Banff & Buchan MP urges OFGEM to look again at Anglo-Scottish transmission charges to save Peterhead power plant

Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford (SNP) has met representatives from both the National Grid and OFGEM to discuss the future of Peterhead Power Station.

The  move comes as Dr Eilidh Whiteford and fellow MP Callum McCaig received a response from the UK’s Minister for Energy and Industry to a letter written last month regarding the plant’s future.

Jesse Norman, MP, said the current market conditions made operating the plant “very challenging” especially after recent Capacity Market auctions.

But he said the disparity in transmission charges across the UK-wide network was ‘down to the higher cost of generators in Scotland.’

Transmission charges for Peterhead Power Station in the year ahead are an estimated £19.60 per kilowatt compared with a gas-fired power station in Kent which is expected to pay only £1.75.

Plant owner SSE failed to secure any contracts for the Peterhead plant in the recent government auction for supply.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford, said: “The disproportionate charges imposed on Peterhead Power Station in comparison to other locations across the UK creates uncertainty for the future of this site, and the 90 people employed there.

“The department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s approach doesn’t take account of the strategic value of this site in the longer term. The current transmission charge regime puts Peterhead at a big disadvantage, even though gas comes ashore just a few miles along the coast.

OFGEM is directly accountable to the government and I urged the department to look again and reconsider the transmission charge regime.

“The Government has failed to answer the call made in our letter which asked for clarity on this very issue.

“They have also failed to give any indication the department would be willing to exhaust all options to safeguard the future of Peterhead Power Station – including the £1 billion of capital funding for the proposed carbon-capture scheme, which was pulled in 2015.”

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