Statkraft has signed a 15-year deal to optimise 175MW of flexible gas engines for AMP Clean Energy.
The arrangement will enable AMP to finance the first 80MW, via 19 projects, by mid 2021. AMP said it has gained planning for 29 such assets over the last 18 months.
Owned by the Norwegian state, Statkraft has amassed a multi gigawatt virtual power plant (VPP) in the UK, which includes some 500MW of battery and small gas peaking plant. It trades their flexibility into wholesale and balancing markets as well as ancillary services. Meanwhile the first AMP plant to join its VPP also has a contract with distribution network operator UK Power Networks.
Statkraft head of UK flexibility, Brian Lonn, said AMP’s assets “provide us with a unique optimisation opportunity, as smaller scale and distributed transitional technologies like natural gas engines provide the reliability and flexibility required to keep the lights on when there’s not enough wind or sun.”
The firm manages some 15GW of flex across Europe via its Unity VPP. It hit 2.6GW of flex in the UK earlier this summer.
Duncan Dale, UK vice-president sales and new products, last year told The Energyst that the term ‘virtual power plant’ “doesn’t do the technology justice … we describe it as a ‘flex aggregation brain’.”
The company has also signed a gigawatt deal with Statera, which is hoping to build a hybrid gas and battery storage plant at Thurrock, if it can come to an agreement with RWE over access rights. If built, the 750MW plant would include a 150MW/600MWh battery, making it the UK’s largest.