Three opposition MPs have gained a greater insight into how Britain keeps the grid resilient through site visits with UK Power Reserve.
Labour MPs Nic Dakin, Kate Green and Madeleine Moon paid separate visits to three UKPR sites to gain a greater understanding of the importance of distributed generation in the energy mix.
Mr Dakin, who represents Scunthorpe, visited UKPR’s Kings Road site at Immingham as part of an Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) fellowship programme aimed at giving MPs, MEPs and civil servants a better understanding of business and industry. This visit complements a previous visit to the Solihull office, where he was shown the Virtual Power Plant used to remotely monitor the sites.
Ms Green (Stretford and Urmston) took up UKPR’s invitation to visit the 20MW Carrington Road facility in her constituency which was built last year and Ms Moon (Bridgend) took up a similar invitation at UKPR’s Bridgend site in South Wales. Both sites are connected to the national grid at distribution level and are therefore able to feed local power users.
Sam Wither, Head of UKPR, said: “We were delighted to welcome the MPs. The volume of distributed generation on the grid has risen steeply over the last few years, but its value and significance hasn’t been understood as quickly.
“These visits have shone a light on the UK’s fastest growing energy sector and highlighted the need for a diverse energy mix and generation which is able to respond rapidly to changes on the system.”
The MPs were taken through the process at each site and shown where the gas comes in, how the engines work and how UKPR exports to the grid. All three saw how quickly units can be brought into action and witnessed different run profiles.
UKPR was recently acquired by integrated energy firm Sembcorp, which has facilities serving industry at the Wilton International site on Teesside. UKPR has 32 sites in England and Wales, 18 of which have been brought online in the last 18 months, with more currently under construction.
Mr Wither added: “We’re keen to do more of these engagement visits and show MPs of all parties how we are playing a critical role in the energy mix in the UK. Visits such as these should help MPs make decisions that are more informed and recognise how decisions taken in other areas can affect this sector.”