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02 Oct 2019
Peter Ryde
65 kVA to 10+ MVA Generators

A new form of cleaner and cheaper temporary power, utilising the latest gas microturbine technology from California, is being showcased by SSE Enterprise and Pure World Energy at the UK Construction Week event in Birmingham.

The UK's largest built environment gathering runs from Oct 8-10th at the NEC in Birmingham and SSE Enterprise and Pure World Energy will be explaining the benefits of the technology for the construction sector in seminars at the event.

The ‘Semi-Permanent Power’ solution will help those in the construction sector cut costs and emissions – thanks to its modular gas microturbine technology capable of providing onsite temporary or medium-term power that is ultra-low in NOx (Nitrogen oxides) and Sox (Sulphur oxides) emissions – especially compared with diesel generation.

The technology comes from US company Capstone, which is a leading manufacturer of clean microturbine systems and has deployed over 9,000 such units globally. Capstone’s microturbines have been developed to pass strict California emissions levels, and can operating on a wide range of fuel including hydrogen.

Microturbines are already providing power in varied locations such as remote oil fields and mines. They are ideally placed to help the UK meet the critical challenge of satisfying interim power requirements without the need for employing diesel generators.

Likewise, these intermediate power solutions will also help in cities where the Grid is ‘constrained’ - i.e. where the electricity transmission system is unable to transmit power to the location of demand due to congestion at one or more parts of the transmission network – and hence be of particular interest to those in the construction sector.  

Neil Kirkby, Managing Director of SSE Enterprise, said the units would offer “total flexibility” to the user, in terms of modular load matching and financial proposition for power requirements from 65 kVA to 10+ MVA.

He said: “We believe that the ability of our product to reduce emissions from generation is potentially game-changing. Until now construction companies, developers and manufacturers have had to rely on diesel generation to meet their onsite needs. New tough emissions targets make this hard for developers, who still need to meet demand for their temporary generation.

“Demand for new city infrastructure has never been greater. But constrained power networks are now effectively becoming a barrier to development, not least because it can take two years for a Grid connection to be delivered. This means potentially large energy users can’t access readily the energy they require to meet demand.

“We’re looking to solve both these issues by providing a cleaner source of electricity from temporary generation tailored to meet the demands of the customer and the regulator. This is a new application of containerised microturbine gas technology in the UK that is already proven across the globe.”

Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO of Pure World Energy (PWE), added: “PWE is delighted to partner with SSE to showcase our Semi-Permanent Power solution. Our Capstone microturbine technology offers a clean, efficient and effective model for medium-term electricity supply. We are offering a model that will give customers cost certainty and greater reliability.

“Given the amount of focus we are seeing in the UK and Ireland on reducing pollution in our cities we think this is a very timely market intervention. We hope that many businesses will be able to benefit from these units – especially when they face constrained grid issues.”

The new service will also transform how customers pay for their temporary generation. Traditionally, customers pay for the cost hire of the plant, fuel and other services but now they will simply pay for the energy they consume at an agreed price for a set period. The units can run off other types of fuels and will run effectively off a mains gas line or tanked source.  

Four Key Benefits of the new microturbines are:

  1. Cleaner – Emissions are equal to 90% lower NOx than diesel as well as having lower noise levels and smaller footprint   
  2. Cheaper – It’s up to 20% cheaper than the equivalent cost of diesel generation 
  3. Simpler - Customers only pay for the energy they consume, and no back-up generation is required 
  4. More flexible - The modular configuration of the microturbines means they can be scaled up or down to match demand, making the technology suitable for multiple industries
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