National Grid and Scottish and Southern Electricity Generation (SSE) have signed a deal worth at least £6 million to retain the availability of SSE’s Peterhead gas-fired power station at a maximum of seven days’ notice.
The purpose of this contract is to reduce any network risk in the event of a fault or unforeseen system conditions. If required, Peterhead will have a minimum dispatch period of 24 hours and will have to provide capacity of between 480MW and 780MW. The contract is for one year.
As System Operator, National Grid has two roles. Firstly, to ‘balance’ the network, ensuring supply and demand is managed second by second. Secondly, to ensure the network operates within the required system standards, including maintaining a stable level of voltage. The contract with Peterhead will assist National Grid with the second of these roles.
Voltage control is the method by which National Grid uses equipment such as power stations, overhead lines, underground cables and compensation equipment to ensure that the voltage at which the system operates remains within statutory limits, both in day to day operation and following a fault.
A National Grid spokesman said: “Our network planners assess many different network scenarios to understand and prepare us for managing the system under different conditions. With the modelling we have done, we are confident that we can operate the network without Peterhead.
“But we take our responsibility very seriously and consider it prudent to have this back-up option to manage any unforeseen system conditions.