The Anonymous Widower

ILI Group Secures Planning Consent For 50MW Energy Storage Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Solar Power Portal.

ILI Group or Intelligent Land Investments Group to give them their full name, are a Scottish-based company, that I follow as I like their energy storage developments.

The home page of their web site, lists three main areas of activity.

The home page also has a scrolling mission statement of

  • UK Energy Security
  • 4GW of Energy Storage Projects
  • Aligned with government policy
  • Saving over 200million tonnes of CO2e
  • Over £4 billion of Investment

It is very much worth reading the section of the ILI Group web site, which talks about pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

It starts with a overview of the Pump Storage Sector.

Between 2007 and 2015, the total installed capacity of renewables electricity in Scotland has more than doubled. Due to its intermittent nature, the rise in renewable generation has resulted in increased demand for flexible capacity to help meet energy balancing requirements for the national grid system.

Pumped storage hydro is considered by the Directors to be the most developed and largest capacity form of grid energy storage that currently exists. This can help reduce renewable energy curtailment and therefore promote grid stability.

It then gives an overview of how pumped-storage hydroelectricity works and the benefits of the technology.

The section finishes by noting that the company has secured planning permission for the Red John pumped-storage hydroelectric power station.

The article on the Solar Power Portal, also has this paragraph on ILI Group’s  ambitions for pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

ILI Group is also responsible for the development of a 1.5GW pumped storage hydro project at Loch Awe. The Balliemeanoch project based at Dalmally in Argyll and Bute will be able to supply 1.5GW of power for up to 30 hours. It is the third and largest of ILI’s pumped storage hydro projects, with the other two being Red John at Loch Ness and Corrievarkie at Loch Ericht.

Note these points about the Balliemeanoch project.

  1. It has a storage capacity of 45 GWh, which is around the total amount of electricity, the whole of the UK would use in two hours.
  2. It couldn’t power the UK, as it has an output of only 1.5 GW and the UK needs at least 23 GW.
  3. The largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station in the UK is Dinorwig power station, which has an output of 1.8 GW and a storage capacity of 9.1 GWh.

In terms of storage capacity, the Balliemeanoch project will probably be the largest in the UK.

The section of the ILI Group web site, that talks about battery storage, opens with an overview of battery storage opportunities, where this is said.

Battery storage projects provide an enticing new opportunity for landowners and investors alike. As a market that will see significant growth over the coming years (National Grid predict up to 40GW of storage could be required by 2050) we see exciting new opportunities in a sector that will be critical to meeting our climate change needs.

Whereas our pumped storage hydro projects will provide long-term storage capacity, our batteries will provide short-term services (less than 4 hours) to the electricity system. As the system decarbonises, becoming steadily more reliant on intermittent green renewable generation, storage will play a role of increasing importance in balancing the grid and ensuring security of supply.

Note.

  1. This is a sales pitch to landowners and investors.
  2. National Grid’s prediction of 40GW of storage  by 2050, could be able to store as much as 1200 GWh of electricity.
  3. I agree with their statement that there will be a need for both pumped storage hydro and batteries.

The section finishes with a status summary of 21 battery projects that they are developing.

Conclusion

I feel that ILI Group is a company that means business and knows where it’s going.

The UK probably needs several more companies like the ILI Group.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Highview Power’s CRYOBattery Compete With Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity?

In this article on the Telegraph, Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive and ex-head of the satellite company Inmarsat, discloses this.

Highview is well beyond the pilot phase and is developing its first large UK plant in Humberside, today Britain’s top hub for North Sea wind. It will offer 2.5GW for over 12 hours, or 0.5GW for over 60 hours, and so forth, and should be up and running by late 2024.

The Humberside plant is new to me, as it has not been previously announced by Highview Power.

  • If it is built it will be megahuge with a storage capacity of 30 GWh and a maximum output of 2.5 GW.
  • Humberside with its connections to North Sea Wind, will be an ideal location for a huge CRYOBattery.
  • The world’s largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station is Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China and it is 40 GWh.

Pumped storage hydroelectric power stations are the gold standard of energy storage.

In the UK we have four pumped storage hydroelectric power stations.

With two more under construction.

As energy is agnostic, 30 GWh of pumped storage hydroelectric power at Coire Glas is the equivalent of 30 GWh in Highview Power’s proposed Humberside CRYOBattery.

Advantages Of CRYOBatteries Over Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power

I can think of these advantages.

  • Cost
  • Could be build on the flat lands of East Anglia or Lincolnshire
  • Factory-built
  • NIMBYs won’t have much to argue about
  • No dams
  • No flooding of valleys
  • No massive construction sites.
  • No mountains required
  • No tunnels
  • Small footprint

I suspect that a large CRYOBattery could be built well within a year of starting construction.

Rupert Pearce’s Dream

The Telegraph article says this and I suspect it’s a quote from Rupert Pearce.

Further projects will be built at a breakneck speed of two to three a year during the 2020s, with a target of 20 sites able to provide almost 6GW of back-up electricity for four days at a time, or whatever time/power mix is optimal.

6 GW for four days is 576 GWh, which if it were spread around twenty sites is 28.8 GWh per site, which is just under the 30 GWh of the proposed Humberside CRYOBattery.

Conclusion

You can just imagine the headlines in The Sun!

Man In Bishop’s Stortford Shed Saves The World!

This story on the BBC, which is entitled Meet The British Inventor Who Came Up With A Green Way Of Generating Electricity From Air – In His Shed, explains my suggested headline.

Now that’s what I call success!

 

July 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Loch Kemp Pumped Hydro

Loch Kemp Is a smaller loch just to the East of Loch Ness.

This Google Map shows Loch Kemp in relation to Loch Ness.

Note.

  1. Loch Ness is in the North West corner of the map, with partial cloud cover.
  2. Loch Kemp is in the South East corner of the map.

The proposed Loch Kemp pumped hydro scheme will have these characteristics.

  • Loch Kemp will be the upper reservoir.
  • Loch Ness will be the lower reservoir.
  • The power station will be on the banks of Loch Ness.
  • The power station will be designed to fit into the environment.
  • Eight dams will be built to enlarge Loch Kemp.
  • Trees will be planted.
  • Output of the power station will be 300 MW
  • Available storage could be 9 GWh.

The station will have almost as much storage capacity as Electric Mountain, but that power station has an output of 1.8 GW.

In Glendoe Hydro Power Station, I wrote about the Glendoe Hydro Scheme.

  • It is a 100 MW hydroelectric power station
  • It has the highest head at 600 metres of any power station in the UK.
  • It opened in 2009, making it one of the newest hydroelectric power stations in the UK.
  • The actual power station is in an underground cavern.
  • The dam and power station have been designed to be hidden from view.

This Google Map shows the location of Glendoe power station to the South of Loch Kemp.

Note.

  1. The red arrow indicates Loch Kemp.
  2. The loch in the South East corner is the reservoir that feeds Glendoe power station.
  3. Fort Augustus is at the Southern end of Loch Ness.

This Google Map shows the Northern end of Loch Ness.

Note.

  1. The red arrow indicates Loch Kemp.
  2. Foyers, which is a short distance to the North West, is the site of the Foyers pumped hydro scheme. I wrote about this scheme in The Development Of The Foyers Pumped Storage Scheme.
  3. Loch Duntelchaig, in the North-East corner of the map, is being used as the upper reservoir of the Red John pumped hydro scheme. I wrote about this project in Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project.

On the East side of Loch Ness there seems to be four substantial hydro-electric schemes.

In order from South to North these schemes are.

Glendoe

Glendoe is a modern 100 MW hydroelectric power station, that opened in 2009.

In Glendoe Hydro Power Station, I felt it might be possible to expand Glendoe into a pumped hydro scheme, with upwards of 10 GWh of storage.

Loch Kemp

Loch Kemp is a proposed 300 MW/9 GWh pumped hydro storage station.

Foyers

Foyers is an existing 300 MW/10 GWh pumped hydro storage station.

Red John

Red John is a proposed 450 MW/2.8 GWh pumped hydro storage station, which has received planning permission.

These four power stations could be summarised as follows.

  • Glendoe – 100 MW/10 GWh
  • Loch Kemp – 300 MW/9 GWh
  • Foyers – 300 MW/10 GWh
  • Red John – 450 MW/2.8 GWh

Note.

  1. Totals are 1150 MW and 31.8 GWh
  2. Foyers was converted from a conventional hydroelectric power station, that was opened in 1895  to a pumped hydro storage station.
  3. If Foyers can be converted, why can’t Glendoe.

A very large pumped storage station of four separate units, can be built on the East side of Loch Ness.

Conclusion

This is only on the East side of Loch Ness, so if the West side can be similarly developed, Loch Ness could be developed into a real Loch Ness monster with over 60 GWh of pumped hydro storage.

 

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up To 24GW Of Long Duration Storage Needed For 2035 Net Zero Electricity System – Aurora

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

This the first three paragraphs.

Deploying large quantities of long duration electricity storage (LDES) could reduce system costs and reliance on gas, but greater policy support is needed to enable this, Aurora Energy Research has found.

In a new report, Aurora detailed how up to 24GW of LDES – defined as that with a duration of four hours or above – could be needed to effectively manage the intermittency of renewable generation in line with goals of operating a net zero electricity system by 2035. This is equivalent to eight times the current installed capacity.

Additionally, introducing large quantities of LDES in the UK could reduce system costs by £1.13 billion a year in 2035, cutting household bills by £26 – a hot topic with energy bills on the rise as a result of high wholesale power prices.

The report also says that long duration storage could cut carbon emissions by ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

I feel strongly, that this is a target we will achieve, given that there are at least four schemes under development or proposed in Scotland.

It certainly looks like the Scots will be OK, especially as there are other sites that could be developed according to SSE and Strathclyde University.

We probably need more interconnectors as I wrote about in New Electricity ‘Superhighways’ Needed To Cope With Surge In Wind Power.

There are also smaller long duration storage systems under development, that will help the situation in the generally flatter lands of England.

One of them; ReEnergise, even managed to sneak their advert into the article.

Their high density hydro could be a good way to store 100 MWh or so in the hills of England. As they could be designed to fit into and under the landscape, I doubt their schemes would cause the controversy of other schemes.

Conclusion

I think we’ll meet the energy storage target by a wide margin.

February 18, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Brief History Of Scottish Hydropower

The title of this post, is the same as that of this page on the Drax Group web site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Over the last century, Scottish hydro power has played a major part in the country’s energy make up. While today it might trail behind wind, solar and biomass as a source of renewable electricity in Great Britain, it played a vital role in connecting vast swathes of rural Scotland to the power grid – some of which had no electricity as late as the 1960s. And all by making use of two plentiful Scottish resources: water and mountains.

These are some points from the page.

  • The first scheme was built in the last years of the nineteenth century and provided power for aluminium smelting.
  • The first modern scheme was the Lanark Hydro Electric Scheme, which was built in the 1920s and is still running today, under the ownership of Drax Group.
  • In 1935, the Galloway scheme, set the tone for later projects with architecture including stylised dams and modernist turbine halls.
  • The North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board was founded in 1943.
  • Sloy, the largest conventional hydro-electric station opened in 1950 and has a capacity of 152.5 MW.
  • Building the dams and power stations appears to have been hard but well-paid work.
  • By the mid Sixties, the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board had built 54 main power stations and 78 dams. Northern Scotland was now 90% connected to the national grid.
  • In 1965, the world’s then largest reversible pumped storage power station opened at Cruachan.
  • In 2009, the last major scheme at Glendoe opened.

The schemes are a working catalogue of everything you can do with water to generate and store electricity.

Future development now seems to be moving in two directions.

The Drax page says this about new hydro-electric schemes.

In recent years, however, the real growth has been in smaller hydro-electric schemes that may power just one or a handful of properties – with more than 100 MW of such generation capacity installed in the Highlands since 2006.

On the other hand, several large pumped storage schemes are under development.

Note.

These schemes add up to an output of just over 4 GW and a colossal 92.3 GWh of storage.

The existing Foyers scheme and the under-development Coire Glas and Red John schemes. all use Loch Ness as the lower reservoir.

Two of these under-development schemes will be larger than the current largest pumped storage system in the world; Bath County Pumped Storage Station in Virginia in the United States, which is a 3 GW/24 GWh system.

Conclusion

Adding large numbers of wind turbines and tens of GWs to Scotland’s existing pumped storage could transform not just Scotland’s but most of Western Europe’s green energy production.

 

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project

When I wrote ILI Group To Develop 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project, I noticed that they were also developing a scheme called Red John near Inverness.

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Power Technology.

I have also found a web site for the project, which is part of the ILI Group web site.

  • The scheme has an output of 450 MW.
  • The storage capacity is 2,800 MWh or 2.8 GWh.
  • The scheme has planning consent.
  • The project is budgeted to cost £550 million.
  • The construction program indicates that the scheme will be completed by the end of 2025.

This paragraph from this article on Water Power and Dam Construction, describes the head and tail ponds.

The Red John project will be located on the eastern shore of the north end of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. Loch Ness is to be the tail pond for the project, with the head pond to be newly constructed. It will use the natural topography between Loch Duntelchaig, Loch Ashie and Loch na Curra and Lochan an Eoin Ruadha, from where the development gets its Red John name.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. Loch Ness is in the West.
  2. Loch Ashie is in the North.
  3. Loch Duntelchaig is in the East.

This second Google Map shows the area between Lochs Ness, Duntelchaig and Ashie in more detail.

Loch na Curra and Lochan an Eoin Ruadha are now named and can be picked out in the previous map.

It looks like there will be a lot of heavy construction works to create the head pond.

Conclusion

This scheme has the output of a large gas-fired power station for just over six hours.

The finances must add up, as no-one would back a scheme like this if they didn’t get an adequate return on their money.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 5 Comments