Anyone interested in what the future might hold might be interested in this
development. With a 60 acre solar farm and a 6 megaWatt hour battery they
expect to be able to charge a very large number of vehicles renewably and
help with grid balancing. Price per kWhr expected to be lower than the
competition too (around 25p I believe).
The 60 acre solar farm is miles away, just off Mersea Island and
connects straight to the grid.
There is a 5MW grid connection to the charging site.
The site is where it is as there is a 400kV switch station just up the
The canopies are loaded with solar, but that is small beer compared to
the power requirement - even with a 6MW backup battery.
The price for the power maybe low... but that's not going to matter when
fuel duty is replaced by pay-per-mile duty with time of day premiums
added for when you drive in a busy period.
All that missing fuel duty is going to be collected from driving still.
Will it really make a significant contribution to grid stabilisation?
It seems unlikely, bearing in mind that the giant Tesla battery used
for that purpose at Hornsdale in Oz is 194MWh at 150MW. At 6MWh, this
one is a minnow by comparison. Sounds like sales hype. And how long
will that battery supply power during a week of dull winter days,
before it starts drawing directly from the grid, along with all the
other similar charging stations that will have to be built to fulfil
OK, I know it's easy to poo-poo these things - it's a start, I
suppose, but I still think it's going to be a real problem
positioning, constructing and supplying adequate chargers for a
national all-electric road-transport fleet.
I've already pointed out that if you want to run the fucking grid for 5 days
using that Aussie battery, you'll need 20,000 of them and it will cost
£1,000,000,000,000 to install them. And it'll take Tesla 80 years to make
Just think of how many more charging stations they could have put in the
same area if they hadn't required cars to parallel park at the stations.
It's no different to a motorway service station with additional
facilities but with this poor layout they seem to catering for only a
few people having electric cars rather than the future proofing they
claim where electric is the normal.
What happens in a overcast day in winter when it doesn't get light until
8am and dark again by 4pm (and that's in the south of the UK). Does the
60 acre solar farm produce enough power to supply the grid at times of
peak demand, charge the 6MWh battery and charge 72 cars an hour for
12hours per day (18+MWh). Back of envelope says not.
The owner of the operation suggests that when his solar panels don't
work that the windmills supply the power for car and 6MWh battery
charging or the power comes from conventional sources and his solar
makes up for that when the sun does shine.
There have been times in the last month when the wind hasn't been blowing.
It's not solving any real problem by balancing out taking power in the
winter months from the grid and then replenishing it in the summer
months. In 2030/2050 the majority of the cars on the road are electric,
and the majority of household heating is electric this is when green
solutions such as solar NEED to produce the power during the hours of
darkness in the cold months. It's the intermittency of the green
solutions put forward today that is part of the problem if coupled with
the enforced closure or other forms of energy generation and or the
enforcement of electricity (or currently unobtainium) for motoring and
Why didn't the owner of the solar farm install enough battery power to
keep his operation going 24/365 from his own solar source as part of the
claimed future proofing - he says batteries are cheap?
Yes, this charging station may seem to be green in the summer months at
which time may reduce some CO2 generation but it it is not part of an
overall "Climate Emergency" solution. It's just a car charging station
for electric cars, a few shops and a car showroom and not part of a
green revolution solution.
But that's supposed to be the plan, isn't it? Solar + turbines + batteries to
be the entire solution. So how about you stop wriggling and specify how its
And remember, if you have batteries to cover the not infrequent periods in
winter (such as the 5-day period in Jan 2020 and 2.5 days or so in Nov 2020)
when the wind doesn't blow, that once the 5-day period is over you now have
flat batteries which you have to charge up. Using the entire grid that's gonna
take - surprise! - 5 days, or 10 days at half power. During which time the
country has to run on half power. How's that gonna work? And you better hope
you don't get another blocking high during the ten or more days recharge
All a bit of a wing and a prayer, eh? And people wonder why some of us are
pushing lots more nuclear.