SSE, one of the UK’s ‘big six’ energy supply companies (with over 11GW of electricity generating capacity in the UK and Ireland), has announced that it is to collaborate with Siemens in building a new 840MWe combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station at Keadby in Lincolnshire, UK. The investment of £350 million in this new station is part of a five-year, £6 billion investment programme across the UK and Ireland that includes developing new sources of renewable energy (including offshore wind energy), and upgrading electricity networks in the north of Scotland and central southern England.
The new unit at Keadby – ‘Keadby 2’ – will operate alongside the existing 735MWe CCGT as well as the adjacent 68MWe Keadby Wind Farm (England’s largest onshore wind farm). It will utilise a Siemens SGT5-9000HL gas turbine which, with an efficiency of around 63%, will be the most efficient CCGT on the UK electricity system when it starts to operate. In addition to providing the gas turbine technology, Siemens will manage technical construction risk until the plant is handed over to SSE, as well as providing ongoing performance guarantees.
The decision to invest in Keadby 2 is compatible with SSE’s recently announced ambition to achieve a further 50% reduction in the carbon intensity of the electricity it generates, to around 150gCO2e/kWh by 2030. Following the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008, the company set itself a target of cutting the carbon intensity of its electricity by 50% between 2006 (baseline) and 2020, successfully meeting that target in March 2017. This new target of a further 50% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 from 2017/18 levels (i.e. a 75% cut based on its original 2006 baseline) is in response to new efforts by both the UK and Irish governments, namely the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy and Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan.