Reserve Power

In order to safeguard energy supply in the UK, National Grid have support schemes that allow private sector investment into Reserve Power generation to safeguard energy supply.

The underlying technology is a number of gas powered generators ranging from an installed capacity of 5MWe (enough to secure power to around 5,000 homes) to 50MWe (enough for around 50,000 homes). The gas powered generators employ extensive sound screening. As gas is used to power them, the emissions are modest when compared to coal powered power stations. The local nature of their production leads to lower distribution losses than a remote centralised power station so typically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% vs. traditional forms of large scale generation.

While the grid moves to renewable forms of generation (dominated by solar and wind) these by their very nature are intermittent (no solar at night, still periods give no wind generation) the grid does require services to maintain supply. Nuclear dominates but is not without issues. Small scale gas generators offer a reserve power that is highly flexible and delivers in areas where it is needed.

While battery solutions also help the batteries need charging and can then only deliver for a finite number of hours (a typical installation will offer 2 hours storage). Once they have delivered their power they are then unable to fully respond again until a similar time to re charge (eg 2 hours export followed by 2 hours charge). Gas engines on the other hand deliver power as required and can run for many hours when required. When stopped they can restart virtually immediately.

A typical 20MW site would use ten 2MWe engines and require approximately 0.75 acre. The engines are mounted onto a concrete slab and surrounded by a security fence.


Reserve Power Plant


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EcoDev Group Ltd

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Ross on Wye
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