The Anonymous Widower

Norwegian Company To Power Data Centres With Offshore Wind

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

This is the sub-title.

Norwegian energy company Earth Wind & Power (EWP) is set to offtake up to 400MW of excess and pre-grid offshore wind power to supply electricity to data centre infrastructure in Northern Europe.

This sounds like a good idea.

Over the next few years, the UK will be ramping up our production of renewable energy.

Data centres could be an ideal way to make money from our excess energy.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Dogger Bank – The Joke That Is Growing Up To Be A Wind Powerhouse

The Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank, describes it like this.

Dogger Bank is a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea about 100 kilometres (62 mi) off the east coast of England.

But many of my generation remember it from its use in the Shipping Forecast and as a joke place like the Balls Pond Road, Knotty Ash and East Cheam, in radio and TV comedy from the 1950s and 1960s.

But now it is being turned into one of the largest wind powerhouses!

According to Wikipedia’s list of the UK’s offshore wind farms, these wind farms are being developed on the Dogger Bank.

  • Sofia Offshore Wind Farm – 1400 MW – Under Construction – Commissioning in 2023/26 – £39.65/MWh – RWE
  • Doggerbank A – 1235 MW – Under Construction – Commissioning in 2023/24 – £39.65/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank B – 1235 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank C – 1218 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank D – 1320 MW – Early Planning – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank South – 3000 MW – Early Planning – RWE

Note.

  1. These total up to 9408 MW.
  2. The Dogger Bank wind farms have their own web site.
  3. The Sofia offshore wind farm has its own web site.
  4. Doggerbank A and Doggerbank B will connect to the National Grid at Creyke Beck to the North of Hull.
  5. Sofia and Doggerbank C will connect to the National Grid at Lazenby on Teesside.

But this is only the start on the British section of the Dogger Bank.

This map, which comes courtesy of Energy Network Magazine and 4C Offshore is entitled 2001 UK Offshore Windfarm Map shows all UK offshore wind farms and their status. It looks to my naive mind, that there could be space for more wind farms to the North and West of the cluster of Digger Bank wind farms.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub

The UK doesn’t have full territorial rights to the Dogger Bank we share the bank with the Danes, Dutch and Germans.

In the Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank wind farm, this is said about the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

Dutch, German, and Danish electrical grid operators are cooperating in a project to build a North Sea Wind Power Hub complex on one or more artificial islands to be constructed on Dogger Bank as part of a European system for sustainable electricity. The power hub would interconnect the three national power grids with each other and with the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

A study commissioned by Dutch electrical grid operator TenneT reported in February 2017 that as much as 110 gigawatts of wind energy generating capacity could ultimately be developed at the Dogger Bank location.

Note.

  1. 110 GW shared equally would be 27.5 GW.
  2. As we already have 9.4 GW of wind power, under construction or in planning around the Dogger Bank, could we find space for the other 18.1 GW?
  3. I suspect we could squeeze it in.

If we can and the Danes, Dutch and Germans can generate their share, the four countries would each have a 27.5 GW wind farm.

What would put the icing on the cake, would be if there could be a massive battery on the Dogger Bank. It wouldn’t be possible now and many would consider it a joke. But who knows what the capacity of an underwater battery based on concrete, steel, seawater and masses of ingenuity will be in a few years time.

Where Does Norway Fit In To The North Sea Wind Power Hub?

It could be argued that Norway could also connect to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

  • 110 GW shared equally would be 22 GW.
  • Norway can build massive pumped storage hydroelectric power stations close to the landfall of an interconnector to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.
  • the British, Danes, Dutch and Germans can’t do that, as they don’t have any handy mountains.
  • Norway is a richer country the others involved in the project.

I can see Norway signing up to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

The North Sea Link

The Wikipedia entry for the North Sea Link, introduces it like this.

The North Sea Link is a 1,400 MW high-voltage direct current submarine power cable between Norway and the United Kingdom.

At 720 km (450 mi) it is the longest subsea interconnector in the world. The cable became operational on 1 October 2021.

It runs between Kvilldal in Norway and Blyth in Northumberland.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the North Sea Link is modified, so that it has a connection to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

 

 

November 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Odfjell Oceanwind and Source Galileo Norge Forge Floating Offshore Wind Alliance

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

The first highlighted paragraph outlines the possible deal.

Odfjell Oceanwind and renewable energy developer Source Galileo’s Norwegian branch, Source Galileo Norge, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on developing floating offshore wind farms using Odfjell Oceanwind’s technology.

Note.

  1. Odfjell is a Norwegian shipping company, with this web site.
  2. Odfjell Oceanwind has a web site, with a mission statement of We are shaping the future of floating offshore wind power.
  3. Source Galileo style themselves as a Developer of Large-Scale Renewable Projects on their web site.

These three paragraph outline the cooperation’s plans.

  1. The cooperation will target wind farms for the electrification of oil and gas installations, the Utsira Nord seabed development, and selected floating wind parks in Europe.
  2. According to the partners, they also plan to apply for a seabed lease on Utsira Nord where the project, named UtsiraVIND, will use Odfjell Oceanwind’s proprietary solutions for cost-competitive, industrial production of floating offshore wind units.
  3. Odfjell Oceanwind is developing the Deepsea Semi floating wind foundation design which could be used in floating wind farms and for off-grid applications including temporary electrification of oil and gas installations in harsh environments.

They seem to have large ambitions, but then the money is available to fulfil the ones that work in Norway.

This Google Map shows area of Norway, that includes Utsira, Haugesund and Stavanger.

Note.

  1. Utsira is the largest island at the West of the map.
  2. Haugesund is on the coast to the North-East of Utsira.
  3. Stavanger is the fourth largest city in Norway and is at the bottom of the map.

There would appear to be plenty of space to place floating wind turbines between all the islands and the coast.

These are some other points from the article.

  • Odfjell Oceanwind floats appear to be able to handle 15 MW turbines.
  • In May, Norway initiated an investment plan to reach 30 GW of offshore capacity by 2040.
  • Work has started to prepare Norway for floating offshore wind.
  • Norway’s next offshore wind auction is in 2025.

Norway’s going large for wind!

 

November 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rishi Sunak To Reimpose Fracking Ban

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

This is the first paragraph.

The new PM made the commitment during his first session of PMQs on Wednesday, reversing Liz Truss’s controversial decision to overturn it.

I think it is the right call.

Here’s why!

Cerulean Winds Massive Decarbonisation Project

Consider.

  • At present ten percent of our gas is used to power the oil and gas rigs in the seas around our coasts. The gas is fed into gas-turbines to generate electricity.
  • One simple way to increase gas production by this ten percent, would be to decarbonise the rigs by powering them from nearby wind farms with green electricity and green hydrogen as the Norwegians are proposing to do.
  • A British company; Cerulean Winds has proposed under the Crown Estate INTOG program to decarbonise a significant part of the oil and gas rigs, by building four 1.5 GW wind farms amongst the rigs.
  • The majority of the energy will be sold to the rig owners and any spare electricity and hydrogen will be brought ashore for industrial and domestic users.
  • This massive project will be a privately-funded £30 billion project.
  • And when the oil and gas is no longer needed, the UK will get another 6 GW of offshore wind.

We need more of this type of engineering boldness.

This page on the Cerulean Winds web site gives more details.

INTOG

This document on the Crown Estate web site outlines INTOG.

Other Projects

Decarbonisation has also attracted the attention of other developers.

I can see Rishi Sunak being offered several projects, that will increase our oil and gas security, by some of the world’s best engineers and most successful oil companies.

Rishi Sunak’s ban on fracking will only increase the rate of project development.

We live in extremely interesting times.

 

 

October 26, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Norwegians Developing Monopile Foundation For 100-Metre Depths

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

Monopile foundations are a common fixed foundation for offshore wind farms.

The article starts with this paragraph.

Norway’s Entrion Wind and Techano AS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) through which Techano AS will join the ongoing development and test project planned to take place in Kristiansand, Norway for the patent-pending fully restrained platform (FRP) offshore wind foundation technology said to extend the operating depth of the monopile technology to up to 100 metres.

It does seem that the Norwegians are intending to take this type of foundation to new heights. Or is it new depths?

A picture in the article shows a tall monopole held in position by three wires securely anchored in the sea-bed. It reminds me slightly of the sort of flag-poles, that we used to build in Scout camps in the 1960s, using Scout staves, ropes and tent pegs.

But seriously in the 1970s, I did the calculations for a company called Balaena Structures, who were trying to develop a reusable oil and gas platform.

  • The company had been started by two Engineering professors from Cambridge University.
  • The platforms were formed of a long steel cylinder, which would have been built horizontally in the sort of ship-yards, that were used to build supertankers.
  • They were to be floated out horizontally and then turned upright.
  • Weight and the gumboot principle would have kept them, in place.

The design also included a square platform on the top end. Originally, they were planning to put the platform on top after erection, but I showed that, it would be possible to erect cylinder and platform, by just allowing water to enter the cylinder.

The project had a somewhat unfulfilling end, in that they never sold the idea to an operator and the company closed.

But I still believe something similar has a future in the offshore energy industry.

It could be a foundation for a wind turbine or possibly as I indicated in The Balaena Lives, it could be used to clear up oil field accidents like Deepwater Horizon.

Could This Be A Design For A Hundred Metre Plus Monopole Foundation?

Construction and installation would be as follows.

  • A long cylinder is built in a ship-yard, where supertankers are built.
  • One end, which will be the sea-bed end after installation, is closed and has a skirt a couple of metres tall.
  • The other end is profiled to take the transition piece that is used as a mount for the wind turbine.
  • A float would be added to the top end for tow-out. This will help the cylinder to float and erect.
  • Water would be added into the cylinder and, if the dimensions are correct, it will turn through ninety degrees and float vertically.
  • It would be towed to a dock, where a large crane on the dock would remove the float and install the turbine.
  • The turbine and its foundation would then be towed into place and by adding more water lowered to the sea-bed.
  • The float would be reused for the next turbine.

Note.

  1. The float is needed to nudge the cylinder to turn vertically.
  2. If the Cambridge professors were right, the skirt and the weight of water would hold it in place.
  3. Traditional moorings could be added if required.
  4. No heavy lifts are performed at sea.
  5. The concept would surely work for a floating turbine as well.

But then what do I know?

I was just a twenty-five year old engineer, mathematician and computer programmer, who did a few calculations and a dynamic simulation fifty years ago.

October 22, 2022 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , , | 2 Comments

National Grid’s North Sea Link Strengthens Electricity Supply And Repays Its Carbon Cost In Just Six Months

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

These are three bullet points from the press release.

  • World’s longest subsea electricity cable has been in operation since Oct 2021.
  • 5.7 terawatt (TWh) hours of clean power have been shared between GB and Norway, strengthening security of supply for consumers in both countries.
  • It has saved 800,000 tonnes of carbon in the first year, paying off its carbon cost after only six months of operation.

This must surely be considered a good start.

These two paragraphs describe the operation in the first year.

During its first year of operation, the link has imported 4.6 TWh of clean electricity – enough to power 1.5 million British homes for a year.

North Sea Link has also exported 1.1 TWh to Norway, demonstrating the vital role that interconnectors play in strengthening energy security and maximising the benefits of clean energy sources for consumers across the UK and Europe.

In The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter, I describe what makes the North Sea Link so important.

It gives the UK access to the Norwegian Bank Of Electricity or Ulla-Førre, which is a complex of five hydroelectric power stations and a massive lake in the Norwegian mountains to the East of Stavanger.

  • The power stations have a total generating capacity of 2.1 GW.
  • Lake Blåsjø is able to hold enough water to generate 7800 GWh of electricity.
  • Ulla-Førre can also supply electricity to Germany, through the 1.4 GW NordLink.

If Ulla-Førre has a problem, it is that if Norwegian weather is dry, the filling of Lake Blåsjø could be difficult, which is where the interconnector comes into its own, as excess UK wind power or the 1,185 MW Hartlepool nuclear power station, can be used to send electricity to Norway for storage.

In An Update To Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, I predicted we will add the following capacity to our renewable generation in the next three years.

  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW

This is a total of 13,127 MW.

As a Control Engineer, I can see the following happening.

  • Several of the UK’s gas-fired power stations will be mothballed.
  • Some of the UK’s gas-fired power stations will be fitted with advanced control systems so they can supply more precise amounts of electricity.
  • Some UK electricity is stored in Ulla-Førre for onward sale to Germany.
  • Some UK electricity is stored in Ulla-Førre for withdrawal back to the UK, when needed.

One of Ulla-Førre’s main tasks could be to ensure that no UK electricity is wasted.

Conclusion

With all these wind generated electricity and electricity transfers, the Crown Estate, National Grid and the Treasury should be coining it.

The Germans are already building the 1.4 GW NeuConnect between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven to import more electricity.

But I do believe that another interconnector will be needed.

 

 

 

October 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CIP Picks Stiesdal Floater For 100MW Scottish Offshore Wind Farm

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

These two paragraphs introduce the project.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has selected Stiesdal Offshore’s TetraSub floating foundation structure for the 100MW Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm project, to be located off the coast of Dounreay, Caithness, Scotland.

The technology has been said to offer a lightweight and cost-effective floating solution, based on factory-made modules which are then assembled domestically in port to form a complete foundation.

Note.

  1. The TetraSub seems to have been designed for ease of manufacture.
  2. One if the aims appears to be to build a strong local supply chain.
  3. The TetraSub was designed with the help of Edinburgh University.
  4. The TetraSpar Demonstrator is in operation off the coast of Norway.
  5. This page on Mission Innovation describes the TetraSpar in detail.
  6. The TetraSpar foundation, owned by Shell, TEPCO RP, RWE, and Stiesdal.
  7. It can be deployed in water with a depth of up to 200 metres.
  8. Currently, they carry a 3.6 MW turbine.
  9. At that size, they’d need 27 or 28 turbines to create a 100 MW wind farm.

The home page of the Pentland Offshore Wind Farm gives more details.

This article on offshoreWIND.biz is entitled CIP And Hexicon To Halve Pentland Floating Wind Project Area.

  • The project area has been halved.
  • The number of turbines has been reduced from ten to seven.
  • Compact turbines will be used.
  • The project will be built in two phases, one turbine in 2025 and six in 2026.
  • Effectively, the first turbine will help to fund the second phase, which eases cash flow.

The changes show how the wind farm has changed during development due to local pressures and improved technology.

Conclusion

It does seem that the competition is growing in the field of floating wind turbines.

Given the quality of the research and backing for these floats and the fact they now have an order, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this technology be a success.

October 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Carbon-Neutral Concrete Prototype Wins €100k Architecture Prize For UK Scientists

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Architect’s Journal.

Under a picture of two white-coated scientists with their protective boots on concrete samples, the story and their invention is outlined.

A pair of PhD students at Imperial College London have won a global architecture prize for devising a groundbreaking method of creating carbon-neutral concrete

Material scientists Sam Draper and Barney Shanks landed the €100,000 2022 Obel Award with their ‘simple way’ to capture carbon from industrial production processes and create an end product that can eliminate the CO₂ footprint of concrete.

The prototype technology, dubbed Seratech, takes industrial CO₂ emissions directly from flues and produces a carbon-negative cement replacement material (silica). According to the scientists, when this is used in combination with Portland cement, the carbon capture associated with producing the silica means the concrete products can be zero carbon.

One of the products, we will need in the world is concrete and if we can make it in a carbon-neutral manner, then that will surely reduce worldwide carbon emissions.

The Technology Explained

This page on the Seratech website is entitled Our Technology.

It gives this description of the technology.

Seratech has developed a process that consumes olivine and waste CO₂ from flue gases and produces two products which both have significant value in construction.

Silica is produced which can be used as a supplementary cementitious material (SCM) in concrete meaning the amount of Portland cement in the concrete can be reduced by up to 40%. As the silica comes from a process that captures CO₂ it is “carbon negative” and the concrete can become carbon neutral.

Magnesium carbonate is produced that can be used to make a range of zero carbon construction materials and consumer products, including alternatives to building blocks and plasterboard.

The aim is for humanity to be able to continue building robust cities and infrastructure, but without the climate cost of traditional cement mixes and with the Seratech technology this goal is achievable!

Note that olivine in Europe is generally mined in Norway.

Replacement Of Steel By Concrete

Could we also replace steel in some applications with concrete?

In UK Cleantech Consortium Awarded Funding For Energy Storage Technology Integrated With Floating Wind, I talked about some of ground-breaking methods used by a company called RCAM Technologies to create infrastructure using 3D printing of concrete.

If Imperial’s concrete, which is called Seratech can be 3D printed, I can see lots of applications for the technology.

So you could kill two sources of large carbon emissions with one technology.

Conclusion

I have said on this blog before, that we will have to keep or even build more gas-fired power stations, as they can be an efficient source of pure carbon dioxide, that will be needed as a feedstock to create an increasing number of agricultural and building products.

October 10, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Norwegian Pumped Storage Hydro Help Us Through The Winter?

In UK To Norway Sub-Sea Green Power Cable Operational, I discussed the North Sea Link interconnector to Norway.

The North Sea Link is no ordinary interconnector, as it is a lot more than a 1.4 GW cable linking the electricity grids of the UK and Norway.

  • At the UK end, there is an increasing amount of wind power. The UK has added 3.5 GW in 2022.
  • At the Norway end, there is the 2.1 GW Ulla-Førre hydropower complex.
  • The water to generate electricity at Ulla-Førre comes from the artificial Lake Blåsjø, which contains enough water to generate 7.8 TWh of electricity.
  • The storage capacity at Ulla-Førre is 857 times greater than that at the UK’s largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station at Dinorwig in North Wales.
  • The power complex consists of five power stations and some can also be used as a pump powered by UK electricity to fill Lake Blåsjø with water.

Effectively, the North Sea Link, the Ulla-Førre power complex and Lake Blåsjø are a giant pumped storage hydro battery, that can either be filled by Norwegian precipitation and water flows or by using surplus UK electricity, through the North Sea Link, which opened a year ago.

If the Norwegian precipitation goes on strike, the only way to fill Lake Blåsjø is to use surplus UK power, which I suspect will be British wind and nuclear in the middle of the night!

But then I thought we will be short of electricity this winter.

  • I suspect we will be at times, but then at others there will be a surplus.
  • So the surplus will be pumped to Norway to top up the reservoir at Lake Blåsjø.
  • When we are short of electricity, the Norwegians will turn water back into electricity and send it back through the North Sea Link.

It will be more sophisticated than that, but basically, I believe it provides us with the electricity we need, at the times, when we need it.

I wouldn’t be surprised to be told, that we’ve been squirreling away overnight wind energy to Norway over the last few months.

I have written more about Ulla-Førre in The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter.

It includes a video about the building of the complex.

 

October 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 6 Comments

North Seas Countries Commit To 260 GW Of Offshore Wind By 2050

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

The nine member countries of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) on Monday committed to at least 260 GW of offshore wind energy by 2050.

The NSEC aims to advance offshore renewables in the North Seas, including the Irish and Celtic Seas, and groups Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Commission.

Note.

Intermediate targets are 76 GW by 2030 and 193 GW by 2040.

The UK has a target of 50 GW by 2030, of which 5 GW will be floating offshore wind.

The UK is not mentioned, but has joint projects with the Danes, Germans, Irish, Norwegians, Spanish and Swedes.

There is nothing about energy storage or hydrogen!

On the figures given, I think we’re holding our own. But then we’ve got more sea than anybody else.

September 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments