SSE Thermal and Equinor have joined forces for plans to develop a new gas-fired power station at Peterhead, which could be one of the UK’s first to be equipped with carbon capture (CCS) technology.
The Peterhead CCS Power Station is planned to be a new 900MW gas-fired power station, which will be fitted with carbon capture technology that will enable it to remove carbon dioxide from its emissions.
It would have the capacity to capture up to 1.2 million tonnes (MT) of CO2 every year, helping achieve 15% of the UK’s target to capture 10MT of CO2 annually by 2030.
SSE Thermal’s existing Peterhead Power Station, Scotland’s only major thermal power station, currently provides critical flexibility to the electricity system, supporting renewable generation while maintaining security of supply.
The companies believe the Peterhead site in Aberdeenshire is “ideally placed” for carbon capture technology, with access to CO2 transport and storage infrastructure being developed through the Acorn Project, with the Acorn CO2 Storage Site located around 100km offshore in rock formations deep below the North Sea.
The Peterhead CCS Power Station project is currently in the development stage, with final investment decisions to be made depending on the progress of the necessary business models and associated infrastructure.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Energy Minister and the UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for COP26 said: “Carbon capture storage technology is one of the most exciting and innovative ways that we’re looking to tackle climate change, and today’s announcement marks a significant step towards a greener, more sustainable future for Scotland and the whole UK.
“Once up and running, CO2 emissions saved through this station alone will be the equivalent of taking 60 million cars off the road every year. Developing and applying this technology in Scotland will be a key element in the energy transition whilst creating a skills base and jobs on the ground that will endure and grow for decades to come. The UK Government has set out plans to work hand in hand with industrial areas and businesses to ensure they have the skills needed to lead the way.”
The companies expect the new power station could come online by 2026, with the appropriate policy mechanisms in place.
Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Thermal added: “We’re delighted to announce this agreement with Equinor today to work together to decarbonise our power generation at Peterhead. Through cutting-edge carbon capture technology, we can decarbonise this vital flexible power generation, as well as heavy industry and other hard-to-reach-sectors of the economy, which will be crucial in Scotland transitioning to a net zero future.
“Ahead of the critical COP26 conference in Glasgow this year, there is a clear opportunity to demonstrate leadership on CCS, maximising the benefits of a green recovery in industrial regions, and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities.”