Tilbury Energy Centre

Tilbury Energy centre

Tilbury Energy Centre

RWE Generation is proposing to submit plans to develop Tilbury Energy Centre at the former Tilbury B Power Station site.  The development would  include the potential for a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station with capacity of up to 2,500 Megawatts, 100 MW of energy storage facility and 300MW of open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGT). The exact size and range of these technologies will be defined as the project progresses, based on an assessment of environmental impacts, as well as market and commercial factors.

The development consent application will also include a 3km  gas pipeline that will connect the proposed plant to the transmission network which runs to the east of the Tilbury power station.  The proposed CCGT power station would be located on the coal stock yard at the site of the former power station, but would be physically much smaller than its predecessor (a coal/biomass plant).

Why now

RWE Generation has a strong position in the UK energy market with an overall installed capacity of 8.54GW. It operates and owns gas power plants some coal and a small amount of biomass plants.  RWE Generation UK currently owns and operates one of the most modern and efficient gas fleets in Europe.

The current UK total electricity consumption is around 340TWh, with a peak demand on the high voltage transmission system of around 53GW. It is predicted that even with energy efficiency measures in place, over the next 10 years total electricity consumption will be similar to 2016 levels.

Over the next 10 years it is likely that more power stations will close due to the age of plant or economics of operations. The UK government has also launched a consultation on the future of coal with clear signs that there will be a phase out of coal fired generation by 2025.

Around 25 GW of gas plants will close or need to be upgraded or come to the end of their life by 2030.

This future energy vision will not come cheap and it is estimated that more than£200 billion of investment is needed in UK generation and infrastructure in next 15-20 years.

Where will future energy come from?

It is expected that renewable generation will continue to grow, almost doubling capacity over next 20 years. However it is important that the UK has a flexible, secure, affordable energy generation system to support the renewable fleet. An essential part of this will be efficient Combined Cycle Gas Turbine plants(CCGT) and flexible Open Cycle Gas Turbine projects.

The UK is connected to continental Europe through interconnectors and all indications are that this will be increased in coming years.

Nuclear capacity is likely to remain constant over next 20 years as either new replaces old or the old plant is life extended.

An important development is energy storage and batteries which looks likely to grow rapidly. This, coupled with a growing new generation of small scale capacity, makes for innovations in grid systems and markets.

Up to 20GW of new CCGTs may be required to provide capacity, however the uncertainty in load factor requirements will require both peaking and CCGT plant.

Next steps – planning process

The proposed Tilbury Energy Centre (TEC) is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) as defined by Section 14(1)(a) and 15(2) of The Planning Act 2008 (as amended) as it is ‘a generating station exceeding 50 MW’. Applicants seeking to construct an NSIP are required under the Planning Act 2008 to obtain a Development Consent Order (DCO). It is RWE Generation’s intention to submit a development consent application for the TEC to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) under Part 5 of the Planning Act 2008.

The proposed TEC is also a ‘Schedule 1’ development under the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/572) as it constitutes “Thermal power stations and other combustion installations with a heat output of  300 megawatts or more”. In light of this, an EIA is required for the TEC and an ES must be prepared in accordance with these Regulations to accompany the DCO application.

A significant amount of environmental survey and modelling work has previously been completed for the site and its immediate area. These data sets will be used, where appropriate, during the development process for the energy centre. Data sets will be extended to accommodate a full assessment of the gas pipeline. Environmental surveys will take place during 2017 and early 2018.

Detailed consultation will be undertaken on the proposals before a formal application for consent is submitted to PINS. It is currently anticipated that the formal application will be made in late 2018.

RWE have just submitted a scoping report for Tilbury Energy Centre. This report is another milestone in the planning process and contains a description of the proposed development activity and any feasible and reasonable alternatives, a description of the environment that may be affected and how biological, social, economic and cultural aspects of the environment may be impacted by the proposed development. The report also covers the environmental issues and potential impacts, including any cumulative impacts that have been identified.

The scoping report contains a roadmap for the Environmental Impact Assessment, specifying the methodology to be used to assess the potential impacts, and the specialists or specialist reports that are required. Once this has been approved by the local authorities the Environmental Impact  study will be developed. You can view the report here.

How can we find out more information

RWE is committed to provide a meaningful consultation on the proposed development with the local community, businesses and interested parties. We will regularly provide updates on the project on this website including the following channels;

Twitter @RWE_UK

Planning Inspectorate website

T08450770150
E-mail to rwegenerationuk@rwe.com

Press release

Website

If you have any enquiries please contact us.