The Anonymous Widower

Significant Step Forward For Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station

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

These three paragraphs outline the project.

A landmark project in the Humber which could become the UK’s first power station equipped with carbon capture technology has taken a major leap forward following an announcement by the UK Government today.

Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, which is being jointly developed by SSE Thermal and Equinor, has been selected to be taken forward to the due diligence stage by the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) as part of its Cluster Sequencing Process.

This process will give the project the opportunity to receive government support, allowing it to deploy cutting edge carbon capture technology, and to connect to the shared CO2 pipelines being developed through the East Coast Cluster, with its emissions safely stored under the Southern North Sea. The common infrastructure will also supply low-carbon hydrogen to potential users across the region.

The press release also says this about the power station.

  • Keadby 3 power station could have a generating capacity of up to 910MW.
  • It could be operational by 2027.
  • It would capture up to one and a half million tonnes of CO2 a year.

It would provide low-carbon, flexible power to back-up renewable generation.

The H2H Saltend Project

The press release also says this about the H2H Saltend project.

Equinor’s H2H Saltend project, the ‘kick-starter’ for the wider Zero Carbon Humber ambition, has also been taken to the next stage of the process by BEIS. The planned hydrogen production facility could provide a hydrogen supply to Triton Power’s Saltend Power Station as well as other local industrial users. In June, SSE Thermal and Equinor entered into an agreement to acquire the Triton Power portfolio.

I wrote about H2H Saltend and the acquisition of Triton Power in SSE Thermal And Equinor To Acquire Triton Power In Acceleration Of Low-Carbon Ambitions.

In the related post, I added up all the power stations and wind farms, that are owned by SSE Thermal and it came to a massive 9.1 GW, which should all be available by 2027.

Collaboration Between SSE Thermal And Equinor

The press release also says this about collaboration between SSE Thermal and Equinor.

The two companies are also collaborating on major hydrogen projects in the Humber. Keadby Hydrogen Power Station could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, while Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities. In addition, they are developing Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station in Aberdeenshire, which would be a major contributor to decarbonising the Scottish Cluster.

This collaboration doesn’t lack ambition.

I also think, that there will expansion of their ambitions.

Horticulture

Lincolnshire is about horticulture and it is a generally flat county, which makes it ideal for greenhouses.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a large acreage of greenhouses built close to the Humber carbon dioxide system, so that flowers, salad vegetables, soft fruit, tomatoes and other plants can be grown to absorb the carbon dioxide.

It should also be noted that one of the ingredients of Quorn is carbon dioxide from a fertiliser plant, that also feeds a large tomato greenhouse.

We would have our carbon dioxide and eat it.

Other Uses Of Carbon Dioxide

Storing carbon dioxide in depleted gas fields in the North Sea will probably work, but it’s a bit like putting your rubbish in the shed.

Eventually, you run out of space.

The idea I like comes from an Australian company called Mineral Carbonation International.

We would have our carbon dioxide and live in it.

I also think other major uses will be developed.

A Large Battery

There is the hydrogen storage at Aldbrough, but that is indirect energy storage.

There needs to be a large battery to smooth everything out.

In Highview Power’s Second Commercial System In Yorkshire, I talk about Highview Power’s proposal for a 200MW/2.5GWh CRYOBattery.

This technology would be ideal, as would several other technologies.

Conclusion

Humberside will get a giant zero-carbon power station.

 

 

 

August 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SSE Issues €650M Green Bond As It Ramps Up Net Zero Acceleration Programme

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

SSE plc has successfully issued a €650m 7-year green bond maturing 1 August 2029 at a coupon of 2.875 per cent.

Today’s issuance is SSE’s fifth green bond in six years and reaffirms its status as the largest issuer of green bonds from the UK corporate sector. It remains the only UK corporate to offer up multiple green bonds and this latest issuance brings SSE’s total outstanding green bonds to over £2.5bn.

It’s good to see that a company can raise money by issuing bonds to finance its green ambitions.

A few years ago, green investments were derided by many, but it now seems that SSE have made hem mainstream.

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | | Leave a comment

Britain Will Soon Have A Glut Of Cheap Power, And World-Leading Batteries To Store It

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

This is the first four paragraphs.

Today’s electricity price shock is the last crisis of the old order. Britain will soon have far more power at times of peak production than it can absorb. The logistical headache will be abundance.

Wind and solar provided almost 60pc of the UK’s power for substantial stretches last weekend, briefly peaking at 66pc. This is not to make a propaganda point about green energy, although this home-made power is self-evidently displacing liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported right now at nosebleed prices.

It is a point about the mathematical implications of the UK’s gargantuan push for renewables. Offshore wind capacity is going to increase from 11 to 50 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 under the Government’s latest fast-track plans.

RenewableUK says this country currently has a total of 86GW in the project pipeline. This the most ambitious rollout of offshore wind in the world, ahead of China at 78GW, and the US at 48GW.

The article goes on to give a comprehensive account of where we are with renewables, where we are going and how we will handle things, when the wind doesn’t blow.

Dogger Bank

The article says this about the Dogger Bank wind farm, which is being developed by SSE.

The giant hi-tech turbines to be erected on the Dogger Bank, where wind conditions are superb, bear no resemblance to the low-tech, low-yield dwarves of yesteryear. The “capacity factor” is approaching 60pc, which entirely changes the energy equation.

A capacity factor of 60 % seems a bit high to me and is what can be expected with the latest floating turbines. But these are fixed to the sea floor.

The Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank wind farm, says this about the building of the the first two sections of the massive wind farm.

On 21 September 2020, it was announced that Dogger Bank A and B will use 190 GE Haliade-X 13 MW offshore wind turbines over both sites, meaning that 95 turbines will be used on each site.[19] The availability of upgraded Haliade-X turbines rated at 13 MW rather than 12 MW means that each site will be capable of generating up to 1.235 GW, for a total of 2.47 GW. Turbines will be pre-assembled at Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool, an activity that will lead to the creation of 120 skilled jobs at the port during construction. Turbine installation is expected to commence in 2023 at Dogger Bank A.[20] Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for 15 years were signed in November 2020. Offshore cable laying started in April 2022. Installation of the turbine foundations was started in July 2022.

This GE data sheet about the Haliade-X offshore wind turbine, says this about capacity factor.

it also features a 60-64% capacity factor above industry standard. Capacity factor compares how much energy was generated against the maximum that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during a specific period of time.

A 60-64% capacity factor is exceptional.

Current plans for Dogger Bank indicate that 3.6 GW will be installed and operational by 2024/25.

Could that mean that Dogger Bank will be able to deliver 2.16 GW almost continuously, on GE’s figures? Sizewell B is only 1.25 GW.

Sofia Wind Farm

There was going to be a fourth section to Dogger Bank, but this is now the separate Sofia wind farm.

  • It is being developed by RWE.
  • The first phase of three has a capacity of 1.4 MW. Does that mean Sofia will eventually be a 4.2 GW wind farm?
  • RWE seem to be putting in a very large offshore substation. Could this support a lot more turbines?
  • The wind farm seems to be using high-specification SiemensGamesa 14MW SG 14-222 DD wind turbines, which have a Power Boost facility to deliver up to 15 MW.
  • I can’t find anything about capacity factor.

Wikipedia gives a delivery date of 2023 for the first phase of Sofia.

Storing Electricity

The article says this about storing electricity.

Much of the power will have to be stored for days or weeks at a time. Lithium batteries cannot do the job: their sweet spot is two hours, and they are expensive. You need “long duration” storage at a cost that must ultimately fall below $100 (£82) per megawatt hour (MWh), the global benchmark of commercial viability.

That is now in sight, and one of the world leaders is a British start-up. Highview Power has refined a beautifully simple technology using liquid air stored in insulated steel towers at low pressure.

I have had Highview Power on my radar for some time.

Highview Power

What is there not to like about Highview Power?

  • The original idea was developed in a shed in Bishop’s Stortford, by a lone inventor.
  • Sumitomo are one of their backers.
  • They are also backed by English Universities and the UK Government.
  • They have run a successful pilot plant in Bury.
  • They are now building their first full-size 50 MW/250 MWh commercial plant at Carrington near Manchester.
  • Much of the equipment they use to build their batteries is standard equipment from world-class companies like MAN.
  • There are no exotic and expensive materials used.

The writer of the article has obviously had a long chat with Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive and ex-head of the satellite company Inmarsat.

Pearce happily discloses this monster.

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.

Note.

  1. The world’s largest battery is at Ouarzazate Solar Power Station in Morocco and it is 3 GWh.
  2. Highview’s Humberside battery is megahuge at 30 GWh.
  3. The world’s largest pumped storage power station is Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China and it is 40 GWh.
  4. My experience of doing the calculations for large reaction vessels and other structures, tells me, that Highview should be able to construct huge systems.

I suspect that it will be easier and more affordable to build the Humberside battery.

This is another pair of paragraphs.

Mr Pearce said Highview’s levelised cost of energy (LCOE) would start at $140-$150, below lithium, and then slide on a “glide path” to $100 with over time. The company has parallel projects in Spain and Australia but Britain is the showroom.

“The UK is a fantastic place to do this. It has one of the most innovative grids in the world and an open, fair, liquid, market mechanism with absolute visibility,” he said.

It looks to me, that Rupert Pearce has taken Highview Power to a different level, in his short tenure at the company.

The world will soon be very familiar with the name of Highview Power.

July 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 9 Comments

The Concept Of Remote Island Wind

This document from the Department of Business, Industry and Industrial Strategy lists all the Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 4 results for the supply of zero-carbon electricity that were announced yesterday.

The contracts have also introduced a concept that is new to me, called Remote Island Wind. All have got the same strike price of £46.39 per MWh.

Two of the projects on Orkney are community projects of around 30 MW, run by local trusts. This is surely, a model that will work in many places.

There is more on Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project on this page of the Orkney Islands Council web site.

It could even have an electrolyser to provide hydrogen for zero-carbon fuel, when there is more electricity than is needed. Companies like ITM Power and others already build filling stations with an electrolyser, that can be powered by wind-generated electricity.

The other Remote Island Wind projects are larger with two wind farms of over 200 MW.

It does look to me, that the Department of BEIS is nudging wind farm developers in remote places to a model, that all stakeholders w will embrace.

The Viking Wind Farm

I wrote about this wind farm in Shetland’s Viking Wind Farm.

There are more details in this press release from SSE enewables, which is entitled CfD Contract Secured For Viking Energy Wind Farm.

These introductory paragraphs, give a good explanation of the finances of this farm.

SSE Renewables has been successful in the UK’s fourth Contract for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round, announced today, and has secured a low-carbon power contract for 220MW for its wholly-owned Viking Energy Wind Farm (Viking) project, currently being constructed in Shetland.

Viking’s success in securing a contract follows a competitive auction process in Allocation Round 4 (AR4) where it competed within Pot 2 of the allocation round set aside for ‘less established’ technologies including Remote Island Wind.

The 443MW Viking project, which SSE Renewables is currently building in the Shetland Islands, has secured a CfD for 220MW (50% of its total capacity) at a strike price of £46.39/MWh for the 2026/27 delivery year.

The successful project will receive its guaranteed strike price, set on 2012 prices but annually indexed for CPI inflation, for the contracted low carbon electricity it will generate for a 15-year period. Securing a CfD for Viking stabilises the revenue from the project whilst also delivering price security for bill payers.

It’s very professional and open to explain the capacity, the contract and the finances in detail.

The press release also has this paragraph, which details progress.

Viking is progressing through construction with over 50 per cent of turbine foundation bases poured. When complete in 2024, Viking Energy Wind Farm will be the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output, with the project also contributing to Shetland’s security of supply by underpinning the HVDC transmission link that will connect the islands to the mainland for the first time.

SSE also released this press release, which is entitled Major Milestone Reached As First Subsea Cable Installation Begins On Shetland HVDC Link, where this is the first paragraph.

The first phase of cable laying as part of the SSEN Transmission Shetland High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Link began this week off the coast of Caithness, marking a major milestone in the £660M project.

SSE seem to be advancing on all fronts on the two projects!

The Stornoway Wind Farm

This press release from EDF Renewables is entitled EDF Renewables UK Welcomes Contract for Difference Success, where these are the first two paragraphs.

Two EDF Renewables UK projects bid into the Contract for Difference (CfD) auction round held by the UK Government’s BEIS department have been successful.

The projects are the Stornoway wind farm on the Isle of Lewis and Stranoch wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway. Together these onshore wind farms will provide 300 MW of low carbon electricity which is an important contribution to reaching net zero.

The press release also gives this information about the contract and completion of the Stornoway wind farm.

Stornoway Wind Farm on the Isle of Lewis is a joint venture with Wood. The project has won a CfD for 200 MW capacity, the strike price was £46.39, the target commissioning date is 31 March 2027.

This page on the Lewis Wind Power web site, gives these details of the Stornoway Wind Farm.

The Stornoway Wind Farm would be located to the west of the town of Stornoway in an area close to the three existing wind farm sites.

The project has planning consent for up to 36 turbines and is sited on land owned by the Stornoway Trust, a publicly elected body which manages the Stornoway Trust Estate on behalf of the local community.

The local community stands to benefit as follows:

  • Community benefit payments currently estimated at £900,000 per annum, which would go to an independent trust to distribute to local projects and organisations
  • Annual rental payments to local crofters and the Stornoway Trust – which we estimate could total more than £1.3m, depending on the CfD Strike Price secured and the wind farm’s energy output
  • Stornoway Wind Farm is the largest of the three consented wind farm projects with a grid connection in place and is therefore key to the needs case for a new grid connection with the mainland.  Indeed, the UK energy regulator Ofgem has stated that it will support the delivery of a new 450MW cable if the Stornoway and Uisenis projects are successful in this year’s Contract for Difference allocation round.

Note the last point, where only the Stornoway wind farm was successful.

The Uisenis Wind Farm

This press release from EDF Energy is entitled Lewis Wind Power Buys Uisenis Wind Farm, gives these details of the sale.

Lewis Wind Power (LWP), a joint venture between Amec Foster Wheeler and EDF Energy Renewables has bought the Uisenis Wind Farm project on the Isle of Lewis. The wind farm has planning consent for the development of 45 turbines with a maximum capacity of 162 MW. This would be enough to power 124,000 homes and would be the biggest renewable energy development on the Western Isles.

LWP owns the Stornoway Wind Farm project located around 20km to the north of Uisenis which has planning consent to develop 36 turbines to a maximum capacity of 180 MW – enough to power 135,000 homes.

This would bring Stornoway and Uisenis wind farms under the similar ownership structures.

This is a significant paragraph in the press release.

On behalf of Eishken Limited, the owner of the site where the Uisenis Wind Farm will be located, Nick Oppenheim said: “I am delighted that LWP are taking forward the wind farm. The resources available on the Eishken estate, and the Western Isles in general, means that it is an excellent location for renewable energy projects and, as such, the company is also developing a 300MW pumped storage hydro project immediately adjacent to the Uisenis wind farm. With such potential for renewables and the positive effect they will have on the local community, economy, and the UK as a whole I am are looking forward to positive news on both support for remote island projects and the interconnector.”

Note the mention of pumped storage.

This article on the BBC is entitled Pumped Storage Hydro Scheme Planned For Lewis, where this paragraph introduces the scheme.

A pumped storage hydro scheme using sea water rather than the usual method of drawing on freshwater from inland lochs has been proposed for Lewis.

The only other information is that it will provide 300 MW of power, but nothing is said about the storage capacity.

It looks like Lewis will have a world-class power system.

Mossy Hill And Beaw Field Wind Farms

Mossy Hill near Lerwick and Beaw Field in Yell are two Shetland wind farms being developed by Peel L & P.

This press release from Peel L & P is entitled Government Support For Two Shetland Wind Farms, where these are the first two paragraphs.

Plans for two onshore wind farms on the Shetland Islands which would help meet Scotland’s targets for renewable energy production are a step closer to being delivered after receiving long-term Government support.

Clean energy specialists Peel NRE has been successful in two bids in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme; one for its Mossy Hill wind farm near Lerwick and the other for Beaw Field wind farm in Yell.

It looks like the two wind farms will power 130,000 houses and are planned to be operational in 2027.

Conclusion

Only time will tell, if the concept of Remote Island Wind works well.

July 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Massive Hydrogen Project, That Appears To Be Under The Radar

This page on the SSE Thermal web site, is entitled Aldbrough Gas Storage.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Aldbrough Gas Storage facility, in East Yorkshire, officially opened in June 2011. The last of the nine caverns entered commercial operation in November 2012.

This page on Hydrocarbons Technology is entitled Aldbrough Underground Gas Storage Facility, Yorkshire.

It gives these details of how Aldbrough Gas Storage was constructed.

The facility was originally planned to be developed by British Gas and Intergen in 1997. British Gas planned to develop Aldbrough North as a gas storage facility while Intergen planned to develop Aldbrough South.

SSE and Statoil became owners of the two projects in 2002 and 2003. The two companies combined the projects in late 2003. Site work commenced in March 2004 and leaching of the first cavern started in March 2005.

The storage caverns were created by using directional drilling. From a central area of the site, boreholes were drilled down to the salt strata located 2km underground.

After completion of drilling, leaching was carried out by pumping seawater into the boreholes to dissolve salt and create a cavern. Natural gas was then pumped into the caverns and stored under high pressure.

Six of the nine caverns are already storing gas. As of February 2012, dewatering and preparation of the remaining three caverns is complete. Testing has been completed at two of these caverns.

The facility is operated remotely from SSE’s Hornsea storage facility. It includes an above ground gas processing plant equipped with three 20MW compressors. The gas caverns of the facility are connected to the UK’s gas transmission network through an 8km pipeline.

Note.

  1. The caverns are created in a bed of salt about two kilometres down.
  2. It consists of nine caverns with the capacity to store around 370 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas.
  3. Salt caverns are very strong and dry, and are ideal for storing natural gas. The technique is discussed in this section in Wikipedia.

As I worked for ICI at Runcorn in the late 1960s, I’m very familiar with the technique, as the company extracted large amounts of salt from the massive reserves below the Cheshire countryside.

This Google Map shows the location of the Aldbrough Gas Storage to the North-East of Hull.

Note.

  1. The red-arrow marks the site of the Aldbrough Gas Storage.
  2. It is marked on the map as SSE Hornsea Ltd.
  3. Hull is in the South-West corner of the map.

This Google Map shows the site in more detail.

It appears to be a compact site.

Atwick Gas Storage

This page on the SSE Thermal web site, is entitled Atwick Gas Storage.

This is said on the web site.

Our Atwick Gas Storage facility is located near Hornsea on the East Yorkshire coast.

It consists of nine caverns with the capacity to store around 325 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas.

The facility first entered commercial operation in 1979. It was purchased by SSE in September 2002.

This Google Map shows the location of the Atwick Gas Storage to the North-East of Beverley.

Note.

  1. The red-arrow marks the site of the Atwick Gas Storage.
  2. It is marked on the map as SSE Atwick.
  3. Beverley is in the South-West corner of the map.

This Google Map shows the site in more detail.

As with the slightly larger Aldbrough Gas Storage site, it appears to be compact.

Conversion To Hydrogen Storage

It appears that SSE and Equinor have big plans for the Aldbrough Gas Storage facility.

This page on the SSE Thermal web site is entitled Plans For World-Leading Hydrogen Storage Facility At Aldbrough.

These paragraphs introduce the plans.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are developing plans for one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities at their existing Aldbrough site on the East Yorkshire coast. The facility could be storing low-carbon hydrogen as early as 2028.

The existing Aldbrough Gas Storage facility, which was commissioned in 2011, is co-owned by SSE Thermal and Equinor, and consists of nine underground salt caverns, each roughly the size of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Upgrading the site to store hydrogen would involve converting the existing caverns or creating new purpose-built caverns to store the low-carbon fuel.

With an initial expected capacity of at least 320GWh, Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage would be significantly larger than any hydrogen storage facility in operation in the world today. The Aldbrough site is ideally located to store the low-carbon hydrogen set to be produced and used in the Humber region.

Hydrogen storage will be vital in creating a large-scale hydrogen economy in the UK and balancing the overall energy system by providing back up where large proportions of energy are produced from renewable power. As increasing amounts of hydrogen are produced both from offshore wind power, known as ‘green hydrogen’, and from natural gas with carbon capture and storage, known as ‘blue hydrogen’, facilities such as Aldbrough will provide storage for low-carbon energy.

I have a few thoughts.

Will Both Aldbrough and Atwick Gas Storage Facilities Be Used?

As the page only talks of nine caverns and both Aldbrough and Atwick facilities each have nine caverns, I suspect that at least initially only Aldbrough will be used.

But in the future, demand for the facility could mean all caverns were used and new ones might even be created.

Where Will The Hydrogen Come From?

These paragraphs from the SSE Thermal web page give an outline.

Equinor has announced its intention to develop 1.8GW of ‘blue hydrogen’ production in the region starting with its 0.6GW H2H Saltend project which will supply low-carbon hydrogen to local industry and power from the mid-2020s. This will be followed by a 1.2GW production facility to supply the Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, proposed by SSE Thermal and Equinor as the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fired power station, before the end of the decade.

SSE Thermal and Equinor’s partnership in the Humber marks the UK’s first end-to-end hydrogen proposal, connecting production, storage and demand projects in the region. While the Aldbrough facility would initially store the hydrogen produced for the Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, the benefit of this large-scale hydrogen storage extends well beyond power generation. The facility would enable growing hydrogen ambitions across the region, unlocking the potential for green hydrogen, and supplying an expanding offtaker market including heat, industry and transport from the late 2020s onwards.

Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, and the partners’ other hydrogen projects in the region, are in the development stage and final investment decisions will depend on the progress of the necessary business models and associated infrastructure.

The Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage project is the latest being developed in a long-standing partnership between SSE Thermal and Equinor in the UK, which includes the joint venture to build the Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

It does seem to be, a bit of an inefficient route to create blue hydrogen, which will require carbon dioxide to be captured and stored or used.

Various scenarios suggest themselves.

  • The East Riding of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are agricultural counties, so could some carbon dioxide be going to help greenhouse plants and crops, grow big and strong.
  • Carbon dioxide is used as a major ingredient of meat substitutes like Quorn.
  • Companies like Mineral Carbonation International are using carbon dioxide to make building products like blocks and plasterboard.

I do suspect that there are teams of scientists in the civilised world researching wacky ideas for the use of carbon dioxide.

Where Does The Dogger Bank Wind Farm Fit?

The Dogger Bank wind farm will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

  • It will consist of at least three phases; A, B and C, each of which will be 1.2 GW.
  • Phase A and B will have a cable to Creyke Beck substation in Yorkshire.
  • Phase C will have a cable to Teesside.

Creyke Beck is almost within walking distance of SSE Hornsea.

Could a large electrolyser be placed in the area, to store wind-power from Dogger Bank A/B as hydrogen in the Hydrogen Storage Facility At Aldbrough?

Conclusion

SSE  and Equinor may have a very cunning plan and we will know more in the next few years.

 

 

May 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Crown Estate Scotland has today announced the outcome of its application process for ScotWind Leasing, the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in over a decade and the first ever since the management of offshore wind rights were devolved to Scotland.

The results coming just months after Glasgow hosted the global COP26 climate conference show the huge opportunity that Scotland has to transform its energy market and move towards a net zero economy.

Some highlights are then listed.

  • 17 projects have been selected out of a total of 74 applications.
  • A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.
  • The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2.
  • Initial indications suggest a multi-billion pound supply chain investment in Scotland
  • The potential power generated will move Scotland towards net-zero.

This map shows the position of each wind farm.

Note, that the numbers are Scotwind’s lease number in their documents.

Fixed Foundation Wind Farms

These are the six fixed foundation wind farms.

  • 1 – BP Alternative Energy Investments – 859 km² – 2.9 GW
  • 6 – DEME – 187 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 9 – Ocean Winds – 429 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 13 – Offshore Wind Power – 657 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 16 – Northland Power – 161 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 17 – Scottish Power Renewables – 754 km² – 2.0 GW

Adding up these fixed foundation wind farms gives a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².

Floating Wind Farms

These are the ten floating wind farms.

  • 2- SSE Renewables – 859 km² – 2.6 GW
  • 3 – Falck Renewables Wind – 280 km² – 1.2 GW
  • 4 – Shell – 860 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 5 – Vattenfall – 200 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 7 – DEME Concessions Wind – 200 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 8 – Falck Renewables Wind – 256 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 10 – Falck Renewables Wind – 134 km² – 0.5 GW
  • 11 – Scottish Power Renewables – 684 km² – 3.0 GW
  • 12 – BayWa r.e. UK  – 330 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 14 – Northland Power – 390 km² – 1.5 GW

Adding up the floating wind farms gives a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Mixed Wind Farms

This is the single wind farm, that has mixed foundations.

15 – Magnora – 103 km² – 0.5 GW

This wind farm appears to be using floating wind turbines.

I have a few general thoughts.

Are Floating Wind Farms Further Out?

There does appear to be a pattern, where the wind farms that are further from the land tend to be floating wind farms and those closer to the land appear to be fixed.

Consider.

  • As the water gets deeper, fixed wind turbines will surely get more expensive.
  • Floating wind turbines are the newer and more unproven technology, so only those bidders, who have done their research and are happy with it, will have bid.

Falck Renewables Wind Seem To Be Working With BlueFloat Energy

In the three Falck Renewables successes with leases 3, 8 and 10, BlueFloat Energy is a partner in the lease.

According to their web site, BlueFloat Energy were very much involved in WindFloat Atlantic, where this is said.

Top members of our team were key contributors to the development and construction of the WindFloat Atlantic project from concept to Final Investment Decision to commissioning. This 25 megawatt (MW) floating offshore wind project in Portugal marked a turning point in the offshore wind industry as it was the first floating offshore wind project to secure bank financing. With 3 x MVOW’s 8.4 MW turbines, the WindFloat Atlantic project was the world’s first semi-submersible floating wind project and continental Europe’s first floating wind project.

So do Falck Renewables intend to use WindFloat technology in their areas, which are to produce a total of 2.7 GW?

Perhaps a fleet of two hundred floating wind turbines based on WindFloat technology each with a capacity of 14 MW would be ideal.

  • Wind turbines would be interchangeable between all three farms.
  • There could be a few standby turbines to allow for maintenance.
  • It would be possible to borrow a turbine to explore a new site.

All it would need is technology to be able to position and connect a turbine into the wind farm and disconnect and remove a turbine from the wind farm, with simple procedures.

Did BP Avoid the Floating Wind Farms?

BP, who are relatively new to offshore wind, only had one success, for a large fixed wind farm. So did they avoid the floating wind farms?

Do Shell and Scottish Power Have A Bigger Plan? 

Shell and Scottish Power were successful with leases 4 and 11, which are reasonably close together.

They also won lease 17, which I wrote about in MacHairWind Wind Farm, where I concluded this.

The MacHairWind wind farm seems a well-positioned wind farm.

  • It is close to Glasgow.
  • It can be used in tandem with the Cruachan pumped hydro power station.
  • It will have access to the Western HVDC Link to send power to the North-West of England.

Is Scotland replacing the 1.2 GW Hunterston B nuclear power station with a 2 GW wind farm, with help from Cruachan and other proposed pumped storage hydro schemes to the North of Glasgow?

So did Shell and Scottish Power get the pick of the bunch and will build two large floating wind farms close together?

Shell and Scottish Power seem to be using French company; Eolfi’s floating wind technology.

Why Do Floating Wind Farms Have A Higher Density?

The floating wind farms have an average energy density of 3.5 MW per sq. km, whereas the fixed wind farms only manage 3.2 MW per sq. km.

It may be only ten percent, but does that help the economics? It certainly, wouldn’t make them worse.

I do wonder though, if the reason for the higher density is simply that a floating turbine can be bigger, than a corresponding fixed turbine.

I also have a few more specific thoughts about individual farms.

Lease 15 – The Odd Bid Out

In any design competition, there is usually at least one design, that is not look like any of the others.

In the successful bids for the ScotWind leases, the bid from Magnora ASA stands out.

  • The company has an unusual home page on its offshore wind web site.
  • This page on their web site outlines their project.
  • It will be technology agnostic, with 15MW turbines and a total capacity of 500MW
  • It will use floating offshore wind with a concrete floater
  • It is estimated, that it will have a capacity factor of 56 %.
  • The water depth will be an astonishing 106-125m
  • The construction and operation will use local facilities at Stornoway and Kishorn Ports.
  • The floater will have local and Scottish content.
  • The project will use UK operated vessels​.
  • Hydrogen is mentioned.
  • Consent is planned for 2026, with construction starting in 2028 and completion in 2030.

This project could serve as a model for wind farms all round the world with a 500 MW power station, hydrogen production and local involvement and construction.

I discuss this project in more detail in ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm.

A Conclusion About Floating Wind

The various successful bids in this round of Scottish wind farm leases can be split by capacity into two groups.

  • Floating + Mixed – 15.1 GW – 61 %
  • Fixed – 9.7 GW – 39 %

Note that I have included Magnora’s successful mixed bid with the successful floating bids, as it uses floating wind turbines to generate electricity.

The over 60 % of successful bids involving floating wind farms, indicates to me, that the day of floating wind farms has arrived.

 

 

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Shetland’s Viking Wind Farm

I was listening to SSE’s Chief Executive; Alistair Phillips-Davies, on the radio this morning, when he mentioned the Viking wind farm on Shetland.

  • The wind farm is being developed by Viking Energy, a partnership between Shetland Islands Council and SSE plc.
  • It will have 103 turbines and a nameplate capacity of 370 MW.
  • Construction started in September 2020 and should be complete by 2024.
  • The wind farm will be connected to the National grid via the Shetland HVDC Connection.
  • There’s more on the Viking Energy web site.

Note.

  1. According to Wikipedia, wind farms in the Shetlands can have capacity factors of over 50 %.
  2. Viking Energy hope that the Viking wind farm will become one of the most productive onshore wind farms in the world.
  3. Is it unusual, that the wind farm is developed by a partnership between a local authority and a large utility company?

It also appears that together the Viking wind farm and the Shetland HVDC Connection will allow the 66 MW diesel-powered Lerwick power station to be closed.

Does The Electricity System On Shetland Need Energy Storage?

As an Electrical Engineer, who specialised in Control Engineering, I am surprised that to ensure energy security, that there is no energy storage on Shetland.

In the Wikipedia entry for Lerwick power station, there is a section entitled Load Balancing, where this is said.

The growth of output from wind turbines in Shetland has increased instability in the local grid (which is not connected to the national grid on mainland Scotland). SSE installed a 1 MW sodium–sulfur battery in a nearby building to ameliorate the peak loads. However due to safety concerns, the sodium-sulfur battery was removed prior to commissioning and the energy storage building was reconfigured to accommodate 3MWh of advanced lead-acid batteries.

A combination of the new Shetland HVDC Connection and the lead-acid batteries must be enough to ensure energy security for the Shetlands.

 

 

 

 

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , | 5 Comments

Ministerial Roundtable Seeks To Unlock Investment In UK Energy Storage

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Business leaders have met with UK Energy Minister the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP to discuss how the government could unlock significant investment in vital energy storage technologies needed to decarbonise the power sector and help ensure greater energy independence.

The meeting was organised by the Long-Duration Electricity Storage Alliance, a new association of companies, progressing plans across a range of technologies to be first of their kind to be developed in the UK for decades.

This press release, which I found on the Drax website, has obviously been produced by the four companies; Drax, Highview Power, Invinity Energy Systems and SSE Renewables.

Greg Hands MP, who is the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth said this.

The Long-Duration Electricity Storage Alliance is a key part of our plan to get the full benefit from our world-class renewables sector. Government have already committed £68 million of funding toward the development of these technologies.

“This will support the UK as we shift towards domestically-produced renewable energy that will boost our energy security and create jobs and investment.

The three CEOs and a director from SSE, make statements about what they are doing and what they need from Government, which are all worth reading.

  • Drax still needs planning permission for its flagship project at Cruachan, that is called Cruachan 2.
  • SSE are saying that the massive 30 GWh Coire Glas pumped hydro scheme has full planning permission and is shovel-ready.
  • Drax and SSE appear to be in favour of Cap and Floor regimes to support long term energy storage.
  • Highview Power and Invinity Energy Systems appear very optimistic.
  • Finance for capital cost is not mentioned. As billions will be needed for some of these schemes and the returns are very predictable, I assume that it has been promised.

After reading this press release fully, I too am optimistic.

Conclusion

I feel sure, that a sensible plan will evolve fairly soon, which will involve these four companies and possibly some others.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Wind Farms On The East Coast Of Scotland

This map shows the proposed wind farms off the East coast of Scotland.

There are five wind farms in the map.

  • The green area is the cable corridor for Seagreen 1a
  • Inch Cape is the odd-shaped wind farm to the North and West of the green area
  • Seagreen at the top of the map, to the North of Inch Cape.
  • Marr Bank with the pink NE-SW hatching
  • Berwick Bank with the green NW-SE hatching
  • Neart Na Gaoithe is edged in blue to the South of the green area.

Berwick Bank and Marr Bank are both owned by SSE and appear to have been combined.

These are some more details on each of the now four wind farms.

Seagreen

These are details of the Seagreen wind farm.

  • Seagreen will be Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest offshore wind farm when complete.
  • The first phase will have 114 turbines and a capacity of 1075 MW.
  • It will connect to the grid at a new substation at Tealing near Dundee.
  • The cables will run to the North of the Inch Cape wind farm.
  • It will be completed in 2023.
  • The second phase (1a), will have 36 turbines.
  • It may have larger turbines.
  • The cables will run in the green area to Cockenzie in East Lothian.

This press release from SSE is entitled Another Milestone For Scotland’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm As 4,800 Tonnes Offshore Platform Completed.

This is the first paragraph.

The topside forms the backbone of the offshore wind farm. At 40 metres long, 45 metres wide and 15 metres high, the heavyweight superstructure’s role is to collect and manage 1,075MW of power generated by the 114 Vestas wind turbines before transferring it ashore via around 60km of offshore subsea cabling.

This platform is used to connect the 114 turbines to the shore.

Inch Cape

This paragraph from the home page of the Inch Cape web site, describes the wind farm.

The Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm, currently in late stage development, will see up to 72 turbines located 15 km off the Angus Coast and connect to the National Grid at Cockenzie, East Lothian. Once complete, it will be one of Scotland’s largest single sources of renewable energy and power up to 1 million homes with clean electricity.

The home page says it will generate up to 1 GW of electricity.

Neart Na Gaoithe

This sentence for the Wikipedia entry for the Neart Na Gaoithe web site describes the wind farm.

It is being developed by Mainstream Renewable Power at a cost of £1.4bn. Offshore work began in 2020, with completion planned for 2023.

The Wikipedia entry says it will generate up to 450 MW of electricity.

Berwick Bank

These two paragraphs from the project page of the Berwick Bank web site describes the wind farm.

Located in the North Sea, in the outer Firth of Forth, Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm has the potential to deliver up to 4.1 GW of installed capacity, making it one of the largest offshore opportunities in the world.

Berwick Bank Wind Farm is in the development stage and previously the project was comprised of two separate proposals, Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm. Following initial rounds of consultation, it has been decided to combine our proposals into one single opportunity – Berwick Bank Wind Farm.

At 4.1 GW,  Berwick Bank is a big wind farm.

The capacity of the four farms can be summarised as follows.

  • Seagreen – 1075 MW
  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW
  • Inch Cape – 1000 MW
  • Berwick Bank – 4100 MW

This gives a total of 6625 MW.

 

March 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Scotland’s Energy Storage

I have been using the web sites of Drax Group, SSE Renewables and ILI Group, and this page from Strathclyde University to look at various hydro-electric schemes to store energy using the tried-and-tested method of pumped hydro.

I have analysed these schemes.

Affric/Beauly

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

Situated about 16 kilometres to the west of Inverness, Beauly is the gateway to the Affric/Beauly hydro electric scheme.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 100.3 MW.

My analysis in Repurposing The Affric/Beauly Hydro-Electric Scheme, showed the following.

  • Research from Strathclyde University, says that the Affric/Beauly scheme could support 78 GWh of pumped storage in one scheme at Fasnakyle.
  • Adding pumped storage facilities to the Affric/Beauly hydro-electric scheme, with a capacity of upwards of a conservative 50 GWh, should be possible.

Generating capacity and system operation could be improved by replacing some or all of the 1950s and 1960s turbines with modern units and using modern control systems.

The Affric/Beauly hydro-electric scheme could be augmented by upwards of 50 GWh of storage.

Balliemeanoch

This new scheme is being developed by the ILI Group.

From what is published in the press. it appears to be a giant 1.5 GW/45 GWh project.

In Thoughts On The Balliemeanoch Pumped-Hydro Scheme, I analyse the plan.

The Balliemeanoch hydro-electric scheme could add 45 GWh of storage.

Balmacaan

This new scheme is being developed by SSE Renewables.

My searches in A Possible Balmacaan Pumped Storage System, showed the following.

It has a 600 MW generating capacity and I suspect would have about 15-20 GWh of storage.

The Balmacaan hydro-electric scheme could conservatively add upwards of 15 GWh of storage.

Breadalbane

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

The Breadalbane scheme is set in the mountainous region around Loch Lyon, Loch Tay and Loch Earn in Perthshire.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 168.4 MW.

My analysis in Repurposing The Breadalbane Hydro-Electric Scheme, showed the following.

  • Research from Strathclyde University, says that the Breadalbane scheme could support 12 GWh of pumped storage in one scheme at Ben Lawers.
  • I believe a similar scheme could be built South of Loch Tay to add a similar amount of pumped storage capacity.

As with the Beauly/Affric scheme, generating capacity and system operation could be improved by replacing some or all of the 1950s and 1960s turbines with modern units and using modern control systems.

The Breadalbane hydro-electric scheme could be augmented by upwards of 12 GWh of storage.

Coire Glass

This new scheme is being developed by SSE Renewables and the project has its own web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

Coire Glas is a hydro pumped storage scheme with a potential capacity of up to 1500MW. Coire Glas is an excellent pumped storage site with a large lower reservoir (Loch Lochy) and a significant elevation of more than 500m between the lower and the new upper reservoir site over a relatively short distance.

It is planned to generate a maximum power of up to 1.5 GW for twenty hours, which indicates an energy storage capacity of 30 GWh.

In SSE Renewables Launches 1.5GW Coire Glas Construction Tender, I talk about the current status of the project.

The Coire Glas hydro-electric scheme could add 30 GWh of storage.

Conon

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

The Conon scheme lies within the northwest Highlands, broadly between Inverness and Ullapool. Electricity generation started here when the Ross-shire Electricity Supply Company built the small Falls of Conon hydro electric power station in the 1920s.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 107.2 MW.

My analysis in Repurposing The Conon Hydro-Electric Scheme, showed the following.

  • Research from Strathclyde University, says that the Conon scheme could support up to 131 GWh of pumped storage.
  • Adding pumped storage facilities to the Conon hydro-electric scheme, with a capacity of upwards of a conservative 30-40 GWh, should be possible.

As with other schemes, generating capacity and system operation could be improved by replacing some or all of the 1950s turbines with modern units and using modern control systems.

The Conon hydro-electric scheme could be augmented by upwards of 30 GWh of storage.

Corrievarkie

This new scheme is being developed by the ILI Group.

From the planning application it appears to be a 600 MW/14.5 GWh project.

In Corrievarkie Pumped Storage Hydro Project, I analyse the plan.

The Corrievarkie hydro-electric scheme could add 14.5 GWh of storage.

Cruachan

Cruachan is a pumped-storage power station, that is owned by Drax, which have a comprehensive web site for the power station.

  • It has an output of 440 MW.
  • It has an energy storage capacity of 7.1 GWh
  • It can can reach full generating capacity in less than 30 seconds.

In Drax’s Plans For Cruachan, I analyse Drax’s plans, which they call Cruachan 2.

  • It will be a 600 MW power station.
  • It will be to the East of the current power station.
  • More than a million tonnes of rock would be excavated to build the power station.

The existing upper reservoir, which can hold 2.4 billion gallons of water, has the capacity to serve both power stations.

These was my conclusions.

It looks like very good engineering to me.

  • There is a good chance, that on most nights, the reservoir will be filled using wind energy
  • The maximum output of the Cruachan power station has been more than tripled from 323 to 1010 MW.
  • There has been no increase in the size of the Cruachan reservoir.

Scotland will now have a GW-sized hydro-electric power station.

It will not be very much smaller than Sizewell B nuclear station.

Foyers

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

The current Foyers Power Station operates quite differently to conventional hydro electric power stations. Foyers hydro scheme consists of one pumped hydro power station and one hydro power station and one major dam..

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 305 MW.

My research and analysis in The Development Of The Foyers Pumped Storage Scheme, showed the following.

  • Foyers is a modern pumped-hydro scheme with a capacity of 10 GWh.
  • The updating of the original 1896 hydro-power station to a modern pumped-storage system in 1974 is a superb example of hydro-power engineering.

The development of Foyers power station is an example, that shows what can be done in other hydro-electric schemes around Scotland and the rest of the world.

Galloway

Galloway is a hydroelectric scheme, that is owned by Drax, which have a comprehensive web site for their two hydroelectric schemes in Scotland; Galloway and Lanark.

  • Galloway has a total output of 109 MW.
  • It has six power stations at Drumjohn, Kendoon, Carsfad, Earlstoun, Glenlee and Tongland.
  • There is no energy storage
  • It is what is known as a run-of-the-river scheme.

The scheme opened in the 1930s.

Glendoe

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

In 2009, the first major hydro electric power station to be built in Scotland for almost 30 years, Glendoe on the eastern shore of Loch Ness, began generating electricity.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 106.5 MW.

My analysis in Glendoe Hydro Power Station, led me to conclude, that engineers will look at this scheme built in the early years of this century to convert it to a pumped storage facility. It might even have been designed for conversion to a pumped storage station, as it was built after the successful conversion of Foyers power station. Comparing the size of the upper lake to Foyers and other schemes, I would estimate it could easily provide in excess of 15 GWh of storage.

The Glendoe hydro-electric scheme could be augmented by upwards of 15 GWh of storage.

Glenmuckloch

This is a small scheme promoted by Buccleuch, that generates 4 MW and stores 1.6 GWh in a disused opencast coal mine.

My analysis in The Glenmuckloch Pumped Storage Scheme, led me to this conclusion.

This project appears to have stalled, but I do like the idea of using a disused mine to store energy and the engineering behind the project.

I will ignore it in my conclusions of this post.

Great Glen

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

The Great Glen runs for more than 100 kilometres from Inverness in the northeast, to Fort William in the southwest, following a geological fault line that divides north and south Scotland.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 112.7 MW.

My analysis in Repurposing The Great Glen Hydro-Electric Scheme, showed the following.

  • Research from Strathclyde University, says that the Great Glen scheme could support up to 90 GWh of pumped storage.
  • Adding pumped storage facilities to the Great Glen hydro-electric scheme, with a capacity of upwards of a conservative 30 GWh, should be possible.

As with other schemes, generating capacity and system operation could be improved by replacing some or all of the 1950s and 1960s turbines with modern units and using modern control systems.

The Great Glen hydro-electric scheme could be augmented by upwards of 30 GWh of storage.

Lanark

Lanark is a hydroelectric scheme, that is owned by Drax, which have a comprehensive web site for their two hydroelectric schemes in Scotland; Galloway and Lanark.

  • Lanark has a total output of 17 MW.
  • It has two power stations at Bonnington and Stonebyres.
  • There is no energy storage
  • It is what is known as a run-of-the-river scheme.

The scheme opened in the 1920s.

Red John

This new scheme is being developed by ILI Group and the project has its own web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

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.

The web site says this about the project.

  • The scheme has an output of 450 MW.
  • The storage capacity is 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.

It also has very detailed maps.

I wrote about the project in Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project, where I came to these conclusions.

  • 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.

It may only be a small scheme, that is a quarter of the size of the existing nearby Foyers pumped-storage scheme, but as it is shovel-ready, we should start digging.

The Red John hydro-electric scheme would add 2.8 GWh of storage.

Shin

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

Shin is Scotland’s most northerly hydro electric scheme. It utilises water from a 650 square kilometre catchment area in Sutherland, including Loch Shin, and water from the River Cassley and River Brora.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 32.1 MW.

My analysis in Shin Hydro Power Scheme, showed the following.

  • I would be very surprised if any pumped storage were to be added to this scheme.
  • This 1950s scheme has been partially updated.

Perhaps some more updating would be worthwhile.

Sloy/Awe

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

With the exception of Cruachan Power Station which was commissioned in 1965, major work on the Sloy/Awe scheme was completed by 1963, the year the Beatles had their first No 1 hit with From Me To You – and a world away from the immediate post-war austerity being experienced when Sloy Power Station was commissioned just 14 years earlier.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 261.9 MW.

My analysis in Repurposing The Sloy/Awe Hydro-Electric Scheme, showed the following.

  • Research from Strathclyde University, says that the Sloy/Awe scheme could support up to 68 GWh of pumped storage.
  • Adding pumped storage facilities to the Sloy/Awe hydro-electric scheme, with a capacity of upwards of a conservative 40 GWh, should be possible.

As with other schemes, generating capacity and system operation could be improved by replacing some or all of the 1930s and 1950s turbines with modern units and using modern control systems.

The Sloy/Awe hydro-electric scheme could be augmented by upwards of 40 GWh of storage.

Tummel Valley

The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site, which introduces the scheme like this.

The Tummel scheme stretches from Dalwhinnie, famous for its whisky distillery, in the north, to the remote Rannoch Station in the west, and the highly-popular tourist town of Pitlochry in the east.

Currently, it generates a maximum power of 309.2 MW.

My analysis in Repurposing The Tummel Hydro-Electric Scheme, showed the following.

  • Research from Strathclyde University, says that the Tummel Valley scheme could support up to 135 GWh of pumped storage.
  • Adding pumped storage facilities to the Tummel Valley hydro-electric scheme, with a capacity of upwards of a conservative 40-60 GWh, should be possible.

As with other schemes, generating capacity and system operation could be improved by replacing some or all of the 1930s and 1950s turbines with modern units and using modern control systems.

The Tummel Valley hydro-electric scheme could be augmented by upwards of 40 GWh of storage.

A Simple Summary

These are deliberately conservative figures from my analysis.

  • Affric/Beauly – 50 GWh
  • Balliemeanoch – 45 GWh
  • Balmacaan – 15 GWh
  • Breadalbane – 12 GWh
  • Coire Glas – 30 GWh
  • Conon – 30 GWh
  • Corrievarkie – 14.5 GWh
  • Glendoe – 15 GWh
  • Great Glen – 30 GWh
  • Red John – 2.8 GWh
  • Sloy/Awe – 40 GWh
  • Tummel Valley – 40 GWh

Note.

  1. With new storage like Balliemeanoch, Balmacaan, Coire Glas, Corrievarkie and Red John, I am using published figures where they are available.
  2. With figures from existing schemes,I am being deliberately very conservative.

That is a total of 324.3 GWh with 107.3 GWh down to new storage

Strathclyde University’s Prediction

This page on the Strathclyde University web site, gives these figures for the possible amounts of pumped-storage that can be added to existing schemes.

  • Errochty – 16
  • Glasgarnock – 23
  • Luichart – 38
  • Clunie – 40
  • Fannich – 70
  • Rannoch – 41
  • Fasnakyle – 78
  • Tummel – 38
  • Ben Lawers – 12
  • Nant – 48
  • Invermoriston – 22
  • Invergarry – 41
  • Quoich – 27
  • Sloy – 20

That is a total of 514 GWh or 621.3 GWh if you include new storage.

Conclusion

Scotland and the UK, has been left a superb legacy for the future by the pioneering work of Scottish engineers and the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board.

Most of these assets are now in the hands of two groups; Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Drax Group.

Having seen several of the schemes detailed in this post, in the last few weeks, on Michael Portillo’s; Great Coastal Railway Journeys, it does seem that both groups are looking after their assets.

SSE and Drax also seem to be doing their best to publicise the success of one of the UK’s high-value, but low-profile engineering assets.

I believe that we should do a survey that would identify the following.

  • What needs to be done to allow each aqueduct, dam, power station and tunnel to continue to function until a given date in the future.
  • Which of the individual schemes can be updated to larger schemes or pumped storage systems.

We would then be able to device a long term plan to create a world-class hydro-electric power scheme for Scotland.

Scotland should be able to provide upwards of 400 GWh of pumped-storage.

This article on Current News is entitled Up To 24GW Of Long Duration Storage Needed For 2035 Net Zero Electricity System – Aurora.

These are 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.

It appears to me, Scotland can provide more than enough energy storage for the UK and the Island of Ireland, even if the seas around the British Isles were almost completed covered by wind turbines.

In addition, to the works in Scotland to update the various hydroelectric schemes, there would need to be more interconnectors around the UK and probably to close countries like Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.

There could even be an interconnector between Iceland and Scotland, so Iceland’s abundance of zero-carbon electricity could be exported to Europe.

 

 

 

March 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments