Charles Hendry, minister for energy, gave the green light for the 56MW onshore wind farm on the Ray Estate near Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, and the construction of the 900MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station at West Marsh Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire.
Hendry said: ’About a quarter of the UK’s generating capacity is due to close by 2018 and we need to ensure that we secure the investment to replace that. In securing this investment, energy security will be at the forefront of our minds, and a diverse supply is crucial to that.’
Commenting on the wind farm consent in Northumberland, he said: ’Wind farms have a key role to play in boosting energy security and cutting carbon emissions, as long as they are well designed and appropriately sited. Developers at Ray expect the wind farm to provide enough green electricity to power around a quarter of Northumberland’s households.’
A key condition to the Spalding gas consent is that sufficient space remains available adjacent to the power station to allow for the retrofit of carbon-capture plant at a later date. Waste heat from the Spalding plant could also be harnessed by local users such as the community hospital, and the option for this has been left open.
’Not only will the plant in Spalding provide a significant amount of base load electricity, the waste heat could also be used locally. We have made it a condition of the consent that the developers must install the necessary plant and pipework to enable the station to supply waste heat to local users if the opportunity to do so materialises,’ Hendry added.