‘Greener grid’ energy plant to open after European giant’s £25m investment

A new ‘greener grid’ park is being launched in Liverpool next week after a £25m investment – aimed to provide stability to the UK’s electricity grid and increase the uptake of renewable energy.

Renewables giant Statkraft said the new project on Lister Drive is hoped to supply the grid by the end of this year, and ABB has been announced as its first energy supplier.

The site will act as a back-up to prevent blackouts and potential shortages – allowing for better adoption of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydro across the UK.

ABB’s Warrington team will build two synchronous condensers – used to adjust conditions on the grid. The Lister Drive site will be one of the first to use the technology – joining others in Australia and Canada.

Managing director of Statkraft UK, David Flood, said: “The Lister Drive project builds on Statkraft’s electricity market and renewables expertise to demonstrate that we can deliver on our vision of being a renewable energy system integrator.

“Working with ABB’s team in Warrington we will be able to use proven technology in an innovative way to deliver grid stability without carbon emissions.”

It’s hoped the development, to be constructed this year, will mean a more utilised renewable energy supply, which is currently “not always used when it could be”.

According to Statkraft, solar, wind and interconnectors supply energy but not enough of the services needed by the grid to stably move that energy to consumers.

David Flood

The Lister Drive project will help solve this problem by providing services to help keep the electricity system stable, including inertia, short circuit current and voltage control.

The contract with ABB is for a ten-year period.

Grid stability in the region was previously supported by the coal-fired station at Fiddler’s Ferry, which was closed by SSE in March 2020.

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Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “I welcome this as a scheme that will help to decarbonise the UK’s energy sector. The Lister Drive Greener Grid Park is an exciting project which we will monitor with great interest and we wish it every success.

“The timing is apt as we’ll be announcing an update on the city council’s carbon zero plans for 2030 very soon.”

David Hughes, MD at ABB said: “ABB is thrilled to be working with Statkraft on this critical project to stabilize our UK electricity network.

“Our innovative technology, supported by a long-term service contract, will make it possible to add additional renewable generation as the UK transitions to a more environmentally sustainable future.”

Business Live – North West