Flexible power generation has a vital role to play in the UK’s future energy system, backing up renewables when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, while helping to ensure security of supply. At the same time, it is essential that this conventional generation is decarbonised, ensuring it is low-carbon in its own right.
That is why SSE Thermal is investing in the low-carbon power stations of the future, with the plans not only helping to decarbonise the energy system, but also supporting high-quality jobs and driving investment in our industrial heartlands. To that end, SSE Thermal is working on several major projects at its Keadby site in North Lincolnshire, including world-leading carbon capture and hydrogen projects with Equinor.
For more on SSE Thermal’s vision for a better world of energy, visit www.ssethermal.com
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SSE Thermal is already investing £350m to construct the 840MW Keadby 2 Power Station, bringing first-of-a-kind, super-efficient gas turbine technology from Siemens Energy to the UK. When completed later this year, Keadby 2 will be the most efficient gas-fired power station in Europe, displacing older, more carbon-intensive generation, and providing vital flexibility to the electricity system. Keadby 2 has been designed with the potential to utilise CCS and hydrogen solutions to further decarbonise its electricity generation into the future. In March 2020, the station secured a 15-year capacity agreement, starting in October 2023, through the UK’s Capacity Auction process.
Throughout its lifetime, Keadby 2 is expected to contribute over £1bn to the UK economy, with nearly 50% of this in Yorkshire, the Humber and the East Midlands. You can find out more in SSE Thermal’s ‘Powering Progress’ report, which looks at the socio-economic impacts of the project.
In addition, SSE Thermal and Equinor are actively developing Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, which could become the UK’s first power station equipped with carbon capture technology later this decade. With an electrical output of up to 910MW, Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station will use natural gas as its fuel and will be fitted with a carbon capture plant to remove the CO2 from its emissions.
The plant would plug into the shared pipelines being developed through the East Coast Cluster and Zero Carbon Humber projects, with the CO2 being stored off the coast. The Humber has a key strategic advantage in CCS technology, given its proximity to the Southern North Sea, an ideal area for CO2 storage. When complete, Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station alone is expected to offset at least 1.5MT of CO2 – 5% of the UK Government’s 2030 target.
SSE Thermal and Equinor are also developing Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which would have a peak demand of 1,800MW of hydrogen, producing zero carbon emissions at the point of combustion. It would be the world’s first major 100% hydrogen-fired power station, securing at-scale demand for hydrogen in the region for decades to come. With appropriate policy mechanisms in place, Keadby Hydrogen could come online before the end of the decade.
Keadby Hydrogen could account for a third of the offtake of the Government’s 5GW low-carbon hydrogen production goal. SSE Thermal and Equinor are also progressing plans for one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities at their existing, co-owned Aldbrough site on the East Yorkshire coast. The Aldbrough site is ideally located to store the low-carbon hydrogen set to be used at Keadby Hydrogen, and elsewhere in the Humber region.
As well as providing vital low-carbon flexible power, the projects planned at Keadby can safeguard and create thousands of local jobs both through direct employment and the wider supply chain. Crucially, these low-carbon power stations can act as anchor projects for the deployment of shared CCS and hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure in the region, which will in turn support the decarbonisation of industrial activity and other hard-to-reach sectors. This will be essential in both the UK’s transition to net zero carbon emissions, and for securing continued investment and high-quality jobs in the Humber in the decades ahead.
Generation of jobs
Low-carbon power stations can act as anchor projects for the deployment of shared CCS and hydrogen transport and storage”
Invest Humber: Clean Growth in the UK’s Energy Estuary was created and is managed by Marketing Humber.
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