Engie is to spend £50 million refurbishing two units at its 360MW Ffestiniog Power Station, part of the 2GW First Hydro pumped storage operation in Snowdonia, North Wales.
German firm Voith Hydro will carry out the work, with an option for units 3 and 4 at a later date. Work on site will start late 2018 with the project due to complete early 2020. Engie said the works will extend operational life at the plant, commissioned in 1963, for at least 20 years.
Wilfrid Petrie, CEO of Engie in the UK & Ireland, said:
“Engie is delighted to announce this investment in Ffestiniog and our partnership with Voith Hydro to deliver this important project. This is a major commitment to infrastructure development in Wales, and confirms Engie’s position as one of the UK’s leading producers of flexible, low carbon energy.”
Engie owns 75% of the First Hydro Company, which comprises Ffestiniog Power Station (360 MW) and Dinorwig Power Station (1,728 MW).
While many industry participants believe frequency response revenues will erode as assets such as batteries come to market, the move suggests Engie sees long-term value in fast acting assets.
Meanwhile, though batteries asset owners must consider planned de-rating factors when bidding into the capacity market under proposed new rules, pumped storage assets have no such concerns.