A revolutionary new scheme to support the UK’s transition to renewable energy has been given the seal of approval from the Confederation of Business and Industry (CBI). In a visit to the Lister Drive Greener Grid Park in Liverpool, the CBI’s director general, Tony Danker, was shown the technology that will stabilise the local grid and ultimately, help the UK to meet its zero-carbon targets.
Located off Carnegie Road in Tuebrook, Lister Drive Greener Grid Park is being led by Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The scheme is one of several projects across the country helping to remove fossil fuels from the UK’s energy supply and maximising the amount of renewable energy that can be distributed through the grid.
Utilising technology from Warrington-based ABB, the site will mimic the spinning turbines of a traditional power station, providing the high inertia that grid operators rely on to maintain grid stability. As power from renewable sources like wind and solar is fed into the structure, a 67 megavolt amps reactive synchronous condenser, coupled with a 40-tonne flywheel, provide the inertia required to ensure the network frequency and voltage are held stable.
To ensure round-the-clock support, Statkraft has signed a 10-year services contract with ABB, where ABB’s UK field service team will provide the full range of operational and maintenance services.
Construction of the Lister Drive Greener Grid Park has been ongoing since 2021, with contractors NRS Group having carried out all the works to date. The site is expected to be operational in Autumn 2022.
Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI, said: “This project is of significant strategic importance to the decarbonisation of the country, acting as the fulcrum between the power created by renewables and the demands of homes and businesses. I’ve been left hugely impressed by both the scale of what I have seen at the Lister Drive site, and with the technological and engineering expertise that has been vital in its creation.”
Guy Nicholson, Head of Grid Integration UK at Statkraft, said: “Finding ways to stabilise the national grid without the use of fossil fuels is integral to the UK’s ability to achieve its zero carbon ambitions. Utilising ABB’s technology, our Greener Grid Park will help provide a solution to this problem – maximising the amount of renewable energy being generated in Great Britain and distributed throughout Liverpool.”
David Hughes, UK Managing Director for ABB, added: “We all feel a great sense of pride at what is being achieved at the Lister Drive Greener Grid Park. Our innovative technology, combined with the long-term vision of Statkraft, will play a crucial role in adding renewable generation as the UK transitions to a more sustainable future.”