peterborough power station backup power plants brigg centrica wartsila

Work has started at the first of two 50-megawatt (MW) backup power plants in Peterborough in the UK.


Centrica announced that construction of the new plant at the existing Peterborough gas-fired plant will play a key role in supporting local peaks in demand. The plant is expected to produce enough energy to meet the needs of around 50,000 homes.

A deal was signed in February 2017 by Centrica with Wartsila Corporation for the supply of two of its 50-MW Smart Power Generation plants.

Each plant is based on five Wartsila 34SG engines running on natural gas. The engines will typically be used on weekdays to meet periods of high demand or to provide backup power when it is needed. Wartsila said that the plants have a rapid start-up time of just two minutes to full load. Commissioning of the first plant at Peterborough is expected in late 2018. The other will be located at the Brigg power station.


“Preparation works at the Peterborough plant have been exciting for us,” said David Theakstone, generation manager at Peterborough power station. “We’re now ready for construction to get under way. This fast-response plant will help to meet local energy demand, while supporting the changing way electricity is generated.”

A team of up to 95 people will be on site during construction, which is expected to take around 15 months.


The deal for the two backup power plants came after Centrica secured 15-year agreements for more than 500 MW of new capacity in the UK’s government power auction in 2016. Centrica said the Peterborough and Brigg projects form part of a £180 million investment programme into “new flexible power facilities across the country.”

Centrica decided to back out of the wind energy sector in recent years. Since then, the company has been refocusing its operations on gas-fired power. In January, the company completed its exit from the wind energy sector with the sale of its stake in the Lincs offshore windfarm, located 8 kilometres off the east coast of England near Skegness. Their 50% stake was sold to the UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB).

Source: Industrial Info Resources – 18 July 2017