Two fast-response gas engine power plants in the UK have been handed over to British utility Centrica by technology company Wartsila.

The two 50 MW plants in England each run on five natural gas engines and are part of Centrica’s grid balancing strategy to have power plants that can respond swiftly to fluctuations in the national grid.

The two-minute fast-starting flexibility of Wärtsilä’s engines is designed to support local peaks in demand and supply fluctuations from renewables.

Mark Futyan, Distributed Power Systems Director at Centrica Business Solutions, said the plants “will help meet the UK’s changing energy needs and ultimately support the transition to a low carbon future by providing an important back up to renewable generation”. 

“We’re seeing increasing demand for flexible power so this is an important demonstration of how we can help our customers to navigate the new energy landscape and deliver a variety of end-to-end solutions including onsite generation, demand side response and energy storage.”

Bent Iversen, senior Business Development Manager at Wärtsilä Energy Solutions said that the UK “is the leading country in shaping the electricity markets. Today, renewable power sources provide roughly a quarter of the country’s total generation capacity, compared to five per cent in 2006, and the share is increasing all the time. To support this trend, fast-starting, flexible generation is essential.”

The 100 per cent renewables vision is reachable says Wartsila boss

Meet distributed energy solutions company REstore, part of the Centrica’s Distributed Energy & Power division, at European Utility Week next month in Vienna. Click here for details.