The Anonymous Widower

Three Shetland ScotWind Projects Announced

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on Crown Estate Scotland.

These three paragraphs outline how the leases were allocated.

Three projects will be offered seabed agreements for offshore wind projects following Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind clearing process.

The announcement comes as an offshore wind supply chain summit is held in Aberdeen today (22 August) with Sir Ian Wood, chaired by Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, and including a keynote address by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP. 

Clearing saw the ‘NE1’ area east of Shetland made available for ScotWind applicants who met the required standards but who did not secure their chosen location earlier in the leasing process.

I think it was good idea to offer these leases to those bidders that failed to get a lease, the first time around, despite meeting the standards.

  • Would it encourage bidders, if they knew that after the expense of setting up a bid, that if they failed, they could have another chance?
  • It must also save the Scottish Government time and money checking out bidders.
  • How many times have you interviewed several applicants for a job and then found jobs for some of those, that you didn’t choose for the original job?

Let’s hope the philosophy has generated some good extra contracts.

This map from Cross Estate Scot;and shows all the contracts.

Note the three new leases numbered 18, 19 and 20 to the East of Shetland, in the North-East corner of the map.

Their details are as follows.

  • 18 – Ocean Winds – 500 MW
  • 19 – Mainstream Renewable Power  – 1800 MW
  • 20 – ESB Asset Development – 500 MW

Note.

All are floating wind farms.

  1. Ocean Winds is a Spanish renewable energy company that is developing the Moray West and Moray East wind farms.
  2. Mainstream Renewable Power appear to be a well-financed and ambitious company, 75 % owned by Aker.
  3. ESB Energy appear to be an experienced energy company owned by the Irish state, who operate several wind farms and Carrington gas-fired power station in the UK.

2.8 GW would appear to be a generous second helping.

Ocean Winds and Mainstream Renewable Power

This web page on the Ocean Winds web site, is entitled Ocean Winds Designated Preferred Bidder For Seabed Leases For 2.3 GW Of Floating Projects East Of Shetland, Scotland, contains several snippets of useful information.

  • Crown Estate Scotland announced the result of ScotWind Leasing round clearing process, awarding Ocean Winds with two seabed leases for floating offshore wind projects: a 1.8 GW capacity site with partner Mainstream Renewable Power, and another 500 MW capacity site, east of the Shetland Islands.
  • Ocean Winds’ international portfolio of projects now reaches 14.5 GW of gross capacity, including 6.1 GW in Scotland.
  • Floating wind turbines for the two adjacent sites are confirmed, because of the water depth.
  • The partners are committed to developing floating offshore wind on an industrial scale in Scotland, generating local jobs and opportunities in Scotland and the Shetland Islands.
  • From the picture on the web page, it looks like WindFloat technology will be used.
  • Ocean Winds developed the WindFloat Atlantic project.

Ocean Winds appear to want to go places.

The Shetland HVDC Connection

The Shetland HVDC Connection will connect Shetland to Scotland.

  • It will be 160 miles long.
  • It will have a capacity of 600 MW.
  • It is estimated that it will cost more than £600 million.
  • It will allow the 66MW Lerwick power station to close.
  • It will be completed in 2024.

I have a feeling that all these numbers don’t add up to a sensible answer.

Consider.

  • The three offshore wind farms can generate up to 2800 MW of green electricity.
  • With a capacity factor of 50 %, an average of 1400 MW of electricity will be generated.
  • The Viking onshore wind farm on Shetland could generate up to 450 MW.
  • More wind farms are likely in and around Shetland.
  • Lerwick power station can probably power most of the Shetland’s needs.
  • Lerwick power station is likely to be closed soon.
  • Sullum Voe Terminal has its own 100 MW gas-turbine power station.
  • Load is balanced on Shetland by 3MWh of advanced lead-acid batteries.
  • Lerwick has a district heating scheme.

If we assume that Shetland’s energy needs are of the order of a few hundred MW, it looks like at times the wind farms will be generating more electricity, than Shetland and the Shetland HVDC Connection can handle.

Various plans have suggested building electrolysers on Shetland to create hydrogen.

Conversion of excess electricity to hydrogen, would have the following advantages.

  • The hydrogen could be used for local heavy transport and to replace diesel.
  • Hydrogen could be used to fuel a gas turbine back-up power station, when needed.
  • Hydrogen could be used for rocket fuel, if use of Shetland as a Spaceport for launching satellites takes off.

Any excess hydrogen could be exported to the rest of the UK or Europe.

 

August 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

‘Spaceport In A Box’ To Launch UK’s First Rocket From Home Turf

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

This is the sub-heading.

A British company’s mobile spaceport can send satellites into orbit from anywhere in the world. Its initial blast-off point is Unst

These are some more points from the article and myself.

The UK Has Never Sent A Rocket Into Space From Home Turf

Our satellites have always been launched from French Guinea, Kazakhstan or the United States.

Spaceport In A Box

The mobile launch system which can be packed into a dozen shipping containers and taken anywhere in the world.

Launch From Unst

Unst is the most northerly of the Shetland Islands and is an ideal location for polar launches.

It Will Be Very Difficult To Compete With SpaceX On Price

This is because SpaceX launch up to a hundred satellites a time on a huge rocket.

Skyrora Can Provide Precise Launches

Skyrora claim to be able to launch a single satellite at great precision. As a Control Engineer, I think that is possible.

100,000 Satellites By 2030

This figure will include a large number of UK-built satellites.

So why shouldn’t we have our own launch technology.

Sixteen Launches Per Year

Skyrora are talking of this number of launches per year from Unst.

Conclusion

This is a well-thought out project.

Read the article in The Times.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Skyrora Creates Europe’s Largest 3D Printer In ‘Game-Changer’ For Cutting Rocket Building Time

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

The title is a good summary of a must-read article.

December 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Shetland Blasts Off Into Space Race As Britain’s First Rocket Launch Pad Skyrora

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

This second paragraph, explains what Skyrora are doing.

Skyrora, a technology company with its headquarters in Edinburgh, has agreed a deal for scores of rocket launches over the next decade from a site on Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland islands.

This Google Map shows the most Northerly part of Unst.

There’s not really much there, except birds, trees and the most northerly house in Britain.

Enlarging to the West of the house, gives this second Google Map.

Note the Remote Radar Head Saxa Vord, which has a Wikipedia entry as RAF Saxa Voe.

  • It is now a fully-operational radar station again, after closure in 2006.
  • It is at the same latitude as St. Petersburg and Anchorage.
  • In 1992, it measured a wind speed of 197 mph, before the equipment blew away.

The Wikipedia entry is worth a read, as it gives a deep insight into radar and its tracking of Russian intruders in the Cold War.

This third Google Map shows a 3D closeup of the radar.

No staff are based at Saxa Vord, although maintenance staff do visit.

According to The Times, the space port will be at Lamba Ness, which is to the East of the most northerly house in Britain.

The peninsular in the South-East is marked Lamba Ness.

It may seem a very bleak place, but it could have one thing, that rocketry will need – rocket fuel!

In Do BP And The Germans Have A Cunning Plan For European Energy Domination?, I introduced Project Orion, which is an electrification and hydrogen hub and clean energy project in the Shetland Islands.

The project’s scope is described in this graphic.

Note

  1. Project Orion now has its own web site.
  2. A Space Centre is shown on the Island of Unst.
  3. There is an oxygen pipeline shown dotted in blue from the proposed Sullom Voe H2 Plant to the Fish Farm and on to the Space Centre.
  4. I suspect if required, there could be a hydrogen pipeline.

The Space Centre on Unst could be fuelled by renewable energy.

Who Are Skyrora?

They have a web site, which displays this mission statement.

Represents a new breed of private rocket companies developing the next generation of launch vehicles for the burgeoning small satellite market.

The Times also has this paragraph.

At the end of last year, the company also completed trials of the third stage of its Skyrora XL rocket, including its orbital transfer vehicle which, once in orbit, can refire its engines 15 times to carry out tasks such as acting as a space tug, completing maintenance or removing defunct satellites.

The company seems to have big ambitions driven by innovation and a large range of ideas.

Conclusion

I shall be following this company.

 

October 12, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Microsoft Built Cars…

There are loads of jokes that start like this and you can find pages on the Internet  like this.

But what if Microsoft built planes?

This article on the BBC shows the result.

The plan is to use the Stratolaunch plsne to launch satellites. More is here on Wikipedia.

The idea is not new, The North American X-15 of the 1950s, was a space plane that was launched from under the wing of a B-52 Stratofortress.

Wikipedia says this about the flights of the X-15

During the X-15 program, 13 flights by eight pilots met the Air Force spaceflight criterion by exceeding the altitude of 50 miles (80 km), thus qualifying these pilots as being astronauts.

Not bad for an conventional rocket-powered aeroplane built over half a century ago!

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Does The Internet Lead Us To Strange Places?

This report on the BBC about the end of the GOCE satellite, was to me very much a must-read, as it covers a lot of my interests. It probably will make a lot of others think about the Falkland Islands too. But it was this paragraph that caught my eye.

American military data timed this event to have occurred at 00:16 GMT, or 21:16 local Falkland time – just as Bill, his wife Vicky, and dad, Tony Chater, were making their way home after spending the day with King Penguins.

I hadn’t realised that there were King Penguins on the islands. Looking them up in Wikipedia, it said that the biggest King Penguin colony is on Crozet Island, which is a French overseas territory.

There really are some amazing places in this world, some of which are virtually inaccessible.

November 12, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Made In Stevenage and Congleton

The Times today has an article about how a large proportion of the satellites we need are made in Stevenage.

Our space presence may be small in media terms, but in the bits that matter like jobs, money and technology it’s rather large.

The paper also has an article about how a company called Senior is doing rather well, by selling high-tech bits and pieces to Boeing, Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

So don’t write-off the manufacturing sector of the economy.  Find out the truth!

April 27, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , | 4 Comments