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SSE Thermal and Equinor submit two joint carbon capture projects into landmark government competition

25 Jan 2022

SSE Thermal and Equinor have underlined their commitment to net zero by formally submitting two low-carbon projects into the Government’s Cluster Sequencing Process.

Together with Equinor, SSE Thermal, part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, is planning to develop two new power stations equipped with carbon capture technology to remove CO2 from their emissions – one at Keadby in the Humber region and one at Peterhead in the north-east of Scotland.

Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station would plug into the shared pipelines being developed through the Zero Carbon Humber and East Coast Cluster partnerships, with the CO2 stored under the Southern North Sea.

Meanwhile, Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, on the Aberdeenshire Coast, would decarbonise Scotland’s only major thermal generation site with the captured emissions transported and stored using pipelines being developed by the Acorn Project.

In total, the two low-carbon power stations at Keadby and Peterhead would capture up to three million tonnes of CO2 a year – 10 per cent of the UK Government’s 2030 target. They form part of SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme and the submission represents significant progress on delivering SSE’s strategy.

"SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme will see us invest £12.5bn over the next five years with a focus on low-carbon infrastructure, and whilst renewable generation is at the heart of that strategy, we know we will need flexible low-carbon power to ensure security of supply when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine."

Martin Pibworth, SSE’s Group Energy and Commercial Director

Martin continued: "That is why carbon capture projects, like the ones we are developing at Keadby and Peterhead, are so important. The UK Government clearly recognises the pivotal role carbon capture will play in helping to achieve net zero targets, with the Cluster Sequencing Process essential to getting projects up and running as soon as possible."

Grete Tveit, Senior Vice President for Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor, said:

“Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station and Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station will play important roles in providing flexible dispatchable power working alongside intermittent renewables, giving enhanced low-carbon energy security. These projects will make a significant contribution towards the UK’s climate change ambitions, with Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station further accelerating the Zero Carbon Humber vision to become the UK's first net zero carbon cluster by 2040.”

As part of its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the UK Government established a commitment to deploy carbon capture technology in two industrial clusters by the mid-2020s and two further clusters by 2030.

In Phase 1 of the Cluster Sequencing Process, the UK Government announced the two ‘Track 1’ clusters which will be supported to develop vital carbon capture and storage infrastructure. The East Coast Cluster was named in ‘Track 1’, with the Scottish Cluster named as a reserve cluster.

As part of Phase 2 of the process, the Government will consider individual emitter projects within the clusters. Projects selected in Phase 2 of the Cluster Sequencing Process will have the first opportunity to be considered to receive necessary support. A decision is expected around May 2022.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are also working in collaboration on two further projects in the Humber. Keadby Hydrogen would be the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power station while Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, located in East Yorkshire, would be one of the world's largest hydrogen storage facilities.