June 14 – Enel Group’s first utility-scale, stand-alone battery energy storage - the 25 MW/12.5 MWh Tynemouth project - is about to start operations, supported by a four-year contract with British System Operator National Grid to provide grid-balancing services. Enel bought the storage venture from Element Power in May 2017, and invested about 20 million Euros in the overall project, including construction.
National Grid has projected Britain’s de-rated power margin for winter 2017/18 projected will be 6.2 GW, or 10.3%, anticipating a net flow of electricity from Continental Europe to the UK at peak times. Considering the current price spread, the TSO also expects a net flow from the UK to Ireland, though this may be reversed in cases of high wind levels in Ireland.
Accelerating China’s global drive, President Xi Jinping has declared the two day Belt and Road Forum in Beijing “a success” after Chinese companies signed deals with 68 countries to jointly develop energy infrastructure along the new Silk Road trade routes. Siemens, alone, entered into more than ten agreements with Chinese partners.
Bowing to industry pressure, the British government has indicated it will make a direct investment of public money into the much-contended Wylfa nuclear project in north Wales, backed by Hitachi. Critics dismiss this move as state aid, a reversal of 40 years of UK energy sector privatisation, and unfair prioritisation of nuclear power to the detriment of renewables and new gas-fired power projects.
Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries has today reached an agreement to acquire the business and all assets of UK Power Reserve (UKPR) for £216 million ($167m). The deal gives Sembcorp an additional capacity of over 1,000 MW in the UK, where it currently supplies energy and services to industrial firms on Teesside.
May 25 – Great Britain remains a net importer of electricity via interconnectors at peak times in all of National Grid’s 2018 Future Energy Scenarios (FES). The UK grid operator consequently assumes and supports an expansion of the island’s interconnector capacity to reach up to 20 GW by 2050.
Profit margins of UK’s gas-fired power plants keep improving, boosted by the closure of aging coal power plants and delays in the construction of new nuclear capacity. Consequentially, gas power plants are seen contribute more than half of the UK’s electricity needs in less than 10 years, up from 45% in the previous years, according to Fitch Group affiliate BMI Research.
The world is not on track to meet the global energy targets for 2030 set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Real progress” is, however, being made on electrification in some of the least developed countries, and industrial energy efficiency while renewable energy is noted to make “impressive gains in the electricity sector.”
Electricity supply for the United Kingdom has been covered entirely without coal for three days in a row – the longest coal-free period on record since the 1880s, according to National Grid data. The coal-free period started on Saturday morning and ended on Tuesday, whereby 33% of the UK’s electricity came from natural gas.
UK-based bolting solution provider Hydratight will provide Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) with a new multi-stud tensioning system, designed in cooperation with Yokohama Engineering Services. The system was launched following six month of close cooperation with MHPS, providing a tailored bolting solution for their 501J series gas turbine.