Conventional generation

Editor's picks

Octopus Energy Group has added £3.4 billion worth of renewable energy projects to its portfolio with the acquisition of sister company Octopus Renewables. From June the large retailer will manage Octopus Renewables’ European portfolio of more than 300 green assets under new business arm Octopus Energy Generation. Chris Hulatt, co-founder of Octopus Group, the parent company of both businesses, said he hoped the move would unlock a “multitude of new investment opportunities”.
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Crown Estate Scotland has raised the maximum option fees for its ScotWind offshore wind leasing round by ten-fold to £100,000/km². The decision follows a review of the arrangements that was launched after the winners in the Crown Estate’s fourth offshore wind leasing round for England and Wales agreed to pay option fees initially worth £879 million per year for almost 8GW of capacity its first competitive bidding process.
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Featured

Net zero is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the energy system. This high-level report, in association with Microsoft and Accenture, explores how digital technology and partnership working can help the sector accelerate and scale up to deliver the transition affordably.
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As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, Utility Week speaks to Suleman Alli, director of strategy & customer service at UK Power Networks. He discusses the need to present decarbonisation as an economic opportunity rather than a cost burden, why the sector should be promoting “open energy” and three principles to boost consumer participation in the net-zero agenda.
Interviews

Latest in Conventional generation

Six projects, representing 5.5GW of offshore wind, that were successful in the last Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction have now passed their “milestone requirement”. However, two of the projects that secured contracts in the October 2019 third allocation round have now had these agreements terminated after failing prove they were on track.
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The Department for Business, Energy & industrial Strategy (BEIS) has been urged to set a minimum price for the surplus electricity provided by small scale generators to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).
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Several large energy suppliers have called on the government to shift policy costs from electricity bills and introduce a carbon tax to deliver its green heating ambitions. Ovo, Eon, EDF and Scottish Power commissioned a report by consultancy Public First which looks into options for incentivising heat decarbonisation, claiming the current framework actively encourages the use of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Energy Systems Catapult has backed the creation of an economy-wide ‘carbon regulator’.
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In our latest round-up of appointments across the sector, industry veteran Ian Marchant is to head the board of a hydrogen technology firm. Meanwhile Thames Water has appointed a new director and a trade body chief executive has decided to step down.
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Oil giant Shell has signed an agreement with Pale Blue Dot Energy and Harbour Energy to develop a carbon capture storage (CCS) and hydrogen project at the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire. The first phase of the Acorn project would see the existing Goldeneye gas pipeline repurposed to transport carbon dioxide captured at the terminal to a storage site around 100 kilometres from the coast in the North Sea.
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EDF has agreed to sell its West Burton B combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station to investment firm EIG for an undisclosed sum. The deal also includes a 49MW battery system at the site in Nottinghamshire.
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SSE and Equinor have announced plans to develop a “clean power hub” in the Humber region, utilising carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen. It would include the “world’s first” power station fuelled purely by blue hydrogen at Keadby, near Scunthorpe.
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Great Britain’s power grid saw its “greenest ever” moment on Easter Monday as low demand over the holiday weekend, combined with sunny spells and strong winds, allowed renewables to dominate the energy mix. National Grid Electricity System Operator said the carbon intensity of the power grid dropped to a new record low of 39gCO2/kWh at 1pm, with zero carbon sources providing nearly four fifths of electricity.
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Environmental groups have warned that bioenergy with carbon capture and storage will not deliver the “negative emissions” touted by advocates, whilst also being expensive and damaging to the environment. Organisations including Friends of the Earth, WWF and Greenpeace expressed their opposition to the technology in an open letter to government.
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EDF has confirmed plans to cease generation at West Burton A power station – its last remaining coal plant – in September 2022. Despite all four units at the plant failing to win contracts in the recent auction, EDF said two of them will remain available in the meantime to fulfil Capacity Market commitments, suggesting they may have secured agreements through secondary trading.
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