SSE Thermal and Equinor have today unveiled plans to jointly develop a new low-carbon power station at Peterhead, which could become one of the UK’s first power stations equipped with carbon capture technology.
Peterhead CCS Power Station would propel the UK’s ambitions for carbon capture in power generation, meeting 15% of the UK Government’s 10 million tonne target for carbon captured by 2030.
Peterhead CCS Power Station is planned to be a new 900MW gas-fired power station fitted with carbon capture technology to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from its emissions. By capturing up to 1.5 million tonnes (MT) of CO2 each year, the new station alone would achieve 15% of the UK Government’s target to capture 10MT of CO2 annually by 2030.
As Scotland’s only major thermal power station, SSE Thermal’s existing Peterhead Power Station provides critical flexibility to the electricity system, supporting increased penetration from renewable generation while maintaining security of supply. Peterhead CCS Power Station, as a new decarbonised power station at the site, would continue to provide this essential flexible and efficient power in a net zero world.
Situated on Scotland’s east coast, the Peterhead site in Aberdeenshire is ideally placed for carbon capture technology, with access to essential CO2 transport and storage infrastructure being developed through the well-advanced Acorn Project. The Acorn CO2 Storage Site, which will be used by the Acorn Project to safely store CO2, is located about 100km offshore in rock formations deep below the North Sea. Peterhead CCS Power Station and the Acorn Project both won funding from the UK Government’s £171M pot for the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund in March, as part of Scotland’s Net Zero Infrastructure programme.
Given the readiness of carbon capture technology in power generation, projects like Peterhead CCS Power Station would stimulate the development of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure across Scotland, into which other energy and industrial emitters can then connect to capture and store their emissions. This will accelerate Scotland’s transition to a net zero economy, while safeguarding vital Scottish industries and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities.
The Peterhead CCS Power Station project is in the development stage and final investment decisions will depend on the progress of the necessary business models and associated infrastructure. With the appropriate policy mechanisms in place, the new station could come online by 2026, in line with Government ambitions for ‘Track 1’ industrial cluster projects and the proposed timelines for the Acorn Project.Today’s agreement follows the announcement in April 2021 that SSE Thermal and Equinor are co-developing two low-carbon power stations in Keadby, North Lincolnshire. These announcements reflect the longstanding partnership between Equinor and SSE in the UK, which includes the joint venture to build Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm.