Conventional generation

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Brexit has pushed the UK to the “back of the queue” for developing interconnectors, Sir Ed Davey has claimed. The former energy and climate change secretary of state said that he “never found any European rules that got in the way” of the UK’s renewable energy push.
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The government has revealed details of the fourth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, including its £265 million budget. While the bulk of subsidies will go towards offshore wind, £24 million has been ringfenced for floating offshore projects. Established technologies will share £10 million, with a cap of 5GW of capacity.
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Gas and power prices reached new record highs over the last few days as concerns over gas stocks for the coming winter fed through to the power market and amplified price spikes due to unusually low wind generation. An analyst for price reporting firm ICIS said the surge in gas prices seen over recent weeks and months is like nothing the company has ever witnessed in nearly three decades covering the market.
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As water companies publish their strategies to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2030, this Utility Week Insight Report in association with Mott MacDonald delves into the challenges they face in cutting emissions from energy whilst reducing bills and boosting resilience. We examine their different approaches to renewable generation, the difficulties of striking Power Purchase Agreements to deliver cheaper green power, and their concerns that new rules from Ofgem could scupper their decarbonisation plans.
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Changes to energy consumption patterns and the increasing prevalence of renewables will require more agile transmission and distribution infrastructure. Matt Brough of Burns & McDonnell looks at the role modular substations can play in this mix.
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Latest in Conventional generation

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has said SSE’s proposed response to the failure of a generator to remain connected during a “run-of-the-mill” network fault would continue to leave the power grid at risk. Speaking to Utility Week, ESO head of networks Julian Leslie nevertheless welcomed efforts to codify the arrangements.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has warned of tight supply margins over the coming winter, partly due the shutdown of the Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations. The ESO gave the warning in an early version of its annual winter outlook released to help the energy industry and markets prepare for the season.
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Proposals have been unveiled by Sembcorp Energy UK and US firm 8 Rivers Capital to build the UK’s first net zero power plant at the Wilton International site on Teesside. The Whitetail Clean Energy project could be online by 2025 and Sembcorp Industries' chief executive has told Utility Week there is potential to build more at the site.
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Ofgem has granted urgent status to a Grid Code modification proposed by SSE to address an issue over the fault ride through requirements for generators. SSE raised the modification after National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) instructed generators to temporarily restrict their output in instances where they did not stay connected and continue operating during a “normal” fault. The ESO said it has seen a “growing number" of these incidents which present a "serious risk" to the power grid.
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Fossil fuel electricity generation jumped 15 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2021 as gas plants compensated for a seasonal slump in wind and solar power, new government statistics show.
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Ofgem has confirmed its intention to expose distributed generators with a capacity of less than 100MW to wider transmission network charges. The regulator announced the change as part of the minded-to decision for its significant code review looking at forward-looking charges and grid access arrangements.
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Norwegian state-owned oil company Equinor has announced plans to build a further 1.2GW of hydrogen production facility in the UK, primarily to fuel the 900MW Keadby hydrogen plant. The company had already revealed plans to construct a 600MW autothermal reformer in Saltend to produce so-called blue hydrogen.
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Payments made to generators to manage constraints on the transmission network are forecast to rise to between £1 billion and £2.5 billion per year by the mid-2020s, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO). The ESO said the costs, which currently amount to around £0.5 billion per year, are then expected fall back down to similar levels by the end of the decade as major new transmission projects come online.
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Is there a firm future for co-located hybrid technologies on generation sites – or is it a passing fashion? Denise Chevin moderated a Utility Week roundtable discussion in association with Addleshaw Goddard to find out.
Analysis
Intergen has unveiled plans to convert its Rocksavage combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Cheshire to run on hydrogen, starting with a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. The power station at Runcorn near Liverpool would be supplied by the hydrogen network proposed as part of the HyNet North West project.
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