Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Belgian Sea Power

by Colman Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 10:17:05 AM EST

Off-shore power storage:

Belgium is planning to build a doughnut-shaped island in the North Sea that will store wind energy by pumping water out of a hollow in the middle, as it looks for ways to lessen its reliance on nuclear power.
Five years to build and plan, apparently.


Display:
Those are fascinating plans. Excess power to pump the water out, water let back in runs turbines to create power when needed. I wonder what environmental impact this might have, being not too far off the coastline. I wish they'd given the dimension of the "island."

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:05:42 PM EST
According to a Belgian newspaper it would be in the shape of a horseshoe and "slightly more than 2 km wide". Of course there's no concrete plan as yet so the dimension and location might change (and there is a real chance it won't go head at all, politics and especially Belgian politics, being what they are).
by Anspen on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 07:35:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm reminded of my Great Battery of Kimberly and Great Battery of Aberdeen Diaries here five and three years ago.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 09:33:05 AM EST
It's gonna take a pretty big island to do anything useful. Here's a paper that mentions an existing pumped hydroelectric plant in Colorado.

http://www.ceri-mines.org/documents/LargeScaleElectricalEnergyStorageinColorado-BarnesgroupCU_001.pd f

This one has a head of 374 meters (elevation difference between upper and lower reservoirs, and an area of about 7 hectares, and the resulting system can generate 330 MW of power and store 1,300 MWh of energy. That's comparable to the power you get from a smallish coal plant...

With an island, the head would be something like maybe 10 meters at most, I would think. Or less, even, so the area would have to be proportionally greater...

by asdf on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 09:57:32 PM EST
One could use the towers of the turbines as reservoirs. www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/8/4/11559/92885#38
by Katrin on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 08:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If 2km wide means an area of 4km^2 or more, that is 400 hectares or more.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 11:22:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a peculiar idea. Similar ideas were drawn up for the Dutch and the Danes too, under the name "energy islands".

It's peculiar because it's a lot of investment for a little bit of balancing capacity. And in the case of Belgium, Netherlands and Denmark, they already have lots of cheap balancing, because they're each well-connected to their neighbours, and several of their neighbours are much bigger than they are, so the balancing requirement is relatively small.

I note that the Belgian Standaard says in its photo caption:

Hoewel er nog geen concreet plan is, is er wel al een ontwerptekening.

- Although there is no concrete plan, there is a design drawing.

Integrating storage with offshore wind might make sense if transmission costs to shore were a high proportion of system costs, and if they were (more than) proportional to their capacity. Transmission costs can be expensive, but this proposed island is only 3 or 4 km offshore, and the construction costs of the island must be huge by comparison.

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Mon Jan 21st, 2013 at 06:04:19 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries