The Anonymous Widower

The Crown Estate Announces Areas Of Search To Support Growth Of Floating Wind In The Celtic Sea

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

This is the first paragraph.

In a major step forward in supporting the UK’s net zero ambitions, The Crown Estate has today identified five broad ‘Areas of Search’ for the development of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea – a region rich in natural resources, including world-class wind resource that can be developed with floating turbines. This marks a significant milestone and provides the foundation on which to build greater capacity in the future, helping the UK to achieve its renewable energy targets and drive economic development.

Points in the press release include.

  • Five areas with good wind power potential have been chosen.
  • A competitive tender, is to be launched in mid-2023.
  • It is intended that these areas will deliver 4GW of floating offshore wind power by 2035.

This map shows the areas.

I have a few thoughts.

What About The Other Wind Farms Already Announced In the Celtic Sea?

In DP Energy And Offshore Wind Farms In Ireland, I said this.

They are also developing the Gwynt Glas offshore wind farm in the UK sector of the Celtic Sea.

  • In January 2022, EDF Renewables and DP Energy announced a Joint Venture partnership to combine their knowledge and
    expertise, in order to participate in the leasing round to secure seabed rights to develop up to 1GW of FLOW in the Celtic Sea.
  • The wind farm is located between Pembroke and Cornwall.

The addition of Gwynt Glas will increase the total of floating offshore wind in the UK section of the Celtic Sea.

  • Blue Gem Wind – Erebus – 100 MW Demonstration project  – 27 miles offshore
  • Blue Gem Wind – Valorus – 300 MW Early-Commercial project – 31 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Petroc – 300 MW project – 37 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Llywelyn – 300 MW project – 40 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Gwynt Glas – 1000 MW Project – 50 miles offshore

This makes a total of 2.2 GW, with investors from several countries.

It does seem that the Celtic Sea is becoming the next area of offshore wind around the British Isles to be developed.

So what about these seven wind farms?

Erebus and Valorus

Is Blue Gem’s philosophy to develop and prove the technology and put in big bid for around a GW?

Gwynt Glas

The Gwynt Glas web site says this.

The Crown Estate announced in March 2021 that it intends to run a competitive leasing round to award seabed rights to developers for floating offshore wind (FLOW) projects in the Celtic Sea, targeting an overall regional capacity of 4GW.

In January 2022, EDF Renewables and DP Energy announced a Joint Venture partnership to combine their knowledge and expertise, in order to participate in the leasing round to secure seabed rights to develop up to 1GW of FLOW in the Celtic Sea.

The partnership project is called Gwynt Glas, Welsh for Blue Wind, in recognition of its Celtic roots.

Our proposed floating offshore wind project could provide power for approximately 920,000 homes.

It looks like they’re throwing their hat into the ring for 1 GW.

Llŷr Wind

The Llŷr Wind web site says this.

Combined, the two 100MW projects will generate enough renewable electricity to power around 250,000 homes. If successful, we will be able to offer highly cost-effective, floating offshore wind farms to the rest of the world by 2030.

By unlocking new, higher energy capacities from deeper waters, further offshore, the Llŷr projects have huge implications for UK energy consumers. Not only will they help the UK meet its target for net zero emissions, but they will create new opportunities for regional manufacturing and supply chains in Wales and Southwest England as global demand for floating, offshore, wind rises.

It looks to me that this project hasn’t been fully defined yet. Perhaps, this will happen after a successful bid.

Llywelyn

The Llywelyn web site says this.

Llywelyn wind farm is located in Welsh waters in the Celtic Sea, 40 miles off the coast of Pembrokeshire.
Llywelyn’s location has been selected following an extensive feasibility study and rigorous site assessment process. Our assessment has included reviews of protected areas, environmental impacts, cable routing, existing infrastructure, marine traffic, and fishing activity.

We have signed an agreement with National Grid, securing a 300MW grid connection in Pembrokeshire. The system operator is exploring upgrades to the existing site to facilitate the connection. These developments will enable the Llywelyn offshore wind project to quickly enter the planning system.

Have they already said go?

Petroc

The Petroc web site says this.

Petroc’s location has been selected following an extensive feasibility study and rigorous site assessment process. Our assessment has included reviews of protected areas, environmental impacts, cable routing, existing infrastructure, marine traffic, and fishing activity.

We have signed an agreement with National Grid, securing a 300MW grid connection in North Devon. The system operator is exploring upgrades to the existing site to facilitate the connection. These developments will enable the Petroc offshore wind project to quickly enter the planning system.

Have they already said go?

These companies are certainly setting themselves up for bidding or have already got a smaller deal.

How Much Wind Power Can Be Developed In The Celtic Sea?

This article on the Engineer is entitled Unlocking The Renewables Potential Of The Celtic Sea.

The article starts with these two paragraphs.

Over the last decade, the UK has become a global leader in renewable marine energy, tapping into the vast resources its coastal geography offers. Offshore wind, in particular, has flourished, with gigawatt-scale projects being deployed off the east coast of England and Scotland, at Hornsea, Dogger Bank and Moray.

However, looking at a map of existing and proposed wind farms, what’s perhaps most striking is the complete absence of projects in the southwest of Britain, off the rugged shores of Wales, Devon and Cornwall, shaped by the fierce North Atlantic. The Celtic Sea – which extends south off Wales and Ireland down past Cornwall and Brittany to the edge of the continental shelf – is estimated to have around 50GW of wind generating capacity alone. What’s more, it also delivers some of the highest tidal ranges in the world, alongside some of the best waters in Europe for generating wave energy. In a country blessed with renewable resources, the Celtic Sea may well be its biggest prize.

I’ll go along with what this article says and accept that 50 GW of wind capacity could be installed in the Celtic Sea.

As I write this article at around nine o’clock, the UK is generating almost exactly 30 GW of electricity, which gives an idea of how large electricity production in the Celtic Sea could be.

Conclusion

It will be interesting to see how this first round of leasing in the Celtic Sea develops.

 

 

July 5, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Celtic Sea Floating Wind Projects Could Be Delivered By 2028

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

This is the first paragraph.

Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy have said that they are looking at early delivery of their two floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea, called Llywelyn and Petroc, which have grid connections secured and almost a year’s worth of bird surveys already completed.

These would add two extra 300 MW wind farms to the Celtic Sea.

In Enter The Dragon, I indicated the potential of renewable energy around Wales based on this article on the Engineer is entitled Unlocking The Renewables Potential Of The Celtic Sea. This sentence from the article talks about the possibilities of offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.

The Celtic Sea – which extends south off Wales and Ireland down past Cornwall and Brittany to the edge of the continental shelf – is estimated to have around 50GW of wind generating capacity alone.

The article also talks about Blue Gem Wind and their Erebus and Valorous wind farm projects in the Celtic Sea, that I wrote about in Blue Gem Wind.

There now appears to be four floating wind farms under development in the Celtic Sea between the South-West corner of Wales and the Devon and Cornwall Peninsular.

  • Blue Gem Wind – Erebus – 100 MW Demonstration project  – 27 miles offshore
  • Blue Gem Wind – Valorus – 300 MW Early-Commercial project – 31 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Petroc – 300 MW project – 37 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy Llywelyn – 300 MW project – 40 miles offshore

But they do create a starter for a GW.

Both consortia seem to have similar objectives.

  • To use a stepping-stone approach, gradually building in size.
  • To involve the local community in creating a supply chain.
  • Create long-term benefits for the region.

If these and other consortia fill the Celtic Sea with 50 GW of floating wind turbines, then we’ll all benefit.

 

April 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Enter The Dragon

Look at this map of UK offshore wind farms. clipped from Wikipedia.

It is only a crude map, but it does show the lack of offshore wind farms around the coasts of Wales and South-West England.

This article on the Engineer is entitled Unlocking The Renewables Potential Of The Celtic Sea.

The article starts with these two paragraphs.

Over the last decade, the UK has become a global leader in renewable marine energy, tapping into the vast resources its coastal geography offers. Offshore wind, in particular, has flourished, with gigawatt-scale projects being deployed off the east coast of England and Scotland, at Hornsea, Dogger Bank and Moray.

However, looking at a map of existing and proposed wind farms, what’s perhaps most striking is the complete absence of projects in the southwest of Britain, off the rugged shores of Wales, Devon and Cornwall, shaped by the fierce North Atlantic. The Celtic Sea – which extends south off Wales and Ireland down past Cornwall and Brittany to the edge of the continental shelf – is estimated to have around 50GW of wind generating capacity alone. What’s more, it also delivers some of the highest tidal ranges in the world, alongside some of the best waters in Europe for generating wave energy. In a country blessed with renewable resources, the Celtic Sea may well be its biggest prize.

The article then discusses how the challenge of developing renewable energy around Wales is being met.

  • It describes the relevance of Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW).
  • It quotes someone who says. “Eighty per cent of the world’s wind resources are in waters deeper than you would traditionally go with fixed offshore wind.”
  • It talks about Blue Gem Wind and their Erebus and Valorous wind farm projects, that I wrote about in Blue Gem Wind.
  • It talks of how expertise from offshore oil and gas is being used to develop floating offshore wind.

The article then goes on to talk about tidal power.

The Welsh Government Tidal Lagoon Challenge is mentioned.

  • The article notes “The IP for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon has been purchased by a consortium led by Bridgend’s DST Innovations and has been reborn as Blue Eden.”
  • Blue Eden is described on this page of the DST Innovations web site. The project is not in the least bit timid or small.
  • The article also introduces to the Morlais Tidal Energy Scheme, which has its own web site.

The article then finishes with a few paragraphs about how wind, wave and tidal power can be combined in a single scheme.

Conclusion

The article finishes with this paragraph.

For now, Wales may be lagging slightly behind its Celtic cousin to the north, but if the true potential of the Celtic Sea can be unleashed – FLOW, tidal stream, lagoon and wave – it looks set to play an even more prominent role in the net zero pursuit.

The Red Dragon is entering the battle to replace Vlad the Mad’s tainted energy.

 

April 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

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

This is the sub-title.

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

These are the first three paragraphs of the article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm

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

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

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

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

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

There are more pictures on this web page.

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

Erebus And Valorous

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

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

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

Blue Gem Wind

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

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

50 GW Of Wind In The Celtic Sea

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

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

Is this Boris’s project?

These are my thoughts.

How Many Turbines Would You Need For 50 GW?

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

How Would Each Turbine Be Installed?

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

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

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

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

How Many Ports Could Be Used For Turbine Assembly?

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

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

How Much Capacity Could Be Installed In Twelve Months?

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Blue Gem Wind

Principle Power are the designers of the WindFloat.

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

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

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

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

Note.

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

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

Who Are Blue Gem Wind?

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

Floating Offshore Wind

A new generation of energy in the Celtic Sea

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

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

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

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

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

These links give more details of the two projects.

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

It appears that the company is taking a sensible approach.

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

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

Note.

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

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

Will The Turbines Be Assembled In The Milford Haven Waterway?

This Google Map shows the Milford Haven Waterway.

Note.

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

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

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

Where Will The WindFloats And Turbines Be Built?

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

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

It could be a very efficient process.

Will Pembroke Power Station Have A Future Role?

Consider.

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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