The Anonymous Widower

Ørsted Signs Two ‘Industry First’ Monopile Contracts For Hornsea 3 Foundations

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Ørsted, the world’s most sustainable energy company, has signed two ‘industry first’ contracts for the fabrication of XXL monopile foundations for the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm.

I have a few thoughts about the press release.

XXL Monopile Foundations

These four paragraphs describe Hornsea 3’s XXL monopile foundations.

Subject to Ørsted taking a Final Investment Decision on Hornsea 3, the contracts have been finalised with Haizea Wind Group, through its subsidiary Haizea Bilbao, and SeAH Wind Limited, a UK-based subsidiary of SeAH Steel Holdings (SeAH).

Ørsted will be the first major customer at SeAH Wind’s new monopile facility in Teesside, and the agreement with Haizea marks the company’s first XXL monopile contract with Ørsted.

The deal with SeAH represents the single largest offshore wind foundations contract secured by any UK company. Haizea’s agreement is the largest single contract ever secured by Haizea Wind Group.

Each of the huge foundation structures for Hornsea 3 will weigh between 1,300 and 2,400 tonnes and measure in at between 83 and 111 metres in length. Monopile production is expected to start in 2024.

Note

  1. These are huge steel structures.
  2. But then the water depth appears to be between 36 and 73 metres.
  3. It looks like the orders are shared between Spanish and Korean companies

This article on offshoreWIND.biz, is entitled Beyond XXL – Slim Monopiles For Deep-Water Wind Farms.

These are some points from the article.

  • XXL-Monopiles have been successfully used for water depths of up to 40 metres. Now wind farm developers need monopiles “beyond XXL”.
  • The extension of the range is needed, mainly to enable the use of larger turbines, deeper water, and harsher environmental situations.
  • These monopiles will allow turbines of up to 15 megawatts with rotor diameters of up to 230 metres.
  • This monopile design automatically induces the idea of design and fabrication optimisation to ensure that monopiles continue to lead the ranking of most economical foundation systems.

In the 1970s, I was involved with a Cambridge University spin-out company called Balaena Structures, who were using similar much larger structures to support oil and gas production platforms.

I was just doing calculations, but I do wonder if these XXL monopile foundations, owe things in their design to work done by structural engineers, like those I met at Cambridge fifty years ago.

 

October 2, 2022 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are These Two Stories Related?

These are two stories recently published in Railway Gazette.

Deutsche Bahn Sells Arriva Businesses To Private Equity Holding Company, which starts with this paragraph.

Deutsche Bahn has reached agreement to sell its Arriva local transport activities in Denmark, Poland and Serbia to München-based private equity holding company Mutares SE & Co KGaA.

That is fairly clear and is probably related with the German government’s desire for DB to concentrate on its core business.

RENFE Looks At Entering UK Rail Market Through Open Access Partnership, which starts with this paragraph.

Open access passenger service developer Grand Union Trains is working with Spain’s national operator RENFE and private equity firm Serena Industrial Partners on a proposed service between London and Wales.

That also is fairly clear and would bring competition to services to South Wales.

The article also says the following.

  • RENFE seem to be expanding into partnerships to run services outside Spain.
  • A parkway station at Felindre will be build to avoid the reverse at Swansea, that would save 20 mins.
  • It will be a high quality service with new electro-diesel trains.
  • Four trains will be needed.
  • A 2025 start is envisaged.

Will this partnership with Grand Union Trains proceed with the development of Grand Union Trains’ London and Stirling service?

I have some thoughts and questions.

Will Deutsche Bahn Sell Other Arriva Businesses?

I think this is a reasonable question to ask, especially, as Deutsche Bahn owns two Open Access Operators in the UK; Chiltern Railways and Grand Central Trains.

  • Both operators have a good reputation.
  • Both operators need to decarbonise, either by updating their current stock or buying new trains.
  • Both operators have solid niche markets, where they are often responsible for the stations.
  • Both operators have expansion plans.

Would RENFE and Serena Industrial Partners be interested in taking over Arriva UK and developing the business?

The Talgo Factory At Longannet

I believe that there is reason to believe that one of Talgo’s reasons for a factory in Scotland, is that it could have been used to build Russian and dual-gauge trains for Eastern Europe. The trains would have been delivered by ferry from Rosyth.

There is also the not-small matter of the fleet for Rail Baltica, for which Talgo will surely be a bidder.

But Russia’s attack on Ukraine has scuppered that plan, or at least delayed it for a few years. But now, there could be a much larger market for trains in Eastern Europe and especially Ukraine.

If RENFE Acquire Open Access Operators In The UK, They Will Need New Trains

They will certainly need new trains for the South Wales operations, if they go ahead, but if they were to decarbonise Chiltern and Grand Central, the order could be substantial.

With one Spanish train factory in the UK and another a possibility, I would suspect any train order would go to a Spanish train-builder.

If the orders fell right, could we see Talgo’s factory at Longannet built after all?

October 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

SSE Renewables Completes Acquisition Of European Renewable Energy Development Platform

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

This paragraph introduces the deal.

SSE Renewables has completed the transaction with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) to acquire its existing European renewable energy development platform for a consideration of €580m.

I have a few thoughts.

Why Have Siemens Gamesa Sold Their European Renewable Energy Development Platform?

This article on Renewables Now is entitled Siemens Gamesa Wraps Up Sale Of 3.9-GW Wind Portfolio To SSE Renewables, gives a reason.

For the turbine maker, the sale represents one of the measures implemented to rein in profit losses quarter after quarter due to internal challenges, high costs and supply chain issues.

As with many things, it appears to be all about the money.

Can SSE Renewables Afford It?

Consider.

SSE seem to have found a Scottish magic money tree.

€580m is just small change.

What Projects Are Included In The Deal?

This is a paragraph from the press release.

The SGRE portfolio includes c.3.8GW of onshore wind development projects – around half of which is located in Spain with the remainder across France, Italy and Greece – with scope for up to 1.4GW of additional co-located solar development opportunities. Development of the portfolio of projects has continued to progress since the acquisition was announced in April, with additional opportunities identified and permits and grid connections advancing. Over 2GW of the total pipeline is considered to be at a secured stage, where a grid connection or land agreement has been secured or relevant permits granted.

Note.

  1. As an engineer, I note that there is no offshore wind, which surely is the renewable energy development with most risk and installation costs.
  2. SSE Renewables have a lot of experience of onshore wind, so delivering and financing the extra 3.8 GW, shouldn’t be a problem.
  3. The 1.4 GW of solar comes with the word co-located. Wind and solar together, perhaps with a battery must surely be a good investment in the sunnier climes of Europe.

It doesn’t look to me that SSE Renewables have bought a load of assets that no-one wants.

I do wonder thought, if Siemens Gamesa were having trouble progressing this large diverse portfolio of projects, due to a shortage of resources like money and engineers.

So are SSE finishing off a few projects and they can transfer a few engineers to these projects?

Are SSE Spreading The Risk?

SSE operate mainly in the UK and Ireland, so is adding Spain, France, Italy and Greece a good idea?

Of the four new countries, it’s unlikely that all will perform well, but a mixed portfolio is usually a good idea.

Will SSE Renewables  Buy Siemens Gamesa Turbines In The Future?

SSE Renewables seem to do an individual deal on each wind farm, as no one manufacturer dominates.

But now Siemens Gamesa may be more financially stable, perhaps they can get a better deal for the turbines they want.

Conclusion

I don’t think SSE Renewables have done a bad deal.

 

 

September 5, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Proton Ceramic Reactor Stack For Highly Efficient Hydrogen Production And Carbon Capture In A Single Step

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Green Car Congress.

This is the opening paragraph.

A team of researchers from CoorsTek Membrane Sciences and SINTEF in Norway, and Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain, has demonstrated a 36-cell well-balanced proton ceramic reactor stack enabled by a new interconnect that achieves complete conversion of methane with more than 99% recovery to pressurized hydrogen, leaving a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide. The team has also demonstrated that the process can be scaled up for commercial application.

A paper has been published in the journal; Science.

I find this concept interesting for a number of reasons.

  • I’ve believed for some time, that applications, that need a good supply of pure carbon dioxide will be developed. One obvious use is feeding it to plants in large greenhouses, so we can have our CO2 and eat it!
  • 99 % is a very high efficiency.
  • Ammonia, natural gas or biogas can be used as a feedstock.

Coors were an Artemis user for project management and I had an enjoyable few days Golden, Colorado and at the Coors brewery, sometime in the 1980s.

  • It was then that I first heard of CoorsTek, who used to make ceramics for the US defence industry.
  • In those days, the beer was made to German brewing rules and was unpasteurised.
  • The beer had to be delivered to customers within a certain time, so long distance deliveries used trains.
  • Coors Brewing Company has since merged with Molson, but CoorsTek appears to be still owned by the Coors family.
  • I had taken a few small bottles of Adnams Broadside with me and one of their managers analysed one before drinking the rest of the bottle. He informed me that it was a felony to be in possession of such a strong beer in Colorado.

Coors were and probably still are in some ways not your average brewing company.

Coors News Item On Proton Ceramic Membranes For Hydrogen Production

This page on the CoorsTek web site, which is entitled Proton Ceramic Membranes For Hydrogen Production Published In ‘Science’, gives more details.

Conclusion

This technology could be massive.

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Food, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will We See More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

In this blog, I have talked about various deals, where two or more countries and/or companies are getting together to generate electricity in one country and transfer it to another, either as electricity or as hydrogen

Examples include.

There are also all the hydrogen deals done by Fortescue Future Industries.

Where Are There Possibilities Of More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

These are a few serious possibilities.

Argentina

This is an extract from this page on Wind Energy International, which is entitled Argentina.

Argentina has an estimated technical wind energy potential of 300 GW. In southern Patagonia (Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces), average wind speeds range between 9.0 and 11.2 m/s, whereas in the north (Neuquén and Río Negro provinces), wind speeds range from 7.2 to 8.4 m/s. The general average capacity factor for Argentina is 35% and in the Patagonia region it ranges between as much as 47% and 59%. Especially in Northwest Patagonia, locally known as the Comahue region, hydro and wind may seasonally complement each other and.benefit both technologies. One other promising region for wind power development is the Atlantic sea coast.

As I wrote in Australia’s FFI Plans $8.4 Billion Green Hydrogen Project In Argentina, it appears that Andrew Forrest and FFI are already on the ground.

Australia

There are already three major schemes based on Australia and I am certain they will be more. Especially, as Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore will need the zero-carbon energy.

It would appear that except for the Australia-Asia PowerLink, the energy will be transferred as liquid hydrogen or liquid ammonia.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh wouldn’t be on the lists of many, where ideal countries for renewable energy are being discussed.

But, this report on Energy Tracker Asia is entitled The Renewable Energy Potential of Bangladesh, where this is said.

A report investigating the renewable energy technical capacity of Bangladesh found that the country could deploy up to 156 GW of utility-scale solar on 6,250 km2 of land and 150 GW of wind. Offshore wind power would account for 134 GW of this total capacity.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bangladesh, supplying renewable energy to the East, with international companies and organisations developing the renewable infrastructure.

I think it should be noted that international companies flock to countries, where the investment opportunities are good. That has happened in the UK, with offshore wind, where many wind farms have been developed by companies such as Equinor, Iberola, RWE and Wattenfall.

Chile

Chile has started to develop the 100,000 square kilometres of the Atacama Desert for solar power and I wrote about this in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery.

This sentence in the Wikipedia entry for Energy In Chile, illustrates the potential of solar power in the Atacama Desert.

In 2013, Total S.A. announced the world’s largest unsubsidised solar farm would be installed with assistance from SunPower Corp into Chile’s Atacama desert.

I also wrote Chile Wants To Export Solar Energy To Asia Via 15,000km Submarine Cable, about Chile’s ambitions to supply Asia with energy.

Ethiopia

Andrew Forrest of Fortescue Future Industries is on the case, as I wrote in Fortescue Future Industries Enters Ethiopia to Produce Green Energy.

North Africa

Consider.

  • The major North African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, all have and depend on to a certain extent on fossil fuels.
  • There are gas pipelines to Spain and Italy.
  • Morocco will be the Southern end of the Morocco-UK Power Project, if it gets developed.
  • All five countries have some nuclear power stations.
  • All five countries have lots of sun for solar power.
  • Some Saharan countries to the South of Morocco, Algeria and Libya could also provide energy from the sun.
  • Egypt has substantial hydro-electric power on the River Nile.
  • Egypt will be connected to Greece through the EuroAfrica Interconnector.

I believe that a well-designed and co-ordinated project could generate a lot of electricity and hydrogen for Europe and bring much-needed income and employment to North Africa.

I feel that if the Morocco-UK Power Project can be successfully built, then this could create a flurry of activity all over North Africa.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a problem. As the rest of the world moves away from fossil fuels in the next few decades, they will see the revenues from oil and natural gas come under pressure.

But as a rich country, with 2.15 million km² of land and lots of sun, they must have some potential to generate solar electricity.

In the Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Saudi Arabia, this is said.

The Saudi agency in charge of developing the nations renewable energy sector, Ka-care, announced in May 2012 that the nation would install 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2032.[2] It was projected to be composed of 25 GW of solar thermal, and 16 GW of photovoltaics. At the time of this announcement, Saudi Arabia had only 0.003 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity. A total of 24 GW of renewable energy was expected by 2020, and 54 GW by 2032.

Wikipedia also says that Saudi Arabia also has nuclear ambitions.

I can see that Saudi Arabia will replace some of their oil and gas exports with green hydrogen.

July 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conference Calls For More Freight Routes To And From Spain

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

This is the first paragraph.

Salvador Galve, Chairman of the Railway Commission of the General Council of Industrial Engineers, presented the European Alliance for the Development of Railway Corridors in the Iberian Peninsula initiative at a conference held in Madrid on March 9.

These are some points from the article.

  • Less than 4% of freight is currently transported by rail in Spain, compared with an average of 18% across the EU.
  • The Spanish government wants to raise this to 20%.
  • Incidentally, in the UK, rail freight is at a level of 5 %.
  • Italy has seven main lines connecting it to its neighbours, Spain has only two!
  • Spain also has a break of gauge, whereas the UK and Italy do not!
  • Plans exist for more freight corridors in Spain, and linking these to ports in North Africa and logistics hubs in the rest of Europe.
  • Zaragoza, could be turned into a key southern European logistics hub, linked by tunnels to the main line between Toulouse and Bordeaux.

But to me the most interesting plan is set out in this paragraph.

On March 1 the Infrastructure Ministry gave its provisional approval for study into the feasibility of converting the single track, non-electrified line from Huesca to Canfranc from 1 668 mm gauge to 1 435 mm gauge, ahead of any possible reconstruction of the through route to Pau in France in the longer term.

It has always been on my bucket list to visit the magnificent Canfranc station.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Battery And Hydrogen Trains For ScotRail ‘Could Make Scotland A Global Leader’ In Zero-Emission Transport

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

This is the first paragraph.

New fleets of cutting-edge trains expected to include battery and hydrogen power are to be ordered for ScotRail which the rail industry believes will put Scotland at the forefront of zero-emission transport.

Other points from the article.

  • Talgo appear to have passed the story to Scotland on Sunday.
  • Three routes are mentioned; Borders Railway, Fife Circle and Glasgow-East Kilbride.
  • The new trains could help phase out diesel trains by 2035, which is Scottish Government policy.
  • The Inter7City trains might be replaced by 2030.
  • Talgo hopes to win an order for its factory in Fife.

Talgo’s Managing Director is quoted as saying, they are starting testing of a hydrogen and electric train with a range of 311 miles.

Consider.

  • I wrote about this train in Talgo To Begin Fuel Cell Loco Trials.
  • Talgo’s hydrogen and electric train would be ideal for Scotland’s railways of which only forty percent are electrified.
  • A four or five-car high specification hydrogen and electric train would be ideal for the Inter7City routes, if it were built specifically for the routes.
  • The range would cover all of Scotland.
  • Hydrogen hubs are being planned all over Scotland.
  • Scotland have 26 Inter7City trainsets.

This could be a rather nice order to fund the factory and test all the trains close to the factory.

Is there a better place to show off your new train to a prospective buyer than the Highlands of Scotland?

In A Class 319 Train, But Not As We Know It!, I told this tale.

I am reminded of a tale, that I heard from a former GEC manager.

He was involved in selling one of GEC’s Air Traffic Control radars to a Middle Eastern country.

The only working installation of the radar was at Prestwick in Scotland, so he arranged that the dignitaries and the sales team would be flown to Prestwick in GEC’s HS 125 business jet.

As they disembarked at Prestwick and walked to the terminal, the pilot called the GEC Manager over.

The pilot told him “The Scottish Highlands at this time of the year, are one of the most beautiful places in the world! Would you and your guests like a low-level tour on the way back? I can arrange it, if you say so!”

Despite knowing GEC’s draconian attitude to cost control he said yes.

The sale was clinched!

I’m sure that Talgo will exploit the scenery and the local produce.

Talgo’s Hydrogen Trains

This page on the Talgo web site, is entitled Talgo’s Hydrogen Train Will Be Ready In 2023.

This paragraph gives an overview of Talgo’s hydrogen power system.

This system is configured as a modular solution that can be installed on all types of trains, as well as in upgrades from diesel to hydrogen. However, it has been specifically designed for the Vittal platform for Commuter and Regional trains, which Talgo has presented in the bidding process for various tenders in Spain and other countries.

And these two paragraphs describe Talgo’s hydrogen trains in more detail.

This innovative system uses hydrogen batteries that provide the energy for the train’s electric motors. It is powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic or wind, which produce hydrogen that is stored and then used to power fuel cell-based propulsion systems, such as the one designed by Talgo. The system is complemented by batteries that increase the speed of the train when it starts, taking advantage of the braking system to recharge it.

Unlike the extended battery systems in the automotive industry, hydrogen (H2) technology is the logical answer to the needs of heavy transport and, in particular, of those railway lines that do not have catenary electrification systems, and which today depend on trains powered by diesel engines. The hydrogen system designed by Talgo enables conventional network lines to be “electrified” without the need for costly and lengthy adaptation operations, and without the use of fossil fuels.

What do they mean by hydrogen batteries? Looking at the German and the Spanish on the page, I think Talgo means hydrogen fuel cells.

The Rebuilding Of Ukraine

It should be noted that Talgo have sold trains in the past to Russia, which has a gauge of 1.520 metres, which lies between Iberian gauge of 1.668 metres and our standard gauge of 1.435 metres.

  • Talgo have also sold trains to Germany, who use standard gauge.
  • Talgo have built Strizh trains for Russia, that are both standard gauge and Russian gauge for running between Berlin and Moscow.
  • According to the BBC and The Times, Ukraine’s railways have been an important lifeline during the Russian invasion, but pictures show they are in need of modernisation and more electrification.
  • The Strizh trains or a development would surely be ideal for running between Kviv and Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw.
  • There would also appear to be a need for a hydrogen and electric regional train to reconnect the country back together.
  • Other countries using Russian gauge include Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland.

So are Talgo positioning themselves to take part in the modernisation of Ukraine’s railways, once the war is over?

  • Development and testing is done in Spain and Scotland.
  • Manufacturing could be done in Spain and Scotland.
  • Delivery from Scotland could either be by ship or if they were dual-gauge trains, they could be hauled through the Channel Tunnel and then through Germany and Poland.

As Talgo has the technology, I can certainly see them exploiting the Russian gauge market once Vlad the Mad has gone.

 

March 13, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gelion To Trial Battery At Spanish Solar Plant

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Gelion has signed a test and supply contract with European renewables supplier Acciona Energia to trial its zinc-bromide battery technology at a solar plant in Spain.

Acciona Energia’s Montes del Cierzo photovoltaic solar plant in Navarra, northern Spain, will trial the energy storage system, following a competitive process launched in September 2020.

As Gelion’s Chief Executive indicates, this must be a show of confidence in their technology.

There is a full press release on the Gelion web site.

I just wonder, if Gelion could be a technology to be successful.

February 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , | 4 Comments

Spanish Consortium Forms For $4.4 Billion Green Hydrogen Investment

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

This paragraph outlines the project.

A thirty-three company consortium, called the Spanish Hydrogen Network (Shyne) will be investing into a spectrum of green hydrogen technologies, including the installation of 500 megawatts of renewable H2 capacity by 2025. From there, the capacity will increase to 2 gigawatts by 2030. This represents half of the Spanish government’s goal for the entire country by that year, which is 4 gigawatts of capacity.

The article says this about the creation of hydrogen hubs.

The green hydrogen project’s goal is to “generate an ecosystem that connects” three H2 hubs.
The goal of the project is to develop an ecosystem in which three planned industrial H2 hubs in the Murcia, Catalonia and Basque regions will be connected. The project is also meant to support the development of two new innovation hubs in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid and will target the development of solid-oxide electrolyzers and photoelectrocatalysis.

Note that photoelectrocatalysis is the direct production of hydrogen from solar energy.

January 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment