The Anonymous Widower

An Update To Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?

My Methods

Project Timescales For Wind Farms

In How Long Does It Take To Build An Offshore Wind Farm?, I came to these conclusions.

  • It will take six years or less from planning consent to commissioning.
  • It will take two years or less from the start of construction to commissioning.

I shall use these timescales, as any accelerations by the government, will only reduce them.

Dates

If a date is something like 2024/25, I will use the latest date. i.e. 2025 in this example.

The Update

In Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, which I wrote in July this year, I did a calculation of how much renewable energy would come on stream in the next few years.

I summarised the amount of new renewable energy coming on stream like this.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 1500 MW
  • 3024 – 2400 MW
  • 2025 – 6576 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 7061 GW

This totals to 22442 MW.

But I had made two omissions.

  • Hornsea 3 wind farm will add 2582 MW in 2026/27.
  • Hinckley Point C nuclear power station will add 3260 MW in 2027.

Ørsted have also brought forward the completion date of the Sofia wind farm to 2023, which moves 1400 GW from 2024 to 2023.

The new renewables summary figures have now changed to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 1326 MW
  • 2025 – 6576 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 13173 MW

This totals to 28554 MW.

Note.

  1. The early delivery of the Sofia wind farm has increased the amount of wind farms coming onstream next year, which will help the Winter of 2023/2024.
  2. It will also help the Liz Truss/Kwasi Kwarteng government at the next election, that should take place in early 2025.
  3. Hornsea 3 and Hinckley Point C make 2027 a big year for new renewable energy commissioning.

By 2027, we have more than doubled our renewable energy generation.

The Growth Plan 2022

In this document from the Treasury, the following groups of wind farms are listed for acceleration.

  • Remaining Round 3 Projects
  • Round 4 Projects
  • Extension Projects
  • Scotwind Projects
  • INTOG Projects
  • Floating Wind Commercialisation Projects
  • Celtic Sea Projects

I will look at each in turn.

Remaining Round 3 Projects

In this group are the the 1200 MW Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C wind farms, which are due for commissioning in 2024/25.

Suppose that as with the Sofia wind farm in the same area, they were to be able to be brought forward by a year.

The new renewables summary figures would change to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 5076 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 13173 MW

This totals to 28554 MW.

It looks like if Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C can be accelerated by a year, it has four effects.

  • The renewables come onstream at a more constant rate.
  • SSE and Equinor, who are developing the Dogger Bank wind farms start to get paid earlier.
  • The UK gets more electricity earlier, which helps bridge the gap until Hornsea 3 and Hinckley Point C come onstream in 2027.
  • The UK Government gets taxes and lease fees from the Dogger Bank wind farms at an earlier date.

Accelerating the remaining Round 3 projects would appear to be a good idea.

Round 4 Projects

According to Wikipedia’s list of proposed wind farms, there are six Round 4 wind farms, which total up to 7026 MW.

Accelerating these projects, is probably a matter of improved government regulations and pressure, and good project management.

But all time savings in delivering the wind farms benefits everybody all round.

This document from the Department of Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy lists all the Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 4 results for the supply of zero-carbon electricity.

Many of these projects are smaller projects and I suspect quite a few are shovel ready.

But as with the big wind farms, there are some projects that can be brought forward to everybody’s benefit.

Norfolk Boreas

Norfolk Boreas wind farm is one of the Round 4 projects.

The wind farm is shown as 1400 MW on Wikipedia.

On the web site, it now says construction will start in 2023, which could mean a completion by 2025, as these projects seem to take about two years from first construction to commissioning, as I showed in How Long Does It Take To Build An Offshore Wind Farm?.

The new renewables summary figures would change to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 11773 MW

This still totals to 28554 MW.

This acceleration of a large field would be beneficial, as the 2025 figure has increased substantially.

I would suspect that Vattenfall are looking hard to accelerate their Norfolk projects.

Extension Projects

I first talked about extension projects in Offshore Wind Extension Projects 2017.

The target was to add 2.85 GW of offshore wind and in the end seven projects were authorised.

These are the best figures I have and they add up to an interim total of 3359 MW.

I suspect that these projects could be easy to accelerate, as the developers have probably been designing these extensions since 2017.

I think it is reasonable to assume that these seven wind farms will add at least 3000 MW, that can be commissioned by 2027.

The new renewables summary figures would change to.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 14773 MW

This now totals to 31554 MW.

Accelerating the extension projects would be a good idea, especially, as they were awarded some years ago, so are probably well into the design phase.

ScotWind Projects

I first talked about ScotWind in ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations.

It was planned to do the following.

  • Generate 9.7 GW from six wind farms with fixed foundations.
  • Generate 14.6 GW from ten floating wind farms.

But since then three more floating wind farms with a total capacity of 2800 MW have been added, as I wrote about in Three Shetland ScotWind Projects Announced.

I suspect that some of these projects are ripe for acceleration and some may well be generating useful electricity by 2030 or even earlier.

INTOG Projects

I wrote about INTOG in What Is INTOG?.

I can see the INTOG Projects contributing significantly to our fleet of offshore wind turbines.

I have already found a 6 GW/£30 billion project to decarbonise oil and gas rigs around our shores, which is proposed by Cerulean Winds and described on this web page.

If the other large INTOG projects are as good as this one, then we’ll be seeing some sensational engineering.

Floating Wind Commercialisation Projects

This page on the Carbon Trust website is entitled Floating Wind Joint Industry Programme (JIP).

They appear to be very much involved in projects like these.

The page has this description.

The Floating Wind Joint Industry Programme is a world leading collaborative research and development (R&D) initiative dedicated to overcoming technological challenges and advancing commercialisation of floating offshore wind.

This graphic shows the partners and advisors.

Most of the big wind farm builders and turbine and electrical gubbins manufacturers are represented.

Celtic Sea Projects

The Celtic Sea lies between South-East Ireland, Pembrokeshire and the Devon and Cornwall peninsular.

The Crown Estate kicked this off with press release in July 2022, that I wrote about in The Crown Estate Announces Areas Of Search To Support Growth Of Floating Wind In The Celtic Sea.

This map shows the five areas of search.

One Celtic Sea project has already been awarded a Contract for Difference in the Round 4 allocation, which I wrote about in Hexicon Wins UK’s First Ever CfD Auction For Floating Offshore Wind.

Other wind farms have already been proposed for the Celtic Sea.

In DP Energy And Offshore Wind Farms In Ireland, I said this.

They are also developing the Gwynt Glas offshore wind farm in the UK sector of the Celtic Sea.

  • In January 2022, EDF Renewables and DP Energy announced a Joint Venture partnership to combine their knowledge and
    expertise, in order to participate in the leasing round to secure seabed rights to develop up to 1GW of FLOW in the Celtic Sea.
  • The wind farm is located between Pembroke and Cornwall.

The addition of Gwynt Glas will increase the total of floating offshore wind in the UK section of the Celtic Sea.

  • Blue Gem Wind – Erebus – 100 MW Demonstration project  – 27 miles offshore
  • Blue Gem Wind – Valorus – 300 MW Early-Commercial project – 31 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Petroc – 300 MW project – 37 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Llywelyn – 300 MW project – 40 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Gwynt Glas – 1000 MW Project – 50 miles offshore

This makes a total of 2.2 GW, with investors from several countries.

It does seem that the Celtic Sea is becoming the next area of offshore wind around the British Isles to be developed.

How do these wind farms fit in with the Crown Estate’s plans for the Celtic Sea?

I certainly, don’t think that the Crown Estate will be short of worthwhile proposals.

Conclusion

More and more wind farms keep rolling in.

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Norfolk Boreas Offshore Windfarm Contract Awarded

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

These are the introductory paragraphs.

A government contract has been awarded for the first phase one of the biggest offshore wind zones in the world.

The Norfolk Boreas is expected to secure renewable electricity to meet the needs of around 1.5 million homes, Swedish firm Vattenfall said.

Alongside the Norfolk Vanguard project, it is part of the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone, which was approved in February.

Together, Norfolk Boreas and Norfolk Vanguard will probably produce over 3 GW of electricity.

July 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Norfolk Wind Farms Offer ‘Significant Benefit’ For Local Economy

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

This is a comprehensive article, which looks at the benefits of the huge Norfolk Boreas and Norfolk Vanguard wind farms will have to the economy of Norfolk.

The last section is devoted to Norfolk Nimby; Raymond Pearce.

This is the section.

Following the re-approval of the decision by the government, Mr Pearce says he is considering a new appeal over what he calls “a very poor decision”.

He is also sceptical of claims the two new wind farms will bring the economic gains promised by Vattenfall.

“It’s renewable energy at any cost and the cost here is to the environment in Norfolk,” he says.

“I don’t blame them for being positive about it, it’s their industry but they’re not looking at it holistically.”

He says he is not against renewable energy but thinks a better plan is needed to connect the offshore windfarms and minimise the number of cables and substations onshore.

It’s his money if he appeals, but we do need more wind, solar and other zero-carbon energy to combat global warming and its effects like the encroachment of the sea around Norfolk.

I believe, that building wind farms off the coast of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk is a good move, as in the future, if we have spare electricity, it will be easy to export energy to Europe, through existing interconnectors.

But I do agree with him, that a better plan is needed to connect the offshore windfarms and minimise the number of cables and substations onshore.

A Norfolk Powerhouse

This map from Vattenfall, the developer of the two wind farms, shows the position of the farms and the route of the cable to the shore.

Note.

  1. The purple line appears to be the UK’s ten mile limit.
  2. Norfolk Boreas is outlined in blue.
  3. Norfolk Vanguard is outlined in orange.
  4. Cables will be run in the grey areas.
  5. Both wind farms are planned to have a capacity of 1.8 GW

Landfall will be just a few miles to the South of the Bacton gas terminal.

Bacton Gas Terminal

Bacton gas terminal is much more than a simple gas terminal.

With the need to decarbonise, I can’t help feeling that the Bacton gas terminal is very much on the decline and the site will need to be repurposed in the next few years.

Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

If you blend a proportion of hydrogen into natural gas, this has two beneficial effects.

  • Gas used in domestic and industrial situations will emit less carbon dioxide.
  • In the near future we will be replacing imported natural gas with hydrogen.

The hydrogen could be produced by a giant electrolyser at Bacton powered by the electricity from the two Norfolk wind farms.

At the present time, a research project call HyDeploy is underway, which is investigating the blending of hydrogen into the natural gas supply.

  • Partners include Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, the Health and Safety Executive, Keele University and ITM Power and Progessive Energy.
  • A first trial at Keele University has been hailed as a success.
  • It showed up to twenty percent of hydrogen by volume can be added to the gas network without the need to change any appliances or boilers.

Larger trials are now underway.

A Giant Electrolyser At Bacton

If hydrogen were to be produced at Bacton by a giant electrolyser, it could be used or distributed in one of the following ways.

  • Blended with natural gas for gas customers in Southern England.
  • Stored in a depleted gas field off the coast at Bacton. Both Baird and Deborah gas fields have been or are being converted to gas storage facilities, connected to Bacton.
  • Distributed by truck to hydrogen filling stations and bus and truck garages.
  • Greater Anglia might like a hydrogen feed to convert their Class 755 trains to hydrogen power.
  • Sent by a short pipeline to the Port of Great Yarmouth and possibly the Port of Lowestoft.
  • Exported to Europe, through one of the interconnectors.

Note.

  1. If the electrolyser were to be able to handle the 3.6 GW of the two wind farms, it would be the largest in the world.
  2. The size of the electrolyser could be increased over a few years to match the output of the wind farms as more turbines are installed offshore.
  3. There is no reason, why the electrical connection between Bacton and the landfall of the wind farm cable couldn’t be offshore.

If ITM Power were to supply the electrolyser, it would be built in the largest electrolyser factory in the World, which is in Sheffield in Yorkshire.

A Rail Connection To The Bacton Gas Terminal

This Google Map shows the area between North Walsham and the coast.

Note.

  1. North Walsham is in the South-Western corner of the map.
  2. North Walsham station on the Bittern Line is indicated by the red icon.
  3. The Bacton gas terminal is the trapezoidal-shaped area on the coast, at the top of the map.

I believe it would be possible to build a small rail terminal in the area with a short pipeline connection to Bacton, so that hydrogen could be distributed by train.

How Much Hydrogen Could Be Created By The Norfolk Wind Farms?

In The Mathematics Of Blending Twenty Percent Of Hydrogen Into The UK Gas Grid, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

Each of the Norfolk wind farms, if they were working flat out would produce 43.2 GWh  of electricity in a day.

Dividing the two figures gives a daily production rate of 782.6 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

But what happens if the wind doesn’t blow?

This is where the gas storage in the Baird, Deborah and other depleted gas fields comes in.In times of maximum wind, hydrogen is stored for use when the wind doesn’t blow.

Conclusion

I believe a plan like this, would be much better for Norfolk, the UK and the whole planet.

Using the existing gas network to carry the energy away from Norfolk, could mean that the electricity connection across Norfolk could be scaled back.

 

 

February 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm Re-approved By Government

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

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

An offshore wind farm capable of generating electricity for nearly two million homes has been re-approved by government after consent was previously overturned by a High Court judge.

Vattenfall’s 1.8-gigawatt Norfolk Vanguard project had been granted consent by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Note.

  1. Norfolk Boreas and Norfolk Vanguard are a pair of 1.8 GW offshore wind farms to be developed 72 and 47 kilometres off the Norfolk coast by Swedish company; Vattenfall.
  2. Hinckley Point C will have a capacity of 3.25 GW.

This map shows the two fields in relation to the coast.

Note.

  1. The purple line appears to be the UK’s ten mile limit.
  2. Norfolk Boreas is outlined in blue.
  3. Norfolk Vsnguard is outlined in orange.
  4. Cables will be run in the grey areas.

This second map shows the onshore cable.

Note.

  1. The cables are planned to come ashore between Happisburgh and Eccles-on-Sea.
  2. Bacton is only a short distance up the coast.
  3. The onshore cable is planned to go from here across Norfolk to the Necton substation.

But the planning permission was overturned by a legal ruling.

This article on the BBC is entitled Norfolk Vanguard: Ministers Wrong Over Wind Farm Go-Ahead, Says Judge.

These are the first four paragraphs.

A High Court judge has quashed permission for one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms to be built off the east coast of England.

The Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm was granted development consent in July by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

But Mr Justice Holgate overturned the decision following legal action from a man living near a planned cable route.

A Department for BEIS spokeswoman said it was “disappointed by the outcome”.

This is a paragraph in today’s BBC article.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, granted development consent for the wind farm, having re-determined the application.

So will we be back to the Law Courts?

In Is There A Need For A Norfolk-Suffolk Interconnector?, I said this.

But seriously, is it a good idea to dig an underground cable all the way across Norfolk or in these times build a massive overhead cable either?

Perhaps the solution is to connect the Norfolk Boreas And Norfolk Vanguard wind farms to a giant electrolyser at Bacton, which creates hydrogen.

  • The underground electricity cable across Norfolk would not be needed.
  • Bacton gas terminal is only a few miles up the coast from the cable’s landfall.
  • The UK gets another supply of gas.
  • The hydrogen is blended with natural gas for consumption in the UK or Europe.
  • A pure hydrogen feed can be used to supply hydrogen buses, trucks and other vehicles, either by tanker or pipeline.
  • Excess hydrogen could be stored in depleted gas fields.

Thye main benefit though, would be that it would transform Bacton gas terminal from a declining asset into Norfolk’s Hydrogen Powerhouse.

For more information on blending hydrogen into our natural gas supply see HyDeploy.

February 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is There A Need For A Norfolk-Suffolk Interconnector?

The coast of East Anglia from the Wash to the Haven Ports of Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich is becoming the Energy Coast of England.

Starting at the Wash and going East and then South, the following energy-related sites or large energy users are passed.

Bicker Fen Substation

Bicker may only be a small hamlet in Lincolnshire, but it is becoming increasingly important in supplying energy to the UK.

Nearby is Bicker Fen substation, which connects or will connect the following to the National Grid.

  • The 26 MW Bicker Fen onshore windfarm.
  • The 1,400 MW interconnector from Denmark called Viking Link.
  • The proposed 857 MW offshore wind farm Triton Knoll.

This Google Map shows the location of Bicker Fen with respect to The Wash.

Bicker Fen is marked by the red arrow.

The Google Map shows the substation.

It must be sized to handle over 2 GW, but is it large enough?

Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm

The Dudgeon offshore wind farm is a 402 MW wind farm, which is twenty miles off the North Norfolk coast.

  • It has 67 turbines and an offshore substation.
  • It is connected to the shore at Weybourne on the coast from where an underground cable is connected to the National Grid at Necton.
  • It became operational in Oct 2017.
  • Equinor and Statkraft are part owners of the windfarm and this is the home page of the wind farm’s web site.
  • Equinor is the operator of the wind farm.

This Google Map shows the location of Weybourne on the coast.

Note.

  1. Weybourne is in the middle on the coast.
  2. Sheringham is on the coast in the East.
  3. Holt is on the Southern edge of the map almost South of Weybourne.

This second map shows the location of the onshore substation at Necton, with respect to the coast.

Note.

  1. The Necton substation is marked by a red arrow.
  2. Holt and Sheringham can be picked out by the coast in the middle.
  3. Weybourne is to the West of Sheringham.
  4. Necton and Weybourne are 35 miles apart.

Digging in the underground cable between Necton and Weybourne might have caused some disruption.

Looking at Weybourne in detail, I can’t find anything that looks like a substation. So is the Necton substation connected directly to Dudgeon’s offshore substation?

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm

The Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm is a 316.8 MW wind farm, which is eleven miles off the North Norfolk coast.

  • It has 88 turbines and two offshore substations.
  • As with Dudgeon, it is connected to the shore at Weybourne on the coast.
  • But the underground cable is connected to an onshore substation at Salle and that is connected to the National Grid at Norwich.
  • It became operational in Sept 2012.
  • Equinor and Statkraft are part owners of the windfarm and this is the home page of the wind farm’s web site.
  • Equinor is the operator of the wind farm.

This second map shows the location of the onshore substation at Salle, with respect to the coast.

Note.

  1. The Salle substation is marked by a red arrow.
  2. Holt, Weybourne and Sheringham can be picked out by the coast in the middle.
  3. Weybourne is to the West of Sheringham.
  4. Salle and Weybourne are 13.5 miles apart.

Could the following two statements be true?

  • As the Sheringham Shoal wind farm was built first, that wind farm was able to use the shorter route.
  • It wasn’t built large enough to be able to handle the Dudgeon wind farm.

The statements would certainly explain, why Dudgeon used a second cable.

Extending The Dudgeon And Sheringham Shoal Wind Farms

Both the Dudgeon And Sheringham Shoal web sites have details of the proposed join extension of both wind farms.

This is the main statement on the Overview page.

Equinor has been awarded an Agreement for Lease by the Crown Estate, the intention being to seek consents to increase the generating capacity of both the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm and the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm.

They then make three points about the development.

  • Equinor is proposing a joint development of the two projects with a common transmission infrastructure.
  • As part of the common DCO application, the Extension Projects have a shared point of connection at the National Grid Norwich Main substation.
  • These extension projects will have a combined generating capacity of 719MW which will make an important contribution to the UK’s target of 30GW of electricity generated by offshore wind by 2030.

This statement on the Offshore Location page, describes the layout of the wind farms.

The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm extension is to the north and the east of the existing wind farm, while its Dudgeon counterpart is to the north and south east of the existing Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm site. The proposed extension areas share the boundaries with its existing wind farm site.

They then make these two important points about the development.

  • Equinor is seeking to develop the extension project with a joint transmission infrastructure. A common offshore substation infrastructure is planned to be located in the Sheringham Shoal wind farm site.
  • The seabed export cable which will transmit the power generated by both wind farm extensions will make landfall at Weybourne.

There is also this map.

Note.

  1. The purple line appears to be the UK’s ten mile limit.
  2. The Sheringham Shoal Extension is outlined in red.
  3. The Dudgeon Extension is outlined in blue.
  4. The black lines appear to be the power cables.

I suspect the dotted blue lines are shipping routes sneaking their way through the turbines.

This statement on the Onshore Location page, describes the layout of the offshore and onshore cables.

A new seabed export cable will bring the electricity generated by both the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm extensions to shore at Weybourne, on the coast of Norfolk.

They then make these two important points about the development.

  • From there a new underground cable will be installed to transmit that power to a new purpose built onshore substation, which will be located within a 3km radius of the existing Norwich main substation, south of Norwich. This will be the National Grid network connection point for the electricity from both wind farm extensions.
  • The power will be transmitted from landfall to the substation using an HVAC system which eliminates the need for any relay stations along the onshore cable route.

There is also this map.

It will be a substantial undertaking to build the underground cable between Weybourne and South of Norwich.

Bacton Gas Terminal

The Bacton gas terminal is a complex of six gas terminals about ten miles East of Cromer.

  • It lands and processes gas from a number of fields in the North Sea.
  • It hosts the UK end of the BBL pipeline to The Netherlands.
  • It hosts the UK end of the Interconnector to Zeebrugge in Belgium.
  • The Baird and Deborah fields, which have been developed as gas storage, are connected to the gas terminal. They are both mothballed.

This Google Map shows the location of the terminal.

Note.

  1. The Bacton gas terminal is marked by a red arrow.
  2. Sheringham is in the North West corner of the map.
  3. Cromer, Overstrand, Trimingham and Mundesley are resort towns and villages along the coast North of Bacton.

This second map shows the Bacton gas terminal in more detail.

Would you want to have a seaside holiday, by a gas terminal?

Norfolk Boreas And Norfolk Vanguard

Norfolk Boreas and Norfolk Vanguard are two wind farms under development by Vattenfall.

  • Norfolk Boreas is a proposed 1.8 GW wind farm, that will be 45 miles offshore.
  • Norfolk Vanguard is a proposed 1.8 GW wind farm, that will be 29 miles offshore.

This map shows the two fields in relation to the coast.

Note.

  1. The purple line appears to be the UK’s ten mile limit.
  2. Norfolk Boreas is outlined in blue.
  3. Norfolk Vsnguard is outlined in orange.
  4. Cables will be run in the grey areas.

This second map shows the onshore cable.

Note.

  1. The cables are planned to come ashore between Happisburgh and Eccles-on-Sea.
  2. Bacton gas terminal is only a short distance up the coast.
  3. The onshore cable is planned to go from here across Norfolk to the Necton substation.

But all of this has been overturned by a legal ruling.

This article on the BBC is entitled Norfolk Vanguard: Ministers Wrong Over Wind Farm Go-Ahead, Says Judge.

These are the first four paragraphs.

A High Court judge has quashed permission for one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms to be built off the east coast of England.

The Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm was granted development consent in July by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

But Mr Justice Holgate overturned the decision following legal action from a man living near a planned cable route.

A Department for BEIS spokeswoman said it was “disappointed by the outcome”.

I bet the spokeswoman was disappointed.

Vattenfall and the BEIS will go back to the drawing board.

But seriously, is it a good idea to dig an underground cable all the way across Norfolk or in these times build a massive overhead cable either?

Perhaps the solution is to connect the Norfolk Boreas And Norfolk Vanguard wind farms to a giant electrolyser at Bacton, which creates hydrogen.

  • The underground electricity cable across Norfolk would not be needed.
  • Bacton gas terminal is only a few miles up the coast from the cable’s landfall.
  • The UK gets another supply of gas.
  • The hydrogen is blended with natural gas for consumption in the UK or Europe.
  • A pure hydrogen feed can be used to supply hydrogen buses, trucks and other vehicles, either by tanker or pipeline.
  • Excess hydrogen could be stored in depleted gas fields.

The main benefit though, would be that it would transform Bacton gas terminal from a declining asset into Norfolk’s Hydrogen Powerhouse.

Great Yarmouth And Lowestoft

Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour and the Port of Lowestoft have not been the most successful of ports in recent years, but with the building of large numbers of wind farms, they are both likely to receive collateral benefits.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the support ships for the wind farms switching to zero-carbon power, which would require good electrical connections to the ports to either charge batteries or power electrolysers to generate hydrogen.

Sizewell

Sizewell has only one nuclear power station at present; Sizewell B, but it could be joined by Sizewell C or a fleet of Small Modular Reactors (SMR).

The Sizewell Overhead Transmission Line

Sizewell also has a very high capacity overhead power line to Ipswich and the West.

I doubt, it would be possible to build an overhead transmission line like this today.

Sizewell And Hydrogen

EdF, who own the site are involved with Freeport East and may choose to build a large electrolyser in the area to create hydrogen for the Freeport.

East Anglia Array

The East Anglia Array will be an enormous wind farm., comprising up to six separate projects.

It will be thirty miles offshore.

It could generate up to 7.2 GW.

The first project East Anglia One is in operation and delivers 714 MW to a substation in the Deben Estuary, which connects to the Sizewell high-capacity overhead power line.

Most projects will be in operation by 2026.

Freeport East

As the Freeport develops, it will surely be a massive user of both electricity and hydrogen.

Problems With The Current Electricity Network

I don’t believe that the current electricity network, that serves the wind farms and the large energy users has been designed with the number of wind farms we are seeing in the North Sea in mind.

Every new windfarm seems to need a new connection across Norfolk or Suffolk and in Norfolk, where no high-capacity cables exist, this is stirring up the locals.

There is also no energy storage in the current electricity network, so at times, the network must be less than efficient and wind turbines have to be shut down.

Objections To The Current Policies

It is not difficult to find stories on the Internet about objections to the current policies of building large numbers of wind farms and the Sizewell C nuclear power station.

This article on the East Anglia Daily Times, which is entitled Campaigners Unite In Calling For A Pause Before ‘Onslaught’ Of Energy Projects ‘Devastates’ Region is typical.

This is the first paragraph.

Campaigners and politicians have called on the Government to pause the expansion of the energy industry in Suffolk, which they fear will turn the countryside into an “industrial wasteland” and hit tourism.

The group also appear to be against the construction of Sizewell C.

I feel they have a point about too much development onshore, but I feel that if the UK is to thrive in the future we need an independent zero carbon energy source.

I also believe that thousands of wind farms in the seas around the UK and Ireland are the best way to obtain that energy.

Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Blending green hydrogen produced in an electrolyser  with natural gas is an interesting possibility.

  • HyDeploy is a project to investigate blending up to 20 % of green hydrogen in the natural gas supply to industrial and domestic users.
  • Partners include Cadent, ITM Power, Keele University and the Health and Safety Executive.
  • Natural gas naturally contains a small amount of hydrogen anyway.
  • The hydrogen gas would be distributed to users in the existing gas delivery network.

I wrote about HyDeploy in a post called HyDeploy.

Thje only loser, if hydrogen were to be blended with natural gas would be Vlad the Poisoner, as he’d sell less of his tainted gas.

An Interconnector Between Bicker Fen And Freeport East

I believe that an electricity interconnector between at least Bicker Fen and Freeport East could solve some of the problems.

My objectives would be.

  • Avoid as much disruption on the land as possible.
  • Create the capacity to deliver all the energy generated to customers, either as electricity or hydrogen.
  • Create an expandable framework, that would support all the wind farms that could be built in the future.

The interconnector would be a few miles offshore and run along the sea-bed.

  • This method of construction is well proven.
  • It was used for the Western HVDC Link between Hunterston in Scotland and Connah’s Quay in Wales.
  • Most wind farms seem to have existing substations and these would be upgraded to host the interconnector.

Connections en route would include.

Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm

The interconnector would connect to the existing offshore substation.

Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm

The interconnector would connect to the existing offshore substation.

Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal Extension Offshore Wind Farms

These two wind farms could be connected directly to the interconnector, if as planned, they shared an offshore substation in the Sheringham Shoal Extension offshore wind farm.

Bacton Gas Terminal

I would connect to the Bacton Gas Terminal, so that a large electrolyser could be installed at the terminal.

The hydrogen produced could be.

  • Stored in depleted gas fields connected to the terminal.
  • Blended with natural gas.
  • Exported to Europe through an interconnector.
  • Supplied to local users by truck or pipeline.

After all, the terminal has been handling gas for over fifty years, so they have a lot of experience of safe gas handling.

Norfolk Boreas And Norfolk Vanguard

These two wind farms could be connected directly to the interconnector, if they shared an offshore substation.

It would also help to appease and silence the objectors, if there was no need to dig up half of Norfolk.

Great Yarmouth And Lowestoft

It might be better, if these ports were supplied from the interconnector.

  • Either port could have its own electrolyser to generate hydrogen, which could be.
  • Used to power ships, trucks and port equipment.
  • Liquefied and exported in tankers.
  • Used to supply local gas users.
  • Hydrogen could be supplied to a converted Great Yarmouth power station.

Both Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft could become hydrogen hub towns.

Sizewell

This site has a high-capacity connection to the National Grid. This connection is a big eyesore, but it needs to run at full capacity to take electricity from the Energy Coast to the interior of England.

That electricity can come from Sizewell B and/or Sizewell C nuclear power stations or the offshore wind farms.

East Anglia Array

There would probably need to be a joint offshore substation to control the massive amounts of electricity generated by the array.

Currently, the only wind farm in operation of this group is East Anglia One, which uses an underground cable connection to the Sizewell high-capacity connection to the Bullen Lane substation at Bramford.

Freeport East, Ipswich And Bullen Lane Substation

This Google Map shows the area between Ipswich and the coast.

Note.

  1. Sizewell is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. Felixstowe, Harwich and Freeport East are at the mouth of the rivers Orwell and Stour.
  3. The Bullen Lane substation is to the West of Ipswich and shown by the red arrow.

I would certainly investigate the possibility of running an underwater cable up the River Orwell to connect the Southern end of the interconnector Between Bicker Fen And Freeport East.

This Google Map shows the Bullen Lane Substation.

It looks impressive, but is it big enough to handle all the electricity coming ashore from the offshore wind farms to the East of Suffolk and the electricity from the power stations at Sizewell?

Conclusion

I believe there are a lot of possibilities, that would meet my objectives.

In addition, simple mathematics says to me, that either there will need to be extra capacity at both Bicker Fen and Bullen Lane substations and onward to the rest of the country, or a large electrolyser to convert several gigawatts of electricity into hydrogen for distribution, through the gas network.

 

 

January 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments