As we transition to a renewables-led electricity system in the years ahead, we know we’ll require other forms of energy generation to respond to market changes and ensure security of supply. With this in mind, SSE Thermal is developing a major clean power hub in Keadby, North Lincolnshire, aiming to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen solutions to decarbonise its flexible gas-fired generation.
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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 to the UK. When completed in 2022, Keadby 2 will be the cleanest and 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 is now actively developing Keadby 3, which could become the UK’s first power station equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology by the mid-2020s. This project could see an even larger investment in the region. In line with its vision for a net-zero future, SSE Thermal has committed to only develop new power stations with a clear route to decarbonisation. With an electrical output of up to 910MW, Keadby 3 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.
Keadby 3 will connect to the shared infrastructure being developed through the Zero Carbon Humber partnership to transport the captured CO2 and store it safely offshore. CCS can directly capture at least 90% of the carbon emissions produced in power generation, and there is potential for this percentage to increase as the technology advances. The Humber has a key strategic advantage in this technology, given its proximity to the Southern North Sea, an ideal area for CO2 storage. When complete, Keadby 3 alone is expected to offset at least 1.5MT of CO2 – 15% of the overall target announced by the UK Government in 2020.
SSE Thermal also has significant interest in hydrogen as a solution to decarbonise power generation, as well as other sectors of the economy. Leading manufacturers, such as Siemens Energy, have committed to producing turbines capable of burning 100% hydrogen by 2030. Renewable energy projects like Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is being constructed by SSE Renewables and Equinor off the East Coast, could help produce green hydrogen for the Humber region, while SSE Thermal’s storage assets in East Yorkshire could be upgraded to store the fuel in underground caverns. SSE Thermal believes there is potential for a further low-carbon generation unit at its Keadby site if the necessary technology and routes to market develop.
As well as providing over 1.7GW of low-carbon power capacity to residential and industrial users, the development of the Keadby Clean Power Hub 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.
For more on SSE Thermal’s vision for a better world of energy, visit www.ssethermal.com
Generation of jobs
Low-carbon power stations can act as anchor projects for the deployment of shared CCS and hydrogen transport and storage”
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