Power station wins national contract

Peterhead Power Station
Peterhead Power Station

Peterhead Power Station has won a National Grid contract to provide voltage support to the electricity grid.

The gas-fired power station in Aberdeenshire was selected following a competitive tendering process.

Voltage control is the method National Grid uses to ensure the electricity system stays within set limits day-to-day and after any faults.

The £15million contract will run from April 2016 to September 2017.

Jim Smith, managing director of Energy Portfolio Management, said: “This announcement is positive news for Peterhead.

“SSE has continually invested in the site since it opened in 1980 and we’re pleased Peterhead will continue to play an important role in ensuring National Grid can provide system stability and resilience going forward.”

The contract allows National Grid to call upon 385MW of Peterhead’s 1180MW capacity to provide voltage support. It does not prevent this capacity from business as usual participation in the electricity market.

SSE is currently investing in Peterhead to improve its flexibility. It’s partnership with Shell to develop Carbon Capture Storage could also see the site become the world’s first commercial-scale demonstration of CCS at a gas-fired power station - making Scotland a global leader in this technology.

Meanwhile, the contract being awarded to Peterhead appears to be the final nail in the coffin for Longannet power station in Fife.

Scottish Power had previously indicated that the huge coal-fired power station, which is one of the biggest in Europe, would have to close its doors if it lost out in the contest to help maintain voltage levels in the nation’s electricity supply.

The firm has said it is “extremely disappointed” at the national grid decision and has announced that Longannet will close next year.

A spokesperson for The Department for Energy and Climate Change said: “Next year’s possible closure on Longannet is unwelcome news for the workforce and the UK government will do everything possible to assist them.”

The DECC also reflected on the good news of the contract being awarded to Peterhead.

“The awarded contract is good news for Peterhead, a plant that is developing CCS technology which will help towards our carbon emission objectives. This will also help maintain high levels of electricity security for Scotland.”