Centrica, Equipment & Technology, Europe, Gas & Oil Fired, Nuclear, Smart Grid T&D, Wind

Backup gas-fired plant planned at existing UK plant site

UK utility Centrica has proposed building a new gas-fired backup power plant at the site of the existing 360 MW gas-fired Peterborough power station (pictured).

The 50 MW plant would consist of up to five gas engines and would fit within the space created by the removal of defunct fuel tanks at the existing site. The new plant would be planned to meet the power needs of 50,000 households at peak demand periods, the company said.

Dave Theakstone, the existing plant’s generation manager, was quoted by local paper the Peterborough Telegraph as saying: “As more and more renewable projects are built, there’s an increasing need for small, flexible plants to be able to step in at times when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining.

“What we’re proposing to build is a highly responsive plant that will work alongside the existing plant to help keep the lights on for local homes and businesses. Once complete this site would be able to respond to peaks in demand and be up and running in just five minutes.”

Centrica said it would submit a planning application to the city council in the coming weeks.

The existing plant, which came online in 1993, has been mooted for closure several times due to challenging market conditions, and now operates sporadically. However, business could pick up as the UK’s reliance on gas-fired plants has climbed to a five-year high due to a combination of low wind power output and nuclear plant maintenance, according to market reports.