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Offshore wind could replace UK’s failed plans for new nuclear power

Orsted’s Hornsea Project Spawns Talk of Offshore Wind Replacing Nuclear, Greentech Media,  Danish developer Ørsted said its Hornsea One plant, which started delivering power to the grid this month, could help make up for a lack of planned nuclear generation in the U.K., as plans for new reactors have fallen by the wayside.When complete, Hornsea One will cover more than 157 square miles, making it bigger than the city of Denver, and have a peak capacity of 1.2 gigawatts, thanks to 174 turbines of at least 7 megawatts each.

It will be the biggest offshore wind plant on the planet, dwarfing the current leader, Walney Extension, which Ørsted opened last September with a capacity of 659 megawatts. Ørsted has plans for an even bigger project, the 1.8-gigawatt Hornsea Two plant, in U.K. waters………

Not just a U.K. debate

Given that the U.K. is relying on a largely untested reactor design for upcoming nuclear capacity, it is perhaps legitimate to ask if the reliability of new reactors will be significantly greater than those of gigawatt-scale offshore wind farms built at the same time.

Tom Dixon, wholesale team leader at U.K. consultancy Cornwall Insight, said: “New offshore wind farms being developed are now much more reliable than older offshore sites or their onshore counterparts.”

As a result, he said, “it is credible to say that the shortfall in new nuclear could be made up by offshore wind, with improving operational performance and relatively low costs for the technology, but additional flexibility would be required at times when output is low.”

It is not just the U.K. where offshore wind could potentially take over new nuclear’s mantle.

This month, in the wake of a partnership between Ørsted and Tokyo Electric Power Company, the analyst firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables questioned whether offshore wind could also be a cure for rising energy demand as new nuclear languishes in Japan.

“Rising costs and a lack of public confidence in Tepco’s ability as a nuclear operator have led the company to reconsider its future strategy,” said WoodMac senior analyst Robert Liew. “Tepco’s involvement in offshore wind is a crucial development.”


February 23, 2019 - Posted by | renewable, UK

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