At 31 March 2017 SSE had an ownership interest in 7,300MW of thermal generation plant in Great Britain and Ireland, comprising (net):
- 5,305MW of gas-fired and oil-fired generation (GB and Ire)
- 1,995MW of coal-fired generation (GB)
The Capacity Market
The Capacity Market is the Government’s main policy to ensure that the GB electricity system remains secure by ensuing sufficient reliable capacity is in place to meet demand. SSE is supportive of the Capacity Market and supports incremental Government action to make the mechanism more effective and ensure participants are able to compete on a level playing field.
Making the right investment decisions in gas-fired power stations
SSE continues to move from a coal and gas weighted portfolio towards one comprised largely of gas and renewables.
SSE has an ownership interest in five gas-fired power stations that participate in the GB electricity market: Medway (700MW wholly owned); Keadby (735MW wholly owned); Peterhead (1,180MW wholly owned). SSE has a 50% stake in each of Seabank (1,164MW) and Marchwood (840MW) gas-fired power stations.
The UK Government wants to encourage investment in new gas-fired generation to ensure that there is sufficient reliable, flexible capacity to accommodate variable renewables on the electricity system. SSE will continue to develop options for new stations, including Keadby 2 in Lincolnshire,. For Abernedd, in Port Talbot, SSE submitted an application to BEIS in August 2016 to vary the planning consent to allow an OCGT station of up to 299MW.
MANAGING COAL-FIRED POWER STATIONS
With the closure of Ferrybridge C in 2016, SSE now operates only one wholly-owned coal-fired power station, at Fiddler’s Ferry (Cheshire, 1,995MW). Fiddlers Ferry continues to support the electricity system mainly at peak times to ensure security of supply. Three units at Fiddlers Ferry have secured capacity contracts for delivery in Winter 2017/18.
GENERATING ELECTRICITY FROM ‘MULTI-FUEL’
SSE’s generation strategy is built upon managing risk through owning a diverse range of assets and fuels from which to meet the needs of customers. Multi fuel, which involves producing electricity using a range of fuel sources, including fuels derived from various sources of municipal sold waste, commercial and industrial waste and waste wood. Multi-fuel remains an important part of that strategy and also enables the UK to manage its waste more sustainably then going to landfill.
Multifuel Energy Ltd (MEL) (the SSE and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. 50:50 joint venture) operates a 68MW multi-fuel generation facility known as Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 (FM1) in Knottingley, West Yorkshire. The station has taken on capacity market obligations for 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.
Construction has commenced at SSE’s Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2) project after the Final Investment Decision was taken in June 2016. The project is being built next to the FM1 facility. The completed plant will be able to generate around 70MW of electricity, enough to power around 170,000 homes. It has taken on a capacity market obligation for 2020/21.