Latest Wholesale Update from the Blog

Hi all,

We’ve published an update on the wholesale market and we’d like to share it with the community.

Lockdown was in full swing when we last published an update in May. Since then, energy demand from homes and businesses is beginning to recover, and we’re seeing wholesale, network and policy costs rise as a result.

To summarise what’s said in the article:

  • Network and policy costs are up by 5% since our last update
  • Wholesale costs have risen by 12% since May, in response to recovering energy demand following lockdown
  • Recent high levels of storage and low prices for gas has meant fewer gas exports from the USA to Europe, pushing wholesale gas costs up
  • Higher carbon market prices are driving increased wholesale electricity costs

We’re analysing higher network and wholesale costs and looking at what this means for our overall costs this winter. We’re not changing our prices now but will continue to keep a close eye on how costs change.

I’d recommend having a read as there’s some great industry insights there, and I thought it definitely worth keeping community members in the loop. If you have any questions please ask away in the thread below and we’ll do our best to explain:

From the blog entry you’re referring to:

“Renewable generators continued to make energy, but the grid had no way to store the surplus power.”

I know batteries are one fairly expensive option, but how would building more stations like Dinorwig compare? (Dinorwig is the Welsh pumped hydro storage generating plant, for those who haven’t heard of it - I’ve put a couple of links about it below for anyone who wants to know more)

Electric Mountain
Dinorwig Power Station (Wikipedia)

@stevefoster, I think projects like this are going to be vital for the renewable energy future.

As it states in the article you shared, Dinorwig’s reversible pump/turbines are capable of reaching maximum generation in less than 16 seconds. Impressive projects like which can react quickly to demand will be really useful for keeping costs down .

Moreover, The Viking Link ⚡ post I shared last week is another way that in the future we can better manage our surplus of renewable energy. As the UK and Denmark often produce renewable energy at different times, we will be able to transport this energy to each other. Many have predicted that the completion of the Viking Link will help to reduce energy costs for both UK and Danish consumers.

Also, you’re right batteries are expensive at the moment but Tesla’s Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia has demonstrated some really amazing early results. For example, the project cost AU$95.8 million but in the first year created revenues of $25-26 million in its first year.

It is also doing so well that they have started to expand this project’s capacity by 50 MW or 64.5MWh of capacity to the site, raising its total capacity from 100MW/129MWh to 150MW/193.5MWh.

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Yes, that ability to spin generation up really fast is impressive.

I also saw a note that said Dinorwig is capable of initiating the grid if necessary (a so-called “black start”). Facilities that can do that are few and far between.

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@stevefoster

That is a really cool feature.

I’ve done a little more research into Dinorwig since your message above (thank you for sharing - I’ve found this topic really engrossing)

Technically, as Dinorwig’s whole operation is a large-scale store of potential energy it makes this power station the UK’s largest battery. :battery:

Also, what I found really surprising was that despite this type of station coming into use in the mid-1980s the technology they employ hasn’t yet been bettered. Also, China have built multiple copies of the Dinorwig station because it is so effective.

I highly recommend this article: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/electric-mountain-dinorwig-power-wales-18066654

Cruachan on Loch Awe has been operating since 1965 and is another ‘black start’ station. The turbine hall is 1km inside the mountain, masquerading as a Bond villain’s lair. :grin:

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Hi @stevefoster & @Grum

I must admit, I’ve learned a lot reading through this thread - there’s some really cool stuff here.

I also love the comparison between Cruachan and a Bond-esque lair. Dinorwig being nicknamed Electric Mountain fits in with that theme too.

Perhaps MGM should be considering sites like this when producing the next Bond film. They certainly fit the aesthetic, and it would be a nice bit of exposure for renewables generation - we can all agree that’s a good thing :wink:

@Grum Thank you for sharing, I’ve also really enjoyed doing some research on this site too. :brain:

Not only is it a highly impressive feat of engineering but it also the best looking power station I’ve ever seen. I would be happy to receive a postcard with this on it :national_park:.

(I wonder if there is a list of the top ten best looking power stations?)

Looks so nice, I would go on holiday here :joy: :nerd_face:

It is an amazing place. I spent a week working inside there, installing lighting for a performance piece a few years ago. You can see some pictures of it on this page (although they don’t do it justice): http://thisistomorrow.info/articles/maria-fusco-master-rock (click on the picture for more images); and this one even has a picture of me (which I’ve just discovered!): https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/master-rock/

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@Grum

Wow, that sounds like an incredible project to have worked on. The photos/video from the links you sent are wild, it almost doesn’t look real.

I’ve also just started to listen to the audio too. Her emotive language and perspective makes me want to go even more.

‘mixture of geology, mythology and technology’… I’m hooked :zap:

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I love this!

Thank you for sharing all the links everyone, I’ve learnt so much.

I googled most beautiful green power station and the first link was to the Kebony Power station in Norway.

It is a stunner:

I love stuff like this, this is an interesting quick read too: https://qz.com/395064/this-norwegian-power-station-isnt-just-green-its-beautiful/

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@julia_b

That’s one beautiful building - it almost looks like someone’s edgy house from Grand Designs :heart_eyes: The article says that they hope that hikers will come to visit the plant to learn about hydropower, and I can assure you that I certainly would!

Let me start looking for some flights to Norway… :airplane: