SSE offered National Grid contract

Peterhead Power Station successfully provided back-up throughout winter 2014/15.
Peterhead Power Station successfully provided back-up throughout winter 2014/15.

SSE will be offered a one-year contract by the National Grid to provide electricity reserve capacity totalling 750MW from its Peterhead power station in Aberdeenshire, it was announced on Wednesday.

It will also be offered one-year contracts to provide backup capacity from its small generation units at Keadby, Fiddler’s Ferry and Ferrybridge sites, totalling 89MW.

The contracts will be awarded by National Grid under its 2015/16 Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) tender process.

SBR is designed to enhance security of supply by bringing forward capacity from generation plant that would not otherwise be available to the electricity system, due to the difficult market conditions facing traditional thermal generation.

Peterhead successfully provided back-up capacity to National Grid throughout winter 2014/15.

The units awarded contracts will be prevented from business-as-usual participation in the electricity market, with capacity only being made available if called upon by National Grid under SBR.

Jim Smith, SSE managing director for energy portfolio management, said: “These contracts are positive developments for SSE, and demonstrate confidence that our generation units can reliably provide backup service at short notice if ever required.

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

The new Peterhead contract will not impact on the contract awarded to the station to provide voltage support to the electricity grid from April 2016, announced in March 2015.

Major investment work at Peterhead to improve the station’s flexibility and efficiency will also continue and will be completed by autumn 2015, while the pioneering Carbon Capture and Storage project being developed by Shell UK with support from SSE is also unaffected by Wednesday’s announcement.