SSE Enterprise has partnered with Pure World Energy to install semi-permanent gas microturbine generators to provide cleaner energy in a bid to meet new emission targets.

The companies claim that the technology from US firm Capstone is more efficient and ultra-low in emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides.

They estimate it will also be 20 per cent cheaper than the equivalent cost of diesel generation.

Last Monday (8 April), London launched the world’s first 24-hour ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in a bid to reduce air pollution, which was hailed as a “great step forward” by National Grid.

Capstone which has deployed more than 9,000 microturbines globally said the units have been developed to pass strict California emission levels and are positioned to meet London’s new emission thresholds.

The intermediate power solutions are also expected to help in cities where the grid is constrained, such as when the electricity transmission system is unable to transmit power where it is needed due to congestion at one or more parts of the network.

In Dublin for example, the current high levels of development and consequent demand for power is putting pressure on the grid, causing potential delays to projects in the city, according to SSE Enterprise.

The modular configuration of the microturbines will allow for greater flexibility as they can be scaled up or down to match demand, while customers will only pay for the energy they consume with no back-up generation being required.

Neil Kirkby, managing director of SSE Enterprise, said: “We believe that the ability of our product to reduce emissions from generation is potentially game-changing. Until now construction companies, developers and manufacturers have had to rely on diesel generation to meet their onsite needs. New tough emissions targets make this hard for developers, who still need to meet demand for their temporary generation.

“Demand for new city infrastructure has never been greater. But constrained power networks are now effectively becoming a barrier to development, not least because it can take two years for a grid connection to be delivered. This means potentially large energy users can’t access readily the energy they require to meet demand.

“We’re looking to solve both these issues by providing a cleaner source of electricity from temporary generation tailored to meet the demands of the customer and the regulator. This is a new application of containerised microturbine gas technology in the UK that is already proven across the globe.”

Sean Fitzpatrick, chief executive of Pure World Energy, added: “Given the amount of focus we are seeing in the UK and Ireland on reducing pollution in our cities we think this is a very timely market intervention. We hope that many businesses will be able to benefit from these units – especially when they face constrained grid issues.”

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