Two energy projects were given the government go-ahead today.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry approved a 56MW onshore wind farm on the Ray Estate near Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, which is expected to generate enough electricity to power around 25% of homes in the county.
Mr Hendry also gave the green light to the construction of a 900 MW combined cycle gas turbine power station in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
A key condition to the Spalding gas consent is that sufficient space remains available adjacent to the power station to allow for the retrofit of carbon capture plant at a later date. Waste heat from the Spalding plant could also be harnessed by local users such as the community hospital, and the option for this has been left open.
Mr Hendry said: “About a quarter of the UK’s generating capacity is due to close by 2018 and we need to ensure that we secure the investment to replace that. In securing this investment, energy security will be at the forefront of our minds, and a diverse supply is crucial to that. Today’s announcement is a double boost for our energy security”.
He added that wind farms had “a key role to play in boosting energy security and cutting carbon emissions, as long as they are well designed and appropriately sited”.
And he said the Spalding plant would “not only provide a significant amount of base load electricity, [but] the waste heat could also be used locally”.