New energy investment favours mini power plants after cheapest ever auction

New energy investment favours mini power plants after cheapest ever auction

The minority share of new investment is split between small-scale gas plants, battery units and investments that help companies to reduce their energy use on demand.

Among the few new projects that managed to bring their costs down below the auction price UK Power Reserve was the biggest winner. The energy developer secured contracts for the largest amount of new power capacity with small-scale power plants, totalling 200MW, or half a large-scale gas-fired power plant.

UKPR was founded only eight years ago but has used the Government’s auction to steadily build a portfolio that has now broken through the 1GW ceiling. It also has one of the largest battery power portfolios, at 120MW.

Tim Emrich, UKPR’s founder and chief executive, said: “This week’s auction represents a reshaping and re-engineering of the UK generation mix, delivering flexible, efficient, small-scale gas generation, energy storage and demand side response to support a renewable future. We are proud to be part of this amazing transformation.”

The auction also underlined the decline of coal-fired power in Britain’s energy mix. The coal capacity supported by the auction fell by half from previous rounds to around 2.5GW. All coal plants will need to shut by 2025 under Government plans.