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Statkraft partners with GE as stability project reaches ‘critical milestone’

Image: GE Power Conversion.

Image: GE Power Conversion.

Statkraft has signed a deal to install GE’s Rotating Stabilizer technology as part of a new approach to provide stability on Great Britain’s grid.

Earlier this year, National Grid ESO awarded Statkraft four stability contracts, including two at Keith in the northeast of Scotland. It is here that two of GE's Rotating Stabilizer synchronous machines will be installed in an effort to manage grid stability as the amount of non-synchronous generation from solar, wind and interconnectors grows.

Commenting on the project, managing director of Statkraft UK, David Flood said: “We are delighted to have reached this critical milestone in providing stability services to the grid. Our project at Keith builds on our electricity market and renewables expertise and helps Statkraft deliver our vision of being a renewable energy system integrator.”

The stabilisers will be used in place of inertia services from thermal plant generation, ensuring fossil fuel generation isn’t needed and can be replaced with greater amounts of renewables.

“We’re delighted to be using our innovation skills and vast experience of rotating machines to be supporting a lower carbon path to meet the UK’s energy needs” said Andy Cooper, managing director of GE’s Power Conversion UK business.

GE's Rotating Stabilizer synchronous machine. Image: GE Power Conversion.
GE's Rotating Stabilizer synchronous machine. Image: GE Power Conversion.

Statkraft was one of five companies awarded stability contracts by National Grid ESO in January, along with Drax, Triton, Rassau Grid Services (Welsh Power) and Uniper, as part of a £328 million ‘world-first’ pathfinder.

It is being followed-up by a second phase looking at a broader range of technologies in Scotland, with National Grid ESO putting out a request for information in June.

Julian Leslie, head of networks at National Grid ESO, said: “The GB electricity system is one of the most advanced in the world, both in terms of reliability and the levels of renewable power, and we’re really excited to be adding to that with this new approach to operating the grid.

“Our contracts for stability services with providers such as Statkraft are cheaper and greener, reducing emissions and saving money for electricity consumers.

“This approach is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and is a huge step forward in our ambition to be able to operate the GB electricity system carbon free by 2025.”

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