An initiative by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to offer the owners of existing coal-finds plants the possibility of converting their facilities to run on gas, or of building a new CCGT, remains in place despite the political turbulence of recent weeks.
Argus Media had reported that Andrea Leadsom was to examine what can be done to make it easier for planning permission to be granted for a new CCGT to be built and despite Brexit and subsequent government upheaval those plans remain in place.
A DECC spokesperson told Power Engineering International, “The planning inspectorate will be holding a workshop shortly for potential applicants for development consent for new gas-fired power stations to explain how developers can use the pre-application project planning process to ensure applications are progressed as swiftly as possible.”
The government has pledged to end the UK‘s use of unabated coal-fired power generation by the end of 2025, replacing it with gas-fired and nuclear plants.
But only two new large-scale gas-fired plants have so far been contracted under the capacity mechanism, one of which — the 1.8 GW Trafford project — is likely to miss its planned start-up date of 2018. And the 3.2GW Hinkley Point C nuclear complex faces numerous delays.
Building a gas-fired plant at the site of an coal-fired facility will allow project developers to use existing grid connections, which will enable the new complex to start up more quickly.
Argus Media reported in May that energy minister Andrea Leadsom will write to DCLG to find out “what more, if anything, can be done to make it easier for planning permission [to be granted] for a new CCGT to be built”.
DCLG is holding its own consultation for developers that are “interested in making the transition, so that they can better understand the process”, Leadsom said.
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