The Anonymous Widower

This Is A 30 MW Power Station

This YouTube video shows a thirty MW power station, that is being built in France.

This page on the Principle Power web site describes the project.

This Google Map shows the location of Leucate and Le Barcares.

The wind farm is around 16 kilometres offshore.

Enjoy!

September 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 2 Comments

How Long Does It Take To Build An Offshore Wind Farm?

 

These are some timescales and costs for the construction of some wind farms.

East Anglia One

East Anglia One is a 714 MW offshore wind farm, which consists of 102 turbines on fixed foundations, in a maximum water depth of 53 metres.

  • Planning consent –  June 2014.
  • Contracts – April 2016
  • Offshore construction – June 2018
  • Commissioned – July 2020

It is expected to cost £2.5 billion.

Hornsea One

Hornsea One is a 1200 MW offshore wind farm, which consists of 174 turbines on fixed foundations, in a maximum water depth of 30 metres.

  • Planning consent –  April 2014.
  • Contracts – March/April 2016
  • Offshore construction – January 2018
  • Commissioned – March 2020

It is expected to cost £4.2 billion.

Hornsea Two

Hornsea Two is a 1400 MW offshore wind farm, which consists of 165 turbines on fixed foundations, in a maximum water depth of 30 metres.

  • Planning consent –  August 2016.
  • Offshore construction – 2020
  • Commissioned – August 2022

I can’t find any costs.

Moray East

Moray East is a 950 MW offshore wind farm, which consists of 100 turbines on fixed foundations, in a maximum water depth of 50 metres.

  • Planning consent –  2014.
  • Financial Close – December 2018
  • Offshore construction – July 2020
  • Commissioned – July 2022

It is expected to cost £2.6 billion.

Keadby Wind Farm

Keadby Wind Farm is a 68 MW onshore wind farm, which consists of 34 turbines.

SSE says this about its construction timescale.

After receiving planning permission in 2008, construction began in 2012 and the first turbine foundation was complete in February 2013. The final turbine was assembled on 11 December 2013 and the project was completed in summer 2014.

I can’t find any costs.

Can I Deduce Anything?

Two things are similar on the four fixed-foundation offshore wind farms.

Planning Consent To Commissioning Seems To Take About Six To Eight Years

Moray East took eight years and the other three took six.

In addition Keadby onshore wind farm took six years.

This indicates to me, that any improvements to the planning process for wind farms could shorten the planning process for many wind farms and allow offshore construction of these wind farms to start earlier.

The Start Of Offshore Construction To commissioning Seems To Take About Two Years

It surprised me that it takes twice as long to go from planning to the start of offshore construction, than to actually build and commission the offshore components of the project.

In addition Keadby onshore wind farm took two years.

How will these two observations affect floating wind farms, which could be more numerous in the future?

The home page of the Principle Power web site, shows a floating wind turbine being constructed and floated out.

  • The turbine and its float are assembled in a deep water dock, using a large crane mounted on the dock.
  • This dockside assembly must be less dependent on good weather, than doing assembly onto a fixed foundation forty miles or more out to sea.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find that floating wind farms may have substantial health and safety, and construction advantages, but I doubt they’d save much time on the current two years of offshore construction.

But I suspect, they would be one of these types of project that would only rarely be late.

Assembly And Project Management Issues

As with many types of construction, I suspect good project management will be key to building both fixed-foundation and floating offshore wind farms.

For fixed-foundation wind farms, a steady stream of turbines, foundations, substations and connecting cables would need to be delivered to a tight schedule to the assembly point offshore, where turbines, foundations, substations and connecting cables would be lifted into place by a crane mounted on a barge or ship.

For floating wind farms, a steady stream of turbines, floats and probably some connecting cables would need to be delivered to a tight schedule to the assembly dock in a convenient port, where turbines would be lifted onto floats by a crane mounted on the dock. Once complete, the floating wind turbines would be towed into position, anchored and connected to the offshore sub-station.

  • No large offshore crane would be needed.
  • The dockside crane could be sized for the largest turbines.
  • Floating turbines would be brought back to the dockside for major serving and updating.
  • One assembly dock could serve several wind farms during construction and operation.

Given that in the latest ScotWind leasing round, there was 17.4 GW of floating wind farms and 9.7 GW of fixed-foundation wind farms, which is 64/36 % split, I can see that the proportion of floating wind farms will increase.

Good project management, with particular attention to the rate of the production of critical components will be needed for both fixed-foundation and floating offshore wind farms.

Perhaps it would help, if we reduced the numbers of types of each components?

Would it be too far to imagine a British Standard float, that could handle any manufacturer’s turbine with a standard connecting cable? This is Plug-and-Play at the very heavy end.

Conclusion

Consider.

  • As the floating wind technology matures, I can see the designs getting more affordable and the proportion of floating wind farms increasing dramatically.
  • I also believe that in the future, it will take a shorter time to install, connect up and commission a wind farm.

This leads me to think, that in future, it is reasonable to make the following assumptions.

  • 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.

Note.

  1. I’m assuming that better project management and improved government legislation, will tend to level down the times.
  2. Floating or fixed foundations doesn’t seem to make much difference.

The UK will become Europe’s zero-carbon power station.

 

September 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 6 Comments

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions To Expand U.S. Offshore Wind Energy

The title of this post is the same as that of this fact sheet from the White House briefing room.

This is the sub-title.

Departments of Energy, Interior, Commerce, and Transportation Launch Initiatives on Floating Offshore Wind to Deploy 15 GW, Power 5 Million Homes, and Lower Costs 70% by 2035.

Some points from the fact sheet.

  • The President set a bold goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, support 77,000 jobs, and spur private investment up and down the supply chain.
  • Conventional offshore wind turbines can be secured directly to the sea floor in shallow waters near the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • However, deep-water areas that require floating platforms are home to two-thirds of America’s offshore wind energy potential, including along the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine.
  • Globally, only 0.1 GW of floating offshore wind has been deployed to date, compared with over 50 GW of fixed-bottom offshore wind.
  • The Floating Offshore Wind Shot will aim to reduce the costs of floating technologies by more than 70% by 2035, to $45 per megawatt-hour.
  • The Administration will advance lease areas in deep waters in order to deploy 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035.

This all seems to be ambitious!

But!

It could be possible that little Scotland installs more floating wind farms before 2035, than the United States.

And what about England, Wales and Northern Ireland?

  • England hasn’t announced any floating wind farm projects, but has around 17 GW of fixed-foundation offshore wind farms under development in the shallower waters along the East and South coasts.
  • In Two Celtic Sea Floating Wind Projects Could Be Delivered By 2028, I looked at prospects for the Celtic Sea between Wales, Ireland and Devon/Cornwall. It is possible that a GW of floating wind could be developed by 2028, out of an ultimate potential of around 50 GW.
  • Northern Ireland is a few years behind England and Scotland and might eventually make a substantial contribution.

But Biden’s aims of a strong supply chain could be helped by Scotland, as several of the floating wind farms in Scotland are proposing to use WindFloat technology from Principle Power, who are a US company. The Principle Power website has an explanatory video on the home page.

 

September 16, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Offshore Wind Champion Appointed As £160m Floating Offshore Wind Fund Opens For Expressions Of Interest

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

These three paragraphs describe the policy.

Ambitious plans to expand offshore wind around the United Kingdom to power homes and businesses with cheap, homegrown energy received a further boost today with the appointment of a new government champion and a multimillion-pound manufacturing fund opening for expressions of interest.

The appointment of Tim Pick as the first UK Offshore Wind Champion was confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng today.

The Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) will provide £160 million in government funding to boost floating offshore wind capability around the UK at sites in Scotland, Wales and elsewhere by supporting manufacturers and giving private investors the confidence to back this emerging sector which is expected to rapidly expand in the years ahead.

Floating offshore wind needs the following components.

  • Wind turbines, which are the same as those used onshore.
  • Floats, which are generally made from steel, but concrete can also be used. There are a few proven designs, like the Windfloat from Principle Power.
  • Mooring systems for the turbines.
  • Electrical substations and cables.

There is also a need for deep water docks, with large cranes to assemble the systems, prior to towing the turbines into position.

Floating offshore wind is a new industry and there will be new ideas coming through from innovators.

I feel that the strategy could help bring new ideas through.

 

May 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | 10 Comments

Boris Johnson Wants To Build ‘Colossal’ Irish Sea Wind Farm Within A Year

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

This is the sub-title.

Prime Minister tells industry leaders he has ‘a dream’ that giant floating wind farm could provide ‘gigawatts of energy’

These are the first three paragraphs of the article.

Boris Johnson is pushing energy firms to build a “colossal” offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea within 12 months.

The Prime Minister told industry leaders he has “a dream” that a giant floating wind farm could provide “gigawatts of energy and do it within a year”, according to a government source.

He was addressing wind energy firms at a round table discussion in Downing Street as the Government finalised its energy security strategy.

It is said in the article, that industry leaders smiled at the suggestion.

My feelings though are different and I wonder if Boris has been briefed by an offshore wind expert, who knows what they’re doing.

Quietly and unobtrusively, a new technology has been developed, that allows Boris the luxury to dream.

The World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm

In the UK, we are getting used to superlatives being applied to our offshore wind farms.

In this article on offshoreWIND.biz, which is entitled World’s Largest Floating Offshore Wind Farm Fully Operational, this is said.

Located 15 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in water depths ranging from 60 metres to 80 metres, Kincardine is the largest operating floating wind farm.

The project consists of five Vestas V164-9.5 MW and one V80-2 MW turbine, each installed on WindFloat® semi-submersible platforms designed by Principle Power.

This picture from Cobra Group shows one of the turbines being towed into position at Kincardine.

There are more pictures on this web page.

WindFloats would appear to be proven technology, as there are now two commercial wind farms using the technology and several others under development.

Erebus And Valorous

But Kincardine Wind Farm won’t be the world’s largest floating wind farm for long!

The next two wind farms, using the technology are Erebus and Valorous, who will provide a total of 400 MW from a company called Blue Gem Wind, which will use larger 14 MW turbines.

They will be installed to the South-West of the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Blue Gem Wind

Blue Gem Wind are based in Pembroke Dock and are a partnership of Simply Blue Energy, a pioneering Celtic Sea energy developer, and TotalEnergies.

Simply Blue Group are an Irish company, who are also working with Shell on the development of 1.35 GW of wind power to the West of Ireland.

50 GW Of Wind In The Celtic Sea

On the Projects page of the Blue Gem website, this is said about floating wind in the Celtic Sea.

Floating wind is set to become a key technology in the fight against climate change with over 80% of the worlds wind resource in water deeper than 60 metres. Independent studies have suggested there could be as much as 50GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea waters of the UK and Ireland. This renewable energy resource could play a key role in the UK meeting the 2050 Net-Zero target required to mitigate climate change. Floating wind will provide new low carbon supply chain opportunities, support coastal communities and create long-term benefits for the region.

Is this Boris’s project?

These are my thoughts.

How Many Turbines Would You Need For 50 GW?

If you need 7 x 14 MW turbines for each 100 MW, that would mean you need 3500 turbines and WindFloats for 50 GW.

How Would Each Turbine Be Installed?

It appears from pictures on the Cobra Group web site, that the turbine is mounted on the WindFloat using a large crane on a dock, whilst the WindFloat is alongside.

  • The WindFloat and the turbine are then towed out into the desired position.
  • It would then be anchored to the sea-bed.
  • Finally, it would be connected to the power network.

I would doubt, that one team could probably install more than one turbine per day.

But I suspect more than one team could work in and out of one port at a time.

How Many Ports Could Be Used For Turbine Assembly?

As Blue Gem Wind is based in Pembroke Dock, I would assume that one of the ports would be on Milford Haven Waterway.

But there are other ports on the Welsh and Irish coasts, where the turbine lift could be accomplished.

How Much Capacity Could Be Installed In Twelve Months?

Suppose you had two ports doing assembly, with two teams working at each port, which would mean four turbines could be installed in a day.

  • In a month, that would be 4 x 14 x 30 MW per month.
  • This is nearly 1.7 GW per month or 20 GW per year.

It does appear to me, that floating wind farms with the right project management could be very much quicker to install than traditional fixed foundation wind turbines.

I believe that if we get the manufacturing and the project management right, that a colossal 20 GW of floating wind can be installed in twelve months.

Conclusion

Most people won’t believe Boris’s claim, but I feel that there is a degree of reality behind it, if we can produce four WindFloats and four turbines per day and enough cables and electrical gubbins to link them all together.

April 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blue Gem Wind

Principle Power are the designers of the WindFloat.

The Projects page of the  Principle Power web site led me to a project called Erebus. This is Principle Power’s description of the project.

The Celtic Sea, located between the United Kingdom and Ireland, holds an estimated 50 GW of offshore wind resource. The 96 MW Erebus project, located offshore Pembrokeshire, Wales, is a flagship project planned by Blue Gem Wind, a joint venture between Total and Simply Blue Energy, to unlock the potential of this region.

The project will feature between 7 and 10 turbines on WindFloat® floating platforms located approximately 44 km southwest of the Pembrokeshire coastline.

The Erebus project will see the deployment of a fully industrialized WindFloat® and represents a stepping stone that will allow the local supply chain to build capabilities for the delivery of larger projects under development in the Celtic sea region.

Note.

  1. Developing 50 GW of offshore wind in the Celtic Sea is not a small amount of wind power.
  2. The 96 MW Erebus project would appear to be the first project in the Celtic Sea.
  3. The turbines would be between 9.5 and 14 MW.
  4. The Principle Power website states that the water depth of the Erebus wind farm is seventy metres.
  5. The deployment of a fully industrialized WindFloat.
  6. The Erebus wind farm is being developed by Blue Gem Wind.

It would be larger than the current world’s largest floating wind farm, which is the Kincardine Wind Farm.

Who Are Blue Gem Wind?

Blue Gem Wind have a web site, with a picture of three turbines riding on WindFloats and a couple of support boats and this mission statement.

Floating Offshore Wind

A new generation of energy in the Celtic Sea

The Our Projects page shows a good picture and says this.

Floating wind is set to become a key technology in the fight against climate change with over 80% of the worlds wind resource in water deeper than 60 metres. Independent studies have suggested there could be as much as 50GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea waters of the UK and Ireland. This renewable energy resource could play a key role in the UK meeting the 2050 Net-Zero target required to mitigate climate change. Floating wind will provide new low carbon supply chain opportunities, support coastal communities and create long-term benefits for the region.

A header indicates a stepping-stones approach to assist the local supply chain and says this.

We believe that a stepping stone approach to the development of floating wind in the Celtic Sea brings a number of benefits. Starting with smaller demonstration and early-commercial projects, increasing in size, will help to capture the highest local supply chain content. It will also maximise knowledge transfer and facilitate a sustainable transfer to a low carbon economy.

Because of this focus on stepping stone projects we have proposed Erebus, a 96MW test and demonstration project followed by Valorous, a 300MW early-commercial project.

These links give more details of the two projects.

  • Erebus – 100MW Test & Demonstration project in the Celtic Sea
  • Valorous – A 300MW Early Commercial project in the Celtic Sea

It appears that the company is taking a sensible approach.

  • They are starting small and building up deployment.
  • They are using proven WindFloat technology.
  • They are developing a local supply chain.

This Google Map shows the area of the two wind farms.

Note.

  1. Pembroke in the middle at the top of the map.
  2. Barnstaple and Bideford in Devon in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. Lundy Island off the Devon coast.

I estimate that the two wind farms will be about the Western edge of this map, with Erebus to the North of Valorous. They wouldn’t want to be too far to the West, as that would put them in the shipping lanes between Ireland and France.

Will The Turbines Be Assembled In The Milford Haven Waterway?

This Google Map shows the Milford Haven Waterway.

Note.

  1. Pembroke Dock, where Blue Gem Wind has its offices, is at the Eastern end of the map.
  2. The oil refineries and LNG terminals.
  3. Milford Haven on the North side of the waterway.
  4. The 2.2 GW gas-fired Pembroke power station on the South side of the waterway.
  5. The ferry route between Rosslare and Pembroke Dock.

But as the waterway is one of the deepest natural harbours in the world, I wouldn’t be surprised to find, that the turbines will be lifted on to the WindFloats in this waterway.

The turbines would be brought in by sea and the WindFloats would be towed in from their manufacturing site.

Where Will The WindFloats And Turbines Be Built?

There could be enough space to build the WindFloats in the Milford Haven Waterway, but I suspect they will be built in a shipyard, which is close to a supply of steel. South Wales is an obvious possibility.

I estimate that for the two wind farms between twenty-eight and forty turbines would be needed and these would probably be brought in by sea and then lifted onto the WindFloats somewhere in the Milford Haven Waterway.

It could be a very efficient process.

Will Pembroke Power Station Have A Future Role?

Consider.

  • Pembroke power station is the largest gas-fired power station in Europe.
  • It has a capacity of 2.2 GW.
  • It was only completed in 2012, so it has many years of life yet!
  • It is also probably young enough, to be able to be converted to run on hydrogen.
  • It obviously will have a very good connection to the National Grid.

I would suspect that initially, the power cable from Erebus and Valorous, would use the same grid connection as the power station.

But in the future there must be some interesting ways that the wind farms and the power station can work together.

  • A large electrolyser could be built to create hydrogen for heavy transport and industrial uses, from excess electricity.
  • Could the oxygen from the electrolyser be used for steelmaking in South Wales?
  • As natural gas is phased out the power station could be converted to hydrogen power.
  • In times of low wind, the power station could make up the shortfall.
  • The wind farms could be used as the primary electricity source, with the power station adding the extra power needed to meet demand.

There are certainly ways, the wind farms and the power station can work together.

Conclusion

These two related wind farms seems a good way to start wind developments between the UK and the island of Ireland.

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