Avonmouth explosion shines spotlight on biosolids
An explosion at Wessex Water’s Bristol water recycling centre, at Avonmouth, Bristol on Thursday, which claimed four lives, has shone the spotlight on biosolids health and safety and led to calls for more blast-proof structures near hazardous facilities.
The explosion happened at 11:20 GMT in a silo that held treated biosolids.
Chief Executive Colin Skellett said: “We are absolutely devastated that the tragic incident at our site earlier today has resulted in four fatalities. Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of those involved. We are working with the Health and Safety Executive to understand what happened and why.”
Adam Fox, Director of Mason UK - specialists in vibration isolation products - says the incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of engineering buildings to endure this type of blast.
"When commissioning hazardous buildings where chemicals and high temperatures are involved, structural engineers should work closely with a blast control specialist, to account for potential accidents like this one.
"While most buildings will never need to rely on these increased measures, as shown by yesterday’s events, things can go wrong. If you ensure a building can endure a blast force in the design stages, survivability of inhabited structures such as offices and nearby houses is maximised as people have more time to exit the building.
“Let this tragic incident validate the importance of building blast-proof structures near hazardous facilities.”
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.