The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has awarded the contract for its £500k Power Plant Siting Study to Atkins who has bases in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as being a worldwide operator. This research project will consider the impact of siting constraints on the location of new low carbon nuclear and fossil fuelled power stations. It is expected to be completed late 2014.
Following development work earlier in 2014, the ETI commissioned this independent study as one of its strategic knowledge building projects. It will be used to inform its scenario modelling of the transition towards future UK low carbon energy systems. The aim of the project is to explore the different opportunities and constraints involved in developing sites in England and Wales for new low carbon power plants. The study will considers new nuclear as well as fossil fuelled power stations using carbon capture and storage technologies. The study is important to understand the different features which could either make a potential site suitable or, alternatively, prevent its viability.
Attention to both technologies is important due to common requirements including:
- a large development area
- access to cooling water
- access to a grid connection
- transport links
This study is intended to inform whether there is likely to be competition for development sites between low carbon technologies, which could be a future constraint in the low carbon replacement of the UK’s ageing power plants.
It will help inform the ETI’s technology strategy development work, which is looking at how to accelerate the development of new energy technologies for a UK transition to a low carbon economy.
Mike Middleton, the ETI strategy manager responsible for the project, said:
“Nuclear and thermal, with Carbon Capture and Storage, are the key technologies alongside renewables likely to have a significant role in de-carbonising the UK’s energy system.
“Different energy system scenarios involve different mixes of these technologies and it is important to explore and understand some of the practical UK deployment constraints and limits for each of these technologies. This project will help inform future scenario modelling and deployment planning from a robust evidence base. I am delighted to be working with Atkins on this project.”
Atkins, who are one of the world’s leading design and engineering consultancies, were awarded the Power Plant Siting Study contract following ETI’s open competitive procurement process.
Dave Nettleship, director, Power and Renewables, from Atkins, said:
“We are pleased to be able to bring together a multidisciplinary team with the breadth and depth of skills needed to support this important study. We know that there are many factors to take into account in assessing suitable sites ranging from flood risk and river flows to heritage and ecological impact.
“The effects of climate change also add to the complexity. Our team can pool its knowledge in all these fields to help inform this vital research. We can also draw on our detailed work for previous studies such as the Alternative Sites Report” (DECC 2009).”