The Government has approved a gas peaking power plant in Wales, also known as a ‘rapid response gas-fired power station’. The Abergelli Power Project will cost £90 million and should eventually have a capacity of up to 299MW. That should be enough electricity to power somewhere in the region of 150,000 homes. This will create flexible power and system support to help transition to a low carbon economy.
The project is located due north of Swansea, with the developer Abergelli Power owned by energy giant Drax Power.
The open cycle gas turbine plant will be able to go from cold to full load in under twenty minutes. This quick response enables it to act quickly when the grid needs support. This operational faculty is what makes it a peaking (or flexible) power station. It thus won’t always be operational but will generate power for up to a maximum of 2,250 hours per year.
Flexible Power and System Support Services
The project should create around 150 new jobs over its two-year construction period. Once fully operational, the plant will create fifteen full time skilled jobs.
Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said: “Securing this approval from the Secretary of State is a crucial step in ensuring development of the new gas generation the UK needs to provide flexible power and system support services to the electricity grid as part of the country’s transition to a low carbon economy. Rapid response gas power stations are agile enough to ramp up quickly and support the grid at times of peak demand, making them highly complementary to intermittent renewable sources of power, like wind and solar.
“Flexible, reliable power stations like this are essential to provide the power Britain’s homes, businesses, transport and infrastructure need.”
North Wales Power Station Completes Final Nuclear Fuel Shipment
In other power station news, the last flask of spent nuclear fuel has been dispatched from the Wylfa power plant. The site is the biggest and last Magnox site to be built in the UK. It was fully operational between 1972 and 2015 and generated a total of 232TWh of electricity. It has been estimated that the Wylfa site powered around 1.1 million homes per year during its operational years.
The final flask of spent fuel has been removed to be reprocessed at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria. This marks the end of de-fuelling operations at all of the UK’s First Generation nuclear reactors.
The Director of the Wylfa site, Stuart Law, said: “It has not been an easy task and the work at Wylfa is far from complete but today is a significant landmark in the site’s journey towards care and maintenance.
“The de-fuelling process was hampered by aging equipment for the first eighteen months which brought challenges but the dedication and problem-solving abilities of the Wylfa team and expertise drawn from across the nuclear industry led to what is, overall, an incredible performance in completing this task.”
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