The SNP has accused the Tories of betraying the North East by delivering another blow to Peterhead power station.
They say the plant has lost out on a crucial deal because of the UK’s punitive transmission charging regime - which deliberately puts power stations in Scotland at a competitive disadvantage with higher fees than rival power stations south of the border.
The Capacity Market auction awards funding to electricity generators in return for guaranteeing supplies to the national grid at times of potential shortages.
The Tories have already axed a potential £1bn investment in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology at Peterhead, and this latest blow demonstrates how UK Government policies, focused on the needs of the south east of England, are stifling economic activity in the North East.
Banff and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “It is grossly unfair that Peterhead was disadvantaged in the UK government’s Capacity Market auction purely because of its location in the North East of Scotland. Whacking higher transmission fees on Scotland’s only gas-fired power station because it isn’t next door to London is both ludicrous and discriminatory.
“The Tories previously axed their commitment to invest £1bn in CCS technology that was earmarked for Peterhead - and this latest revelation is just another example of the Tories managing a decline in investment and damaging the local economy, jobs, and the future capacity of Peterhead as an energy provider.
“Scotland is an active contributor to the UK’s energy market however developing capacity will be impossible if we cannot compete on a level playing field.
"The Tories can’t justify stifling investment and development in Peterhead whilst building new power stations elsewhere in the country. Strategically, economically and ethically, it doesn’t make sense.”