Main contractors appointed for UK’s first Greener Grid Park in Keith

Statkraft has awarded a contract to Powersystems UK with civils subcontractor Knights Brown to undertake the electrical and civil engineering works for a £20 million grid project in Moray.

AECOM has been appointed owner’s engineer.

Construction is expected to start in the coming months and is due to reach operational stage in autumn 2021.

The project, located near the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks transmission substation at Keith will include two large rotating stabilisers designed to provide stable flows of energy through the grid network, helping to increase the amount of renewable energy transmitted on the system and prevent power blackouts.

The rotating stabilisers are being manufactured in Rugby by GE Power Conversion, with steel casting and forging specialist Sheffield Forgemasters manufacturing the key component of the main rotator shaft and hub.

Statkraft was awarded the stability contract as part of National Grid’s Stability Pathfinder Project to meet its ambition that by 2025 the electricity system can be operated at zero carbon. The contract with National Grid provides grid stability services when there are no fossil fuel generators on the system to provide this. There will be an increased demand for this service as the amount of renewable energy generated increases.

The two machines at Keith are expected to be up and running in autumn 2021, with another project in Liverpool to follow.

Statkraft will manage the construction and operation of the project.

Statkraft UK managing director, David Flood, said: “We are at the forefront of an emerging area for global energy systems. The UK are world-leaders in their approach to grid stability and we can showcase this expertise to other countries looking to do the same as their renewables capacity increases.”

Guy Nicholson, Statkraft UK head of grid integration, said: “Our grid network needs to keep up with the rapid progress renewables has made in the UK. Sometimes National Grid, as the electricity system operator, has been forced to shut down wind farms and run gas power stations to keep the system stable. More projects like Keith Greener Grid Park will mean that will become a thing of the past.”

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