Two of British utility SSE’s coal-fired power units totalling almost 1GW of capacity could remain online beyond the end of March, when they were initially scheduled to close, a spokesman said earlier this week.
The units at Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, have 915 hours remaining to run of their 20,000 hour allocation after SSE elected to opt the two units out of the large combustion plant directive (LCPD) in March last year.
The directive forces companies that opt out of upgrading their technology to shut down after the allocated hours have run out.
The Big Six energy company said at the time it expected both units to reach the end of the 20,000 allowance before the end of 2013/14 financial year, meaning that it was notifying the National Grid of its intention to release all electricity transmission entry capacity (TEC) at this site from 31 March 2014 ( see EDEM 21 March 2013 ).
However, a spokesperson for SSE said on Monday: “We’re expecting the units to shut down by the end of the financial year but there’s no guarantee. It depends on weather and demand so we can’t say for sure.”
As of the end of January, data from the National Grid showed that the plant still had 915 hours remaining to run, down from the 2,331 outstanding operational hours at the start of August last year ( see EDEM 21 August 2013 ).
Data shows that the units ran for 402 hours during December and 367 hours throughout January, suggesting that the power station has enough hours in reserve to cover a potential drop in temperatures over February and March.
SSE has typically run the plants during peak periods over the winter, data suggests. Henry Evans