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SSE Thermal, Equinor evaluate 900 MW hydrogen power station in England

Image: SSE Thermal

UK's SSE Thermal and Norway's Equinor are planning to develop a 900 MW hydrogen-fired power station at Keadby in North Lincolnshire, UK, that will become operational from 2030.

The Keadby Hydrogen Power Station will run on 100 percent hydrogen, but have the capability to run on natural gas until the necessary hydrogen infrastructure is in place.

Both companies will launch public consultations after concluding environmental scoping in April. The news comes after the UK Government last week took a second look at gas-fired power plants and considered proposals to allow the setting up of what are called "Net Zero ready" gas-fired power plants, those capable of transitioning to hydrogen as a feedstock in future. 

UK Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho has said the kingdom faces a "genuine prospect of blackouts," if there is no gas-fired capacity backing renewables. 

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"We know that with around 15GW of gas due to come off the system in the coming years, we will need a minimum of 5GW of new power to remain secure. That might mean refurbishing existing power stations, but will also mean new unabated gas power stations until the clean technology is ready", Coutinho has said.

SSE and Equinor say they are hoping the plant will run on hydrogen right from inception, given the possibility of a hydrogen network being ready by then. The government has committed to developing low-carbon infrastructure, and hydrogen transport and storage projects are expected to make great progress over the next 12 months.

Martin Pibworth, Chief Commercial Officer of SSE, said in a release: "Delivering low-carbon flexible power is absolutely critical to the UK's net zero efforts. We must also address the looming capacity challenge. The Government's commitment to low-carbon technologies like hydrogen is clear but progress has been slower than hoped." 


No looking back: Energy transition in Europe, the UK -  

The share of renewable energy in the EU is estimated to reach around 69 percent by 2030 (from 39 percent in 2022). Acknowledging the crucial role played by energy storage in providing necessary system flexibility and stability, in March 2023, the European Commission published a series of recommendations and key actions to ensure greater deployment of energy storage in the region.
Author : Mandar Bakre
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