E-Harbour – Improving the balance of the grid is vital for the implementation of renewables
United Kingdom., October 01, 2012
Many harbour face financial difficulties due to the rising energy costs. Energy storage for balancing the grid could be the solution.
Scalloway is a relatively small fishing harbour on the Shetland Islands in the United Kingdom. Being a small fishing harbour, means that each organisation in the harbour is affected by increasing in energy prices. The solution as seen by many is to install renewables, as one can reduce its energy import and claim financial rewards from the renewable generation. But what if there is no way that we can connect renewable to the grid as the electrical grid is very unstable?
The Shetlands do not have a connection to the national electricity grid, and up till now, they have to generate their own electricity locally. That puts substantial constraints onto the grid, and makes it difficult to incorporate renewables like wind energy.
Shetlands have a lot of wind, with the world’s most productive wind turbine installed there, having a load factor of over 58%. This is why the pay-back period for a wind turbine is generally 4 to 5 years in the Shetland’s, while it can take up 8 years elsewhere.
Unfortunately, on the Shetlands it is very difficult to get permission to plug a wind turbine onto the local grid. So it would make a great difference, if the balance of the electrical grid could be improved. One of the solutions is to tie some of the generation to loads. This is exactly what it is being investigated at the Scalloway harbour through the e-harbour project.
Elizabeth Johnson is Business Development Manager at Pure Energy Centre said: “if we can store excess energy and then reuse this stored energy at a later date, then we could stabilise the grid and increase the uptake of renewable in grid constraints locations. The production, storage and use of hydrogen from renewables is a good solution to grid balancing problem. Using an electrolyser and by spliting water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2) is a relatively new but promising type of energy storage technology. We have demonstrated that renewables can be tied with hydrogen energy storage technologies and this can be applied to Scalloway Harbour. ”
“In 2011, we made a calculation, that even a small tiny rise in the oil price was enough to cause a rise in yearly energy costs of 17 million pound for the Shetlands. Something else has to suffer when energy prices rise. Locally, everybody is very well aware of energy cost.”
Many believe that the emission of CO2 is not the factor that motivates most people, it is pounds or euros. Energy is vital to the businesses in the Scalloway harbour, but energy must be at the right price. With an annual electricity consumption of around 1,8 Giga Watt hours and well over £170,000 energy bills, it is clear that one must find energy solutions that are financially sound.
That is why an extensive program to install data loggers at all relevant places in the harbour, measuring both energy data and weather conditions has been developed. A vast amount of data is being collected, and will be analysed. Stakeholders in Scalloway harbour are willing to work on reducing energy, even when it means they have to change their practices.
More and more small harbours in the North Sea Region are interested in the e-harbour project findings, and want to know how they can implement them in their own harbour in the future. Elizabeth Johnson said:”Recently we talked with representatives from harbours in Norway and Finland. We even got a visit from the harbour master of the Falkland Islands, on the other side of the world. We are glad to help them. When you work in a small harbour, you need all the help you can get.”
About the Pure Energy® Centre:
The Pure Energy® Centre, the Pure® fuel, renewable energy, energy storage company, and the UK leader in renewable hydrogen systems, provides independent technical & consultancy services for the energy, renewable energy, transport, heating, building and hydrogen, oxygen, CNG, nitrogen sectors. At the Pure Energy Centre we deliver proven, guaranteed, independent energy solutions for your project across the environmental & energy spectrum including:
· Renewable energy · Hydrogen and fuel cells technologies · Oxygen, CNG, Nitrogen and other gases · Control & monitoring · Consulting · Project management and environmental services ·Energy infrastructure projects · Renewable hydrogen training courses · Technology integration
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The challenge is to create a more sustainable energy model in harbour regions on the basis of innovative intelligent energy networks (smart grids). e-harbours focuses on 3 objectives:
- Increase the production and use of renewable energy in harbour cities. Harbour cities have extensive industrial areas with a great potential for development of sustainable energies; from wind, solar PV, tide, waves and the reuse of industrial waste, heat or cooling available;
- Increase the use of energy smart grids. Attuning demand and supply of energy by flexible demand management, instantaneous load shedding (both directions), energy labelling, intelligent storage;
- Increase the use of electric transport, a perfect partner to connect to large scale renewable energies ánd leading the a more healthy environment in the harbour regions.
How is e-harbour financed:
The project is financed by European Union, Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme. Investing in the future by working together for a sustainable and competitive region.