Introducing the new Peterborough fast response plant.
We’re pleased to confirm that construction will soon be starting on our new fast response plant on land next to the existing power station.
The project forms part of a £180 million investment programme following the UK Government’s Capacity Market auction in December. In this auction we secured agreements to build four new flexible power generation and storage facilities, one of which will be at Peterborough.
We’ve been working to dismantle defunct equipment like the steam cycle and air cooled condenser (pictured above) from the existing plant since late in 2015. Now complete, this has cleared space for the new plant, with much of the old material soon to be taken away to be recycled.
The new plant has been designed to support local security of supply, stepping in to help meet peaks in demand. Rated at 50MW, it will be capable of producing enough power to meet the needs of around 50,000 homes – more than two thirds of all the households in Peterborough.
We are now working with our contractors at Wärtsilä as they prepare to start work on the project later this month. Construction is expected to take around 15 months.
THE New plant
The fast response plant is being built on a small section of land where the fuel oil tanks used to be and will be run independently of the existing power station.
Housed within a warehouse-type structure, the plant will consist of five 10MW reciprocating gas engines. Unlike the existing plant, which uses gas turbines, the plant will burn gas with air to produce hot gases that are used to drive a piston up and down. The motion of the pistons will be used to drive the generator, which then in turn produces electricity.
Together, the engines will be operated as a highly flexible ‘peaking plant’ that will be able to go from a cold start up to full power in under two minutes.
This is a feature that is becoming increasingly important as more intermittent renewable capacity, such as wind and solar, comes on line.
Our expectation is that the plant will typically run for only a few hours a day during the week when demand is at its highest.
Our construction plan
It is our goal to be a good neighbour. We will be working closely with our main contractor, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions to ensure this.
There will normally be a team of around 20 people working on the site each day. This will reach a peak of 95 during key periods of construction.
The power plant is located in an industrial park so local residents will be unaffected by increased traffic. We have already had conversations with neighbouring companies about how to manage the traffic, and are maintaining an open dialogue with them.