New 20 MW Flexible Generation Plant Online

Natural Gas Fuelled Generator

Ylem Energy Ltd – one of the UK’s leading flexible energy generation providers – has announced that its latest natural-gas-fuelled flexible generation system has commenced operation.

Completed during the challenging conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ylem Energy quickly introduced enhanced health and safety procedures in order to keep its team safe whilst enabling this vital system to come online and contribute towards bolstering the UK’s security of supply.

Elevator Road Engine

Located at the Trafford industrial area on the outskirts of Manchester city centre, the facility comprises of eight 2.5MWe natural-gas-fuelled generators that can produce up to 20MWe of fast-responding flexible power to help balance the national grid – particularly when the UK’s renewable energy output is low.

This type of flexible generation plant – also known as a peaking – is primarily required due to the majority of renewable technologies having a fluctuating output that is often dependent on the availability of wind and solar energy. Owned and operated by Ylem Energy, the system can be quickly called upon by the grid to help top up the generation capacity at times of system stress. This allows for the continued expansion of renewable generation, whilst maintaining the UK’s security of supply through participating in the UK Capacity Market.

Ian Gadsby, managing director of Ylem Energy, commented: “We recognise the important role that this type of generation and other forms of flexible power – such as large-scale battery energy storage systems – need to play in securing the UK’s energy future and meet its target of net-zero carbon emissions.”

“You only need to look back to the regional blackout experience in the summer of 2019 to see what happens when generation capacity trips and large amounts of the grid supplies are disrupted. This type of system will collectively help the national grid guard against future disruption and protect the security of supply to consumers.

“We’re fully committed to growing our own portfolio of generation assets and have embarked on an ambitious programme of constructing self-financed flexible generation and storage assets that are proactively participating in the balancing market.”

This latest project follows Ylem Energy’s pioneering battery storage system that has been installed at a landfill site on the outskirts of York that, for the first time in the UK, is enabling electricity produced by landfill gas to help balance the national electricity grid during times of high demand. The company is also developing a series of other flexible generation plants, with some 150 MW of capacity in various stages of planning and development.

The company is also working with a growing number of industrial and commercial clients to help them optimise their own energy systems in order to boost resilience and reduce costs by lowering their reliance on grid-supplied electricity.