UK approves two new gas-fired power plants


Two new gas-fired power stations have been given the thumbs up by the UK Government.
Progress Power and Hirwaun Power will build the plants – which will have a total capacity of 299MW – in Eye, Suffolk and near Aberdare in South Wales.
Both will operate as “peaking” plants, i.e. they will provide electricity when demand is high or when there is a sudden drop in power being generated from other facilities.
The projects are expected to create up to 400 jobs, with around 30 permanent positions once they start operating.
The news follows National Grid’s annoucenment this winter’s power margin – the difference between peak demand and available supply – could be the tightest in a decade.
Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “Continued investment is essential as we move the UK towards a cleaner energy future. These stations will create jobs while helping to keep people’s lights on.
“Gas is the greenest fossil fuel we have; generating electricity with only half the emissions produced by coal.”
The companies have yet to make final investment decisions.
National Grid has launched a consultation asking the industry if it should continue using additional balancing tools for the next two winters as Ofgem warned the outlook for margin in 2016/17 is “uncertain”.