Super Efficient Power Station Given Green Light
The Government has given the green light for a new super efficient power station to be built in Middlesbrough. The £700 million plant will be a combined-cycle gas turbine that uses both gas and steam to generate electricity.
The proposal for the new plant was put forward by leading utilities and marine group Sembcorp Utilities. They are centralised utilities specialists and intend the plant to have a maximum energy generation capacity of 1,700MW.
New Plant Gives Teesside a Jobs and Power Boost
The new power plant project is expected to create around a thousand new jobs during the construction phase. Another 150 jobs will be created in the supply chain. The electricity generated will be enough to power 1.5 million households and businesses in the Teesside area and beyond. The new plant will use existing grid connections on the site of the former Teesside Power Station.
This Sembcorp Utilities power plant is the third big energy-based construction project approved this year. The others include the Tilbury 2 development at the site of the old Tilbury Power Station in London. A project to convert the Milbrook Power Station in Bedfordshire into a rapid response gas-fired plant was approved last month.
A similar project to this latest Sembcorp build was also approved at the end of last year. The £350 million Keadby Power Station in North Lincolnshire is also a combined-cycle gas turbine. The project was undertaken by energy supplier SSE and their technology partner, Siemens. At the time of its approval, it was claimed to be the most efficient power plant in the UK. However, that title will go to the Teesside combined-cycle plant once it is operational.
How Combined-Cycle Power Plants Work
A combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) works by combining a gas and a steam turbine together. This combination produces up to 50 % more power from the same fuel source than the usual simple-cycle plant. It achieves this by diverting heat produced by the gas turbine into the steam turbine, which then generates extra electricity.
First the gas turbine compresses air and mixes it with the gas, heating it to a very high temperature. This hot air and fuel combination travels through the turbine and makes the blades spin quickly. The spinning blades generate energy which is converted into electricity by a generator driven by the turbine.
Secondly, the CCGT’s heat recovery system captures the excess heat from the turbine’s exhaust. The heat recovery system then diverts that exhaust heat into the steam turbine. Using water from the nearby river to create steam, the steam turbine is able to generate extra power. The additional energy is finally delivered to the generator drive shaft to be converted into electricity.
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