.

This sentence in the Wikipedia entry for Energy In Chile, illustrates the potential of solar power in the Atacama Desert.

In 2013, Total S.A. announced the world’s largest unsubsidised solar farm would be installed with assistance from SunPower Corp into Chile’s Atacama desert.

I also wrote Chile Wants To Export Solar Energy To Asia Via 15,000km Submarine Cable, about Chile’s ambitions to supply Asia with energy.

Ethiopia

Andrew Forrest of Fortescue Future Industries is on the case, as I wrote in Fortescue Future Industries Enters Ethiopia to Produce Green Energy.

North Africa

Consider.

  • The major North African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, all have and depend on to a certain extent on fossil fuels.
  • There are gas pipelines to Spain and Italy.
  • Morocco will be the Southern end of the Morocco-UK Power Project, if it gets developed.
  • All five countries have some nuclear power stations.
  • All five countries have lots of sun for solar power.
  • Some Saharan countries to the South of Morocco, Algeria and Libya could also provide energy from the sun.
  • Egypt has substantial hydro-electric power on the River Nile.
  • Egypt will be connected to Greece through the EuroAfrica Interconnector.

I believe that a well-designed and co-ordinated project could generate a lot of electricity and hydrogen for Europe and bring much-needed income and employment to North Africa.

I feel that if the Morocco-UK Power Project can be successfully built, then this could create a flurry of activity all over North Africa.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a problem. As the rest of the world moves away from fossil fuels in the next few decades, they will see the revenues from oil and natural gas come under pressure.

But as a rich country, with 2.15 million km² of land and lots of sun, they must have some potential to generate solar electricity.

In the Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Saudi Arabia, this is said.

The Saudi agency in charge of developing the nations renewable energy sector, Ka-care, announced in May 2012 that the nation would install 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2032.[2] It was projected to be composed of 25 GW of solar thermal, and 16 GW of photovoltaics. At the time of this announcement, Saudi Arabia had only 0.003 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity. A total of 24 GW of renewable energy was expected by 2020, and 54 GW by 2032.

Wikipedia also says that Saudi Arabia also has nuclear ambitions.

I can see that Saudi Arabia will replace some of their oil and gas exports with green hydrogen.

July 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Octopus Energy On Xlinks

Today, Octopus Energy published a web page, which is entitled Backing Cheaper, Greener Energy Globally, giving more details of the Xlinks project.

I first wrote about the tie-up between Octopus Energy and Xlinks in Xlinks Welcomes New Investor Octopus Energy In Providing Cheap Green Power To Over 7 Million Homes.

Points made in the page on the Octopus web page include.

  • The project will cover over 570 square miles in Morocco with 7GW of solar and 3.5GW of wind generation alongside a 20GWh battery storage facility.
  • This green energy powerhouse will be connected to the UK via 2,361 miles of HVDC subsea cables.
  • The cables will be built with British steel in a new factory in Hunterton, Scotland.
  • It also appears that the site of the project has been chosen to optimise energy collection.

This project appears to be excellently-thought out to bring large benefits to all stakeholders.

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 13 Comments

Xlinks Welcomes New Investor Octopus Energy In Providing Cheap Green Power To Over 7 Million Homes

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

Xlinks is pleased to announce a financial and strategic partnership with energy tech pioneer Octopus Energy Group.

The Morocco – UK Power Project will speed up the UK’s transition to net zero by laying four 3,800km-long subsea cables to connect a huge renewable energy farm in the Moroccan desert with Devon in South West England. Morocco is setting its sights on becoming a world leader in solar energy, already boasting some of the world’s largest solar arrays, and meeting two-fifths of its electricity demand with renewables. There will be huge economic benefits to both countries involved, with Xlinks bringing green energy and engineering jobs to both the UK and Morocco.

The project will diversify UK supply routes and boost energy security through the supply of 3.6 GW of reliable, clean power to the UK for an average of 20 hours a day, enough green energy to power about 7 million homes.

Note.

  1. The cables will be nearly 2,400 miles
  2. It is scheduled to be operational in 2027.
  3. Xlinks is expected to deliver power at £48/MWh, which is comparable with offshore wind.
  4. Wikipedia talks of a Hinkley Point C strike price of £92.50/MWh (in 2012 prices).
  5. Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy Group, is also a personal investor in the project.
  6. Greg Jackson is interviewed in this article in today’s Sunday Times.

I wrote more about this project in Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project.

Conclusion

This mega-project could be approaching the point, where the starting gun is fired.

 

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Glencore & Strategic Partner Britishvolt Strengthen Relationship And Agree To Build Battery Recycling Ecosystem In The UK

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Glencore is proud to have entered an industry-leading battery recycling joint venture with strategic partner and battery pioneer Britishvolt, the UK’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies and R&D.

The joint venture will develop a world-leading ecosystem for battery recycling in the UK. This ecosystem will be anchored at a new recycling plant located at the Britannia Refined Metals operation (BRM-located in Northfleet), a Glencore company. BRM will continue with its current production and trading operations.

These appear to be some of Glencore’s objectives for the project.

  • They intend to recycle a minimum of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year, including but not limited to valuable battery manufacturing scrap, portable electronics batteries and full EV packs.
  •  They intend to recycle Britishvolt’s scrap.
  • They intend to be up and running by mid-2023.
  • They intend to be 100 % powered by renewable energy in the longer term.

It all seems admirable.

These are my thoughts.

Britannia Refined Metals

This Google Map shows the Britannia Refined Metals site at Northfleet.

Note.

  1. Britannia Refined Metals is indicated by the red arrow.
  2. The Port of Tilbury is on the other side of the Thames.

This second Google Map shows the site in more detail.

Note.

  1. It is not a very large site.
  2. There doesn’t appear to be much space for expansion.
  3. They appear to have a wharf on the river.

I’ve found this company video from the 1980s on the Internet.

They do seem to have developed a sophisticated process for recycling lead-acid batteries.

Renewable Energy

There are these offshore wind farms in the Thames Estuary.

Two of these could be extended.

I am sure that there could be more space in the Thames Estuary for more wind power.

Recycling Batteries

I have found this article on the BBC, which is entitled As The World looks To Electrify Vehicles And Store Renewable Power, One Giant Challenge Looms: What Will Happen To All The Old Lithium Batteries?.

This is the third paragraph.

While this may sound like the ideal path to sustainable power and road travel, there’s one big problem. Currently, lithium (Li) ion batteries are those typically used in EVs and the megabatteries used to store energy from renewables, and Li batteries are hard to recycle.

The article talks about possible solutions.

  • Don’t treat the batteries as disposable.
  • Increasing the number of batteries recycled from the measly five percent.
  • Automate the recycling process, which currently is labour intensive.
  • Give the cathode, anode and other parts a second life in new batteries, by refurbishment.
  • Batteries that degrade on command.

But the idea, I like is described in this paragraph from the article.

The next step for scientists pushing direct recycling of Li batteries forward is working with battery manufacturers and recycling plants to streamline the process from build to breakdown.

In context with the tie-up between Glencore and Britishvolt, you can imagine engineers from both companies, getting together to improve the design of the battery, so that manufacturing and recycling of batteries are two mutually efficient and complimentary processes.

I can also see some very sophisticated logistics systems being developed to return batteries to an approved recycler, who may be in another country.

But then we are dealing with something that could have a substantial value.

Deals Between Battery Manufacturers And Recyclers

I can see more deals like this between battery manufacturers and recyclers.

  • It could reduce the cost of batteries.
  • It could impress governments seeking to reduce the about of batteries going into landfill.
  • It would reduce the amount of new metals to be mined.

It may even help, in the protection of intellectual property rights, that are concerned with battery manufacture and recycling.

A Second Similar Glencore Deal

There is also a second deal about battery recycling mentioned in a press release on the Glencore web site, which is entitled Glencore & Managem Set Up Partnership For Moroccan Production Of Cobalt From Recycled Battery Materials.

  • The press release was issued only a few days before the one announcing the deal with Britishvolt.
  • It is for 12,000 tonnes of recycling.
  • The press release mentions renewable power.

I do wonder, if Glencore or one of their companies has developed a new process.

February 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sun Cable’s Australia-Asia PowerLink

Two weeks ago, in How Clean Energy And Jobs Can Flow From Morocco to The UK, I talked about a plan to generate electricity using solar arrays in Southern Morocco and use an underwater interconnector to bring it to the UK.

If you think that project was ambitious and distinctly bonkers, then that project is outshone by Sun Cable‘s Australia-Asia PowerLink, which is shown in this SunCable graphic.

These are a few facts about the project.

  • Electricity will be generated by solar panels in the Northern Territories of Australia.
  • There will be 12,000 hectares of solar panels in Australia, which will create 3.2 GW of electricity for distribution.
  • There will be a 36-42 GWh battery in Australia.
  • There will be 4,200 km of submarine HVDC cable to deliver the electricity to Singapore and Indonesia.
  • It looks like there will be batteries in Darwin and Singapore.
  • The link could supply up to fifteen percent of Singapore’s electricity.

It is certainly an ambitious project, that will contain the world’s largest solar array, the world’s largest battery, and the world’s longest submarine power cable.

Note.

  1. Currently, the largest solar park in the world is Bhadia Solar Park in India, which is half the size of the solar array proposed.
  2. At 720 km, the North Sea Link is the largest undersea HVDC is operation.
  3. The largest battery in the UK is Electric Mountain in Snowdonia, which is only 9.1 GWh.
  4. A Tesla Megapack battery of the required size would probably cost at least ten billion dollars.

This is certainly, a project that is dealing in superlatives.

Is The Australia-Asia PowerLink Possible?

I shall look at the various elements.

The Solar Panels

I have flown a Piper Arrow from Adelaide to Cairns.

  • My route was via Coober Pedy, Yulara, Alice Springs and Mount Isa.
  • There didn’t seem to be much evidence of rain.
  • The circle from South to East took four days of almost continuous flying, as Australia is not a small country.
  • It left me with the impression of a flat featureless and hot country.

Having seen solar panels on flat areas in the UK, the Australian Outback could be ideal for solar farms.

Sun Cable are talking about 10,000 hectares of solar panels, which is roughly 38.6 square miles or a 6.2 mile square.

Given enough money to source the solar panels and install them, I would expect that the required solar farm could be realised.

The Cable

Consider.

  • The North Sea Link is a 1.4 GW cable that is 720 km. long.
  • I would size it as 10008 GW-km, by multiplying the units together.
  • The Australia-Asia PowerLink will be 4200 km or nearly six times as long.
  • But at 3.2 GW as opposed to 1.4 GW, it will have 2.3 times the capacity.
  • I would size it as 13,400 GW-km.

Whichever way you look at it, the amount of cable needed will be massive.

The Battery

Currently, the largest battery in the world is the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, which has these characteristics.

  • Peak power of 3 GW
  • Storage capacity of 24 GWh.

Sun Cable’s 36-42 GWh battery will be the largest in the world, by a long way.

But I don’t think pumped storage will be suitable in the usually dry climate of Northern Australia.

The largest lithium-ion battery in the world is the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, which is only 150 MW/194 MWh, so something else will have to be used.

As Highview Power are building a CRYOBattery for the Atacama region in Chile, which I wrote about in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery, I wonder, if a cluster of these could provide sufficient storage.

 

October 12, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Could The Morocco-UK Power Project Be Developed Into A Western Europe And Africa Interconnector?

This page on the Xlinks web site, describes the Morocco-UK Power Project, which is proposed to generate solar and wind power in Morocco and deliver it to the UK.

  • The plan envisages 10.5 GW of electricity being generated.
  • There will be a 5GW/20GWh battery in Morocco.
  • They will export 3.6 GW of electricity to the UK for at least twenty hours per day.
  • The electricity will be exported to the UK by an Interconnector that skirts to the West of Spain, Portugal and France.
  • The interconnector will be 3,800 kilometres long.

I described the project in detail in Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project.

This Google Map shows Western Europe And North Africa.

Note.

  1. The light blue of the Continental Shelf
  2. The darker blue of deeper water.
  3. The Southern end of the Morocco and the UK interconnector will at Guelmim Oued Noun in the South of Morocco, which is indicated by the red arrow.
  4. The UK end of the cable will be at Alverdiscott between Barnstaple and Bideford in North Devon.
  5. Southern Morocco and Algeria look to be mainly in the Sahara Desert.

If we look at the route of the cable, it connects a lot of possible renewable energy sources.

  • Morocco – Solar and wind
  • Spain – Solar and wind
  • Portugal – Solar and wind
  • France – Nuclear, tidal and wind
  • UK – Nuclear and wind.

Could the UK and Morocco interconnector be developed into a bigger power project?

  • Solar and wind power from Algeria could be added.
  • Tidal power from a Severn Barrage could be added.
  • Connections could be added to Gibraltar, the Irish Republic and Wales.

I believe that there could be a large amount of electricity developed on the Western costs of Europe and Africa.

An interconnector would move it to where it is needed.

 

September 29, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How Clean Energy And Jobs Can Flow From Morocco to The UK

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

  • The article has been written by Simon Morrish, who is the founder and CEO of Xlinks.
  •  The article is about his plans to build a 10.5 GW solar and wind power complex in Morocco and connect it to the UK, by an undersea power cable running up the coasts of Morocco, Spain, Portugal and France.
  • This page on the Xlinks web site gives details of the project.

These are some points from the article.

Relationship With The Exchequer

He makes these points about the projects relationship with the Exchequer.

  • The company will be a net contributor.
  • The project will not require government subsidy of finance.
  • Energy will be delivered under the Contract for Difference (CfD) price of £48/MWh.
  • This compares with a CfD price of £92/MWh for Hinckley Point C.

Simon Morrish also claims they will be energised before Hinckley Point C.

That sounds good to me.

Finance

I wonder if at the CfD price quoted in the  article, could this mean that this is a project that could be financed in the City of London or from a Sovereign Wealth Fund?

As Simon  is confident the project can be completed before Hinckley Point C, I suspect that the finance might be in place, even if it hasn’t been signed off.

The 20GWh/5GW Battery

Simon says this about the battery.

Alongside the consistent output from its solar panels and wind turbines, a 20GWh/5GW battery facility will ensure power generated can be delivered every day, resulting in a dedicated, near-constant source of flexible and predictable renewable energy, designed to complement renewable energy generated in the UK.

In Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project, I forecast that the battery would be from Highview Power, but given the delivery date before Hinckley Point C, I would suspect that Xlinks have a battery supplier in mind.

Employment Benefits

Simon says this about employment benefits.

Thousands of jobs will be created in Morocco and also at home.

If the project goes ahead, given its size, I don’t think many would disagree with that.

Simon also claims the project will create 1350 permanent jobs by 2024. Sites mentioned include Hunterston, Port Talbot and the North East of England.

Simon’s Conclusion

This is Simon’s conclusion about the project.

I love the idea of clean electricity flowing, all the way from Morocco to the UK. I hope it may inspire other ambitious renewable energy projects too — which, together, will provide clean, secure and stable energy, at affordable prices, for businesses and households to rely on and help to protect this special planet.

If you can, I suggest you read the full article on The Times.

Conclusion

The more I read about this project, the more I tilt towards it being feasble

Engineering is the science of the possible, whereas politics is dreads of the impossible.

September 29, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project

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

This is the first paragraph.

New solar and wind under development in Morocco is to be linked with Britain, with developer Xlinks also seeking to develop a cable manufacturing industry.

It looks to be a very challenging project.

  • The HVDC cable will be 3,800 km long.
  • The plan envisages 10.5 GW of electricity being generated.
  • There will be a 5GW/20GWh battery in Morocco.
  • They will export 3.6 GW of electricity to the UK for at least twenty hours per day.
  • The electricity will be exported to the UK by a cable that skirts to the West of Spain, Portugal and France.
  • The UK end of the cable will be at Alverdiscott in Devon.

All except the last are pushing current technology to the limit.

There is more information on the Morocco-UK Power Project page on the Xlinks web site.

  • The company claims, that it can supply renewable energy, that acts like baseload power.
  • When complete, it could supply eight percent of the UK’s energy needs.

These are my thoughts.

The 3,800 km. HVDC Link

This paragraph on the project web page describes the HVDC link.

Four cables, each 3,800km long form the twin 1.8GW HVDC subsea cable systems that will follow the shallow water route from the Moroccan site to a grid location in Great Britain, passing Spain, Portugal, and France.

It appears that would be 15200 kilometres of cable.

The longest HVDC link in the world is 2375 km. It’s overland and it’s in Brazil.

I can’t think otherwise, than that this will be a very challenging part of the project.

This Google map shows the area of Morocco, where the energy will be generated.

Note.

  1. Guelmim Oued Noun is outlined in red.
  2. The Canary Islands are just off the map to the West.

At least the project will be able to have convenient access to the sea.

This second Google Map shows the <Moroccan, Portuguese and Spanish coasts from Guelmim Oued Noun to the Bay of Biscay.

Note.

  1. The light blue of the Continental Shelf
  2. The darker blue of deeper water.
  3. Guelmim Oued Noun is outlined in red.
  4. The Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean to the West of Guelmim Oued Noun.
  5. Could the cable bring power to Gibraltar?
  6. There are other large cities on the route in Morocco, Portugal and Spain.

This third Google Map shows the Bay of Biscay.

Note.

  1. The light blue of the Continental Shelf
  2. The darker blue of deeper water.
  3. There are a series of islands off the Spanish and French coasts.
  4. Could these islands be used as stepping stones for the cable?

This fourth Google Map shows the Western Approaches to the UK.

Note that the prominent red arrow indicates Alverdiscott, where cable connects to the UK National Grid.

This fifth Google Map shows Alverdiscott to Lundy Island.

 

Alverdiscott substation is indicated by the red arrow.

 

This sixth Google Map shows the Alverdiscott substation in relation to the town of Bideford.

Note.

  1. Bideford is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. The red arrow indicates the Alverdiscott substation.
  3. The River Torridge runs through the town of Bideford.

Could the river be used to bring the cables from Morocco to the substation?

This seventh Google Map shows the Alverdiscott substation

Note the solar farm to the South of the substation.

HVDC Cable

The article also says that they may be building their own cable-manufacturing facility. Does this indicate that there is a shortage of HVDC cable?

Judging by the number of proposed interconnectors proposed for UK waters, it might be a prudent move to improve cable-manufacturing capacity.

10.5 GW Of Zero-Carbon Electricity

This sentence on the project web page describes the power generation.

This “first of a kind” project will generate 10.5GW of zero carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day.

It appears that they will be providing a baseload of 3.6 GW to the UK for over twenty hours per day.

Consider.

  • Hinckley Point C has an output of 3.2 GW.
  • As I write this around midnight, the UK is generating 22.2 GW of electricity.

This paragraph from their web site describes the advantages of Morocco.

Most importantly, Morocco benefits from ideal solar and wind resources, required to develop renewable projects that could guarantee suitable power production throughout the year. It has the third highest Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) in North Africa, which is 20% greater than Spain’s GHI and over twice that of the UK. Furthermore, the shortest winter day still offers more than 10 hours of sunlight. This helps in providing production profiles that address the needs of the UK power market, especially during periods of low offshore wind production.

It is not a small power station in the wrong place.

The 5GW/20GWh Battery

That is a massive battery.

The world’s largest lithium-ion battery is Gateway Energy Storage in California. It has a capacity of 250 megawatts for one hour.

The proposed battery in Morocco is eighty times as large.

If I was choosing a battery for this application, I believe the only one that has been demonstrated and might work is Highview Power’s CRYOBattery.

I wrote about Highview’s similar type of application to Morocco in Chile in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery.

But that installation only will only have storage of half a GWh.

But I believe Highview and their partner; MAN Energy Solutions can do it.

Conclusion

I wish the company well, but I have a feeling that there’s a chance, that this will join the large pile of dead mega-projects.

But I do feel that the solar and wind power station in Morocco will be developed.

And like the project in Chile it will have a large Highview CRYOBattery.

 

 

 

September 26, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 43 Comments