The Anonymous Widower

World’s First Semi-Submersible Floating Offshore Wind Farm Exceeds Expectations

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

The article is based on this news item from WindFloat Atlantic, which is entitled WindFloat Atlantic Closes 2022, Reaching 78GWh.

These are the first three paragraphs of the news item.

WindFloat Atlantic, world’s first semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm, that was connected to the grid by the end of 2019 and commissioned in 2020, now finishes its full second year in operation.

After nearly 2 years and a half in fully operation, WindFloat Atlantic closes 2022 with an electricity production of 78GWh (+5% more than its first year). This production enables the supply of green energy to more than 25,000 households, as well as the avoidance of 33,000 tones of CO2.

These favourable data show Portugal’s potential on offshore wind energy, which is reflected in the annual availability of the wind farm, which was between 93-94%, as well as showing the success of WindFloat Atlantic’s innovative technology, being a benchmark within the offshore sector.

These points are from the news item.

  • The wind farm is only 25 MW. So it is only a small wind farm.
  • There were no lost time accidents in the last year of operation.
  • It produced more electricity in 2022 than 2021.
  • I have calculated the capacity factor at 36 %.

It certainly looks to be a successful application of floating wind power.

 

January 30, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Portugal Were Glued, Stitched And Morocco-Bound

Metier’s amazing company accountant; Brian used to use a phrase of screwed, glued and tattooed, when a person or company was in trouble with the authorities and they would have to pay up.

My father was a printer and bookbinder and after today’s World Cup match between Portugal and Morocco, he’d have come up with an appropriate phrase like glued, stitched and Morocco-bound.

Note that both Brian and my father had a lot of the real East End about them.

December 10, 2022 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BayWa r.e. Unveils Subsidy-Free Floating Wind Project Offshore Portugal

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

This is the first paragraph.

BayWa r.e. has officially applied to secure the rights for an exclusive use of the seabed for a commercial-scale floating offshore wind project in Portugal, which the company said will be the first subsidy-free floating wind farm in the world.

Note.

  1. BayWa are a German company headquartered in Munich.
  2. The windfarm will have a 600 MW capacity in total, in a dedicated zone off the coastline of Viana do Castelo.
  3. It will be a floating wind farm.
  4. Viana do Castelo is situated at the mouth of the Lima River and is about 74 km. to the North of Porto.

But surely the most significant fact about this project is that it is subsidy-free.

BayWa And Subsidy-Free Wind Farms

This page on the BayWa web site is entitled BayWa r.e. Sells UK’s First Subsidy-Free Wind Farm.

This is the first paragraph.

BayWa r.e. has reached a milestone for itself and the UK renewable energy sector with the completion and sale of the country’s first subsidy-free windfarm to James Jones & Sons Ltd and London-based specialist asset manager, Gresham House Asset Management.

Note.

  1. This is the first time, I’ve seen Gresham House associated with wind farms.
  2. BayWa appear to have a fifteen year agreement with Tesco for the generated electricity.

The whole page is a must read.

 

Conclusion

Does this mean, that we will be seeing subsidy-free floating wind farms around the UK?

Get the engineering, manufacturing and financial support right for floating wind farms in the UK and wind farms could be bumper-to-bumper around these islands.

October 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Portugal’s Sevenair Eyes Up To 6 Heart Aerospace ES-30 Electric Aircraft

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

Some points from the article.

  • Sevenair are a Portuguese regional airline.
  • Sevenair run several short routes.
  • Heart Aerospace has 230 firm orders and a 100 options for the the ES-30.

Heart Aerospace may not have been the first company to fly an electric airliner, but they do seem to be attracting orders.

October 16, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

IberBlue Wind Launches In Spain And Portugal With The Objective Of Promoting Iberian Leadership In Floating Offshore Wind

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from the Simply Blue Group.

These three paragraphs introduce the project.

Simply Blue Group, Proes Consultores and FF New Energy Ventures have formed a joint venture that brings together expertise in all phases of floating offshore wind farm development.

The joint venture will focus its operations in Spain on Andalusia and Galicia, while in Portugal it will focus on the central and northern parts of the country.

IberBlue Wind aims to develop around 2GW of floating offshore wind farms.

This paragraph describes the plans of the Irish company; Simply Blue Group.

Simply Blue Group is a global developer of floating offshore wind farms with projects in Ireland, UK, US, Poland, and Sweden. Simply Blue Group currently has a pipeline of 10GW of projects under development. As part of its growth strategy, the company is now expanding into the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

It appears to be a very ambitious company.

Every GW of renewable energy helps.

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a 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

Could The Madrid And Lisbon High Speed Line Become Iconic?

This article on Railway Gazette International is entitled ADIF AV Agrees EIB Loan As Extremadura High Speed Link Makes Progress.

This sentence in the first paragraph gives details of the route.

The loan will support completion of the 282 km high speed line between Talayuela, Plasencia Cáceres, Mérida and Badajoz.

It will carry both passengers and freight and eventually link Madrid and Lisbon.

The article shows a spectacular bridge under construction.

So I got out my helicopter and decided to go and look for the bridge.

These are some sections and stations along the line.

The Railway Gazette article says this about the route to the East of Plasencia.

East of Plasencia however, land acquisition and preparatory works have proceeded more slowly. On this section, broad gauge tracks are to be laid as far as Talavera de la Reina, where there would be a junction with the conventional network and a gauge-changer. Passenger trains would then continue over 1 435 mm gauge tracks to join the existing Toledo – Madrid high speed line south of the capital.

Note.

  1. As I started from the East, it’s the other way round.
  2. If there is a gauge change and Iberian (broad) gauge to the West of Talavera de la Reina, is this to make it easier to connect to the Portuguese network?
  3. On the other hand, I thought, that all European-funded lines, as this one is, are supposed to be standard gauge.
  4. Will freight trains use gauge-change to get through?

As the Spanish do gauge-change well, I suspect they know what they’re doing, even if I don’t!

Two Routes From Madrid

Consider.

  • Currently, trains between Madrid and Talavera de la Reina, use a single track line.
  • The only sections of double-track are in stations and on the approaches to Madrid, after the trains pass Humanes de Madrid EMU depot.
  • Plans appear to exist to link the new high speed route to Madrid, by using the existing Madrid and Toledo high speed line.
  • This would reduce journey times and possibly increase capacity.

This Google Map shows the area between Msdrid and Toledo.

Note.

  1. The current single-track line between Madrid and Talavera de la Reina leaves the map in the South-Western corner.
  2. The line goes to the West of Villa Luenga de la Sagra and Yuncler before going to Madrid in a NNE direction.
  3. The Madrid and Toledo high speed line, runs diagonally in a SSW direction from the North-East corner of the map.
  4. The high speed line passes to the West of Cobeja and Pantoja.

Looking at the map, I don’t think it would be impossible to create a link between the two lines.

The Area Is Mainly Agricultural

This Google Map shows the mainly agricultural nature of the land.

Between Madrid and Talavera de la Reina, it also appears to not be very challenging and there doesn’t appear to be a major river, that would need to be crossed.

This should make construction easier!

Talavera de la Reina

This Google Map shows the railway station at the city of Talavera de la Reina.

Note.

  1. Madrid is to the East using standard gauge tracks.
  2. Badajoz is to the West using broad gauge tracks. Or does the standard gauge continue?
  3. The gauge change will be needed somewhere and it looks like it will happen here.

I can’t find any work here concerned with building the new high speed tracks.

Oropesa de Toledo

This Google Map shows the railway station in the town of Oropesa de Toledo.

There is no sign of the high speed line.

 

 

Note.

  1. The high speed line stops rather abruptly. Will it continue in a tunnel?
  2. The current single-track railway, at the top of the map.
  3. The border between the two provinces at the right of the map.

No clues as to the gauge of the high speed lines.

Navalmoral de la Mata

The current line goes through the municipality of Navalmoral de la Mata.

This Google Map shows the station.

There appeared to be no sign of the new high speed line. On one of my maps it is shown to the North.

The Eastern End Of The High Speed Line

The first sight of the new high speed line was at the border of Extremadura.

Note.

  1. The high speed line stops rather abruptly. Will it continue in a tunnel?
  2. The current single-track railway, at the top of the map.
  3. The border between the two provinces at the right of the map.

No clues as to the gauge of the high speed lines.

Casatejada

This Google Map shows the municipality of Casatejada.

Note.

  1. The route of the new high speed line to the North.
  2. Wikipedia doesn’t say much about it.

It may have a station, but it doesn’t have too many trains.

The section of the high speed line ends just to the West of Casatejada, as this Google Map shows.

This section of the high speed line would seem to go all the way to the Eastern edge of Extremadura, which I showed in a previous section.

La Bazagona

This Google Map, shows the area of La Bazagona.

Note.

  1. The current railway curving across the map to the South-East corner.
  2. The two circle farms.
  3. Is a new community being built here?

It certainly looks like a new station is being built to serve the area.

West Of La Bazagona

Consider.

  • West of La Bazagona, except for the current line, that goes via Monfrague, Mirabel and Cañaveral.
  • My European railway atlas, indicates the new high speed route goes between Monfrague and Plasencia and calls at a station called Plascencia Fuenteduñas.
  • I can’t locate Plascencia Fuenteduñas.

This Google Map shows the area to the West of La Bazagona.

Note.

  • La Bazagona is in the South-East corner of the map.
  • Plasencia is creeping into the map in the North-West corner.
  • The location of the current Monfrague station appears as a white dash and dot  and to the West of the North-South road.

The current railway runs East West between La Bazagone  and Monfrague.

Monfrague

This Google Map shows that except for a tobacco factory, there’s not much near Monfrague station.

On other maps, where it is to a smaller scale, the station and the surrounding buildings appear as a dash and a dot.

It appears the station only has one train per day. But it was December, when I checked.

Mirabel

Mirabel is a municipality on the current line, that is shown in this Google Map.

From Wikipedia it appears to be worth a visit.

A Diversion of the Current Route

Between Mirabel and Cañaveral, the old route takes a diversion to the East.

The railway goes to the West of the lake.

The green label indicates, it’s a hiking area.

The High Speed Line Becomes Visible Again

Since La Bazagona, I have followed the current route, but this Google Map shows where construction starts again for the new high speed line.

Note,

This is an enlargement of the South-West corner of the map.

Note the new high speed line, which stops abruptly.

North and South Of Venta El Caldero

This map shows the construction to the North of Venta El Caldero.

And this map shows the construction to the South of Venta El Caldero.

Note.

  1. The scar new railway is to the East of the A66 road.
  2. The railway construction stops abruptly North of Venta El Caldero.

Grimaldo is in the South-West corner of the map.

Grimaldo To Cañaveral

This Google Map shows the route of the high speed line from Grimaldo to Cañaveral.

Note how the scar of the railway construction is to the East of the A66 Motorway.

Cañaveral

This Google Map shows Cañaveral station on the current line and the track of the new high speed line.

This map illustrates how the new high speed line is so much more direct, which in itself will save time.

From Cañaveral To The Tagus

This map shows the scar of the construction of the high speed line from Cañaveral to the Tagus.

Note.

  1. The River Tagus across the bottom of the map.
  2. Cañaveral is in the North-East corner of the map.
  3. The scar of the railway construction running North-Easterly across the map.

A lot of the features, as the railway crosses the River Tagus, will come clearer in the next section.

Crossing The Tagus

This Google Map shows where the railway crosses the River Tagus.

 

This second map shows the Northern end of the bridge on a larger scale.

Is this bridge a double deck bridge with a road underneath a rail track?

Almonte River Railway Viaduct

This Google Map shows the viaduct over the Almonte river.

Note.

  1. It is the Eastern bridge on the map.
  2. It will carry a double-track high speed railway.
  3. At 384 metres it is the longest railway arch bridge in the world.
  4. It is seventy metres high, so the views should be good.
  5. It is 54 metres longer than the Silver Jubilee bridge over the Mersey.

The other bridge to the West is shown in this Google Map.

It appears to be a double-deck bridge, with a road on top of as single track railway.

This third Google Map clearly shows the arch.

 

It certainly is a bridge I want to experience.

The Old And New South Of The Almonte

I had to include this Google Map.

Note.

  1. The old and the new bridges over the Rio Almonte.
  2. The current railway meanders about.
  3. A lot of the track-bed of the new railway is complete.

There would appear to be a viewpoint and parking to explore the area.

Cáceres

This Google Map shows the joining of the old and new lines to the Nothe of the Cáceres

Note.

  1. The most Westerly line is the scar of the conscruction of the new high speed line.
  2. Next to it, is the current line.

The lines would appear to join to go through Cáceres. This must surely mean, they are the same gauge.

This second map shows the station in the city of Cáceres.

Reading Wikipedia, it looks to be the sort of place for an overnight stop or more.

Building The New Line South Of Cáceres

A new double-track High Speed Line is being built alongside the existing single track, as this Google Map shows.

Note.

  1. The road is the A66.
  2. The new railway is on the Western side, with the old one on the East.

This second map, taken in the same area, appears to show rail and railway being constructed along the same route.

The third map shows a tunnel on the route.

It goes straight through a range of mountains.

Aljucén

This Google Map shows the track layout at Aljucén.

Note.

  1. Aljucen station is on the East bank of the river.
  2. The North branch of the railway goes North to Caceres.
  3. The South branch of railway goes West to Badajoz.

Trains between Caceres and Badajoz, may go East to Mérida to reverse.

Mérida

As I said, the city of Mérida is to the East of Aljucén.

This Google Map shows the area between Aljucén and Mérida .

This second map, shows the large railway yard and the station at Mérida .

Note how the railway splits into two at the West of the station. One line takes the North side of the river and the other the South.

Onward To Badajoz

The Railway Gazette article says this about the section of the railway between Cáceres and Badajoz.

By late November, the 58∙8 km of double track between Plasencia and Cáceres was complete, while a single track has been built over the 80 km between Cáceres, Mérida and Badajoz. At Montijo, between Mérida and Badajoz, a junction is to be built to link the high speed line and the adjacent conventional line, which is to be electrified as part of work to modernise the east-west route across Extremadura between Badajoz and Puertollano.

Puertollano is to the East.

  • The city lies on the main high speed rail line between Madrid and Seville.
  • Trains take four hours between Puertollano and Badajoz.
  • It has a solar thermal power station.

It looks to me, that if I was going to Badajoz, I’d fly to Seville and take the train, with a change at Puertollano.

Guardiana del Caudillo

This Google Map around Guadina del Caudillo station is typical of much of the route between Aljucén and Badajoz.

It appears that a double-track high speed railway is being built alongside the current single track.

Badajoz

This Google Map shows the current single-track railway passing North-West South-East through the city of Badajoz.

Note.

  1. Portugal is a few miles to the North-West.
  2. The station appears to be in the centre of the city.

This second map shows the border.

Note.

  1. The single-track curving around the South-West corner of the map.
  2. Underground water must be good, as they’re farming in circles.

Given the closeness of Badejoz to the border, the Spanish city could be a good place to break a journey.

Conclusion

This high speed line would appear to be easier to build than High Speed Two in some ways.

  • A rail route already exists and in many places, the Spaniards are using a similar route.
  • The population density appears low.
  • The route is only about as long as London and Sheffield.

On the other hand, there are some tunnels and hills and some substantial river crossings.

Writing, this has made me want to visit, this part of Spain, where I’ve never been.

I would fly to Lisbon and gradually work my way back, stopping in places like Badajoz, Caceres and Toledo, before taking a train back to London.

Could The Madrid And Lisbon High Speed Line Become Iconic?

I think it could, as it will be a line with beautiful scenery between two of Europe’s must-visit capitals.

December 6, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Portugal’s Delayed 700MW Solar Tender With Storage Option Launches

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

According to the Wikipedia entry for Solar Power in Portugal, Portugal had 828 MW of installed solar power in 2018.

So 700 MW will almost double the capacity.

Note that if they had the same amount of installed solar power per square mile as the UK, Portugal would have 3 GW or 3,000 MW of installed solar power.

June 11, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

A Trading Update From ITM Power

ITM Power issued a Press Release entitled Trading Update, this morning.

It is a document, that is a must-read about the future of hydrogen.

There are some interesting statements on various topics.

The Future Of Hydrogen Production

The Press Release says this.

Alongside the predicted growth trajectory for electrolysis, the cost outlook for green hydrogen is also positive. The Hydrogen Council expects green hydrogen to become cost competitive with grey hydrogen by 2025 assuming a €50 per ton CO2 price.  An 80GW electrolyser target for Europe by 2030 has been proposed, where electrolysers feed into a hydrogen transmission network that interconnects the renewable energy resources of the North Sea, Morocco and Ukraine with the demand centres of Europe.  Further afield, Australia is actively pursuing opportunities to export green hydrogen and has estimated that 69 per cent of the 2025 global market for hydrogen will lie in its four target markets of China, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

Note.

  1. Green hydrogen is produced by a zero-carbon process like electrolysis using renewable electricity.
  2. Grey hydrogen is produced by a process that releases carbon-dioxide like steam reforming of methane.

It looks like green hydrogen will be the future.

Governments And Green Hydrogen

The Press Release says this.

Governments are increasingly recognising the role of green hydrogen as a decarbonisation tool.  The U.K. government has introduced an overarching net zero target and placed an early focus on decarbonising industrial clusters that will lead to progressively larger deployments of electrolysers. In the Netherlands, the Dutch government has recently presented its green hydrogen vision for achieving a sustainable energy system that is reliable, clean and affordable.  A total of three European governments have now stated explicit electrolyser targets for 2030: Germany 5GW, Holland 3-4GW and Portugal 2GW.

It looks like a lot of electrolysers will be built.

The Germans And Hydrogen

The Press Release says this.

The German government announced in its stimulus package of 3 June 2020 that it will present a national hydrogen strategy in the short term. Accordingly, a programme for the development of hydrogen production plants will be developed to demonstrate industrial-scale production of up to 5GW total output in Germany, operational by 2030. For the period up to 2035, but until 2040 at the latest, an additional 5 GW will be added if possible. To implement all these measures, the German government will invest €7bn.

Not only is hydrogen zero-carbon, it also means they will buy less of Putin’s gas.

Conclusion

Hydrogen has a very long term future.

June 8, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lisbon’s Unique Lift

Lisbon is one of the few places I know with a lift to raise you up the hill.

Unfortunately, it was so busy, I decided to give a ride a miss. But I did ride it twenty years ago with C.

I do sometimes wonder, why we don’t see more lift systems like this in cities!

March 31, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments