Electricity generation

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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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Latest in Electricity 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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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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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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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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Three of EDF’s nuclear units – one each at the Dungeness B, Heysham 2 and Torness power stations – have dropped out of the latest four-year-ahead (T-4) Capacity Market auction before it cleared at an annual price £18/kW. Meanwhile, agreements have been secured by three new open-cycle gas turbines being developed by Drax.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has launched a pilot for a new flexibility service that will initially be used to manage transmission constraints at the border between Scotland and England. The constraint management pathfinder will introduce a new generation turn-down service which will be used to ease congestion on the transmission network following a fault.
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All units in the Capacity Market may also be required to register in the Balancing Mechanism under new rules being considered by BEIS. The department is consulting on a number of proposed improvements to the scheme, which also include changes to the way emissions are calculated and the removal of certain restrictions on secondary trading.
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The latest year-ahead Capacity Market auction has cleared at £45/kW – the highest price seen so far in one of the regular auctions. The T-1 auction for delivery over the 2020/21 winter season procured 2,252MW of de-rated capacity across 156 units.
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Triton Knoll offshore windfarm has begun generating power following the commissioning of the transmission infrastructure for the 857MW array. RWE began installing the 90 turbines that will make up the windfarm in January.
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The standard flexibility contract agreed upon by distribution network operators and the Electricity System Operator at National Grid has received an update based on feedback from industry stakeholders, including Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The contract was developed as part of the Energy Network Association’s Open Networks project to provide a consistent core agreement for those wishing to provide flexibility services.
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