Sunday, 27 August 2017

24/7 electricity or intermittent electricity at 2.25X the Cost - A Real Head-Scratcher!

Ever year, a single 220 MW Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor [SMR] will supply 24/7, low-carbon electricity to 410,431 UK homes from an 0.08 sq km site.


Every year, the 215 wind turbines of the 539 MW Whitelee Onshore Wind Farm will deliver intermittent electricity to 298,837 UK homes from a 78 sq km site on ancient peat bog.

The capacity of Whitelee would have to increase by 37.3% to supply the same number of homes as a 220 MW SMR. That would take the number of turbines up to 295, with a rating of 740 MW on a site expanded to 107 sq km.

Best Estimate of SMR Overnight Cost to Compare to the Overnight Cost of Onshore Wind Farms:

£5,000/kWe is 'Best Fit' for a Rolls-Royce SMR.
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  • A 220 MW SMR should cost £1.1 billion.
  • Whitelee Onshore Wind Farm costs £600 million, but increasing capacity by 37.3% would take that up to £824 million.


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However, that's not the end of the story:

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  • The SMR will deliver 24/7, low-carbon electricity for 60 years.
  • Whitelee will deliver low-carbon electricity for only 20 years. 
  • A 2nd wind farm would have to be built - that's 40 years. 
  • A 3rd would have to be built before the same amount of electricity was delivered as the single SMR.
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    • A single 220 MW SMR delivers as much 24/7 electricity as the intermittent electricity delivered by 3 x 295 wind turbines - that's 885 wind turbines - with an installed capacity of 2,220 MW
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    • Equivalent Onshore Wind Farms would 3 x £824 million = £2.472 billion.
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    • An Onshore Wind Farms cost 2.25X more to build than a single SMR.
    • An Onshore Wind Farm installation, of 295 wind turbines, occupies 1,338X more area.

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