Solihull/London – 12/08/19 – Solihull-based UK Power Reserve (UKPR), part of the Singapore-headquartered Sembcorp Industries group, swung into action with its fleet of ultra-reliable, rapid response generating units within seconds to help restore balance to the UK power system following last week’s emergency on the National Grid.
We were able to make more than 600MW of power available to the grid – the equivalent of electrical requirements of more than 750,000 households – after power cuts led to chaos on the railways and in homes across Britain.
The power cuts were sparked by a connection failure at a 740MW gas-fired power station in Little Barford, Cambridgeshire at 5pm on Friday which was followed minutes later by the failure of the 1.2GW Hornsea Offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast, leaving more than a million homes without power and rail commuters in limbo. London and the south east were particularly hard hit.
National Grid described the failure as an “incredibly rare event,” and said the activation of a safety feature had protected the network from further failure. Lord Adonis, a former chairman of the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission, described it as a “wake up call” on resilience. Gale force winds in Wales over the weekend added to the troubles, causing hundreds of households to lose power.
We operate a range of fast-ramping gas-fired power units from more than 40 locations across England and Wales and the majority of the capacity we supplied came from these, with an energy from waste facility part-owned by Sembcorp on Teesside also exporting to the Grid to meet the national need. We’re also currently developing a 120MW battery storage capability which will be a key addition to our portfolio as we support the national grid in future.
Nomi Ahmad, Head of Sembcorp UK (Energy) said: “We were delighted to be able to help. This event goes to show that the UK power system has to be flexible enough to be prepared for all eventualities and with battery power soon to be added to our portfolio we are in a great position to provide additional capacity to help National Grid ensure security of supply.”
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About UK Power Reserve
UK Power Reserve, part of Sembcorp group, is the leading provider of flexibility to the UK energy system. Our contracted 1013MW portfolio of low carbon, decentralised assets include 120MW of battery storage, one of the biggest in Europe. With rapid response, low cost assets located close to centres of demand, we are improving competition and delivering value to consumers. An innovative, disruptive voice in energy, UK Power Reserve is advancing its ambitious growth plans in the UK.
Sembcorp Industries is a leading energy, marine, and urban development group, operating across multiple markets worldwide.
As an integrated energy player, Sembcorp is poised to benefit from the global energy transition. With a strong track record in developing and developed markets, we provide solutions across the energy and utilities value chain, with a focus on the Gas & Power, Renewables & Environment, and Merchant & Retail sectors. We have a balanced energy portfolio of over 12,400 megawatts, including thermal power plants, renewable wind and solar power assets, as well as biomass and energy-from-waste facilities. In addition, Sembcorp is a world leader in offshore and marine engineering, as well as an established brand name in urban development.
Sembcorp Industries has total assets of over S$23 billion and over 7,000 employees. Listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, it is a component stock of the Straits Times Index, several MSCI and FTSE indices, as well as the SGX Sustainability Leaders Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index.