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‘World first’: Deeside Power Station provides inertia and reactive power to National Grid ESO

Deeside Power Station, a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant, is providing inertia and reactive power to National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) in what is believed to be a “world first”.

Triton Power’s CCGT plant in Flintshire has started supplying the critical system support services to keep Britain’s power system secure without generating any electricity, reducing the need for carbon emitting generators to come online and enabling the generation of more wind and solar power.

Under the terms of the six-year stability contract, awarded in January 2020, it will provide the grid with support services including inertia and reactive power, which helps to keep the electricity system running at the right frequency to reduce the risk of power cuts.

It will achieve this through using a small amount of power from the grid to spin the rotors and provide stability.

This service was traditionally a by-product of the kinetic energy in the spinning parts of large traditional power stations – as the country’s electricity system has transitioned from traditional sources of power like coal to renewables, such as wind and solar, there has been an increased need to separately procure inertia to maintain stable, secure supplies of power.

This partnership is part of a “world-leading” approach to managing the decarbonisation of the grid, securing electricity supplies, saving consumers money and enabling more zero carbon power.

Consumers are expected to save up to £128 million over six years through the stability tender National Grid ESO has procured, which is the equivalent amount of inertia that would have been provided by five coal-fired power stations.

Julian Leslie, Head of Networks at National Grid ESO said: “Seeing Triton Power’s transformation of Deeside Power Station – from burning gas, to just providing stability services to the grid – is incredibly exciting.

“Innovations such as this, part of our new approach to system stability, are cheaper and greener than the alternative, reducing emissions and saving money for electricity consumers.

“Our stability pathfinder – creating a market for inertia and other stability services – is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and is a huge step forward in our ambition to be able to operate the GB electricity system carbon free by 2025.”

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