SSE Thermal and Equinor have today (11th May) unveiled plans to develop one of the UK’s first power stations equipped with carbon capture technology.

To be located in Peterhead, the facility will be a 900MW gas-fired power station fitted with carbon capture technology to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from its emissions. 

It is believed that, once operational, the station could capture up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 each year, meaning the station alone would achieve 15% of the UK Government’s target to capture ten million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030.

Situated on Scotland’s east coast, the Peterhead site in Aberdeenshire is thought to be an ideally placed location for carbon capture technology, with access to essential CO2 transport and storage infrastructure being developed through the Acorn Project.

Read more: Acorn CCS project progresses

Read more: Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy equal partners of leading CCS and hydrogen project 

Sharing details of the project, SSE Thermal and Equinor said they believe the development will stimulate the development of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure across Scotland, into which other energy and industrial emitters can then connect to capture and store emissions also.

If the above goes to plan, it will accelerate Scotland’s transition to a net zero economy, whilst safeguarding vital Scottish industries and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities.

“Carbon capture storage technology is one of the most exciting and innovative ways that we’re looking to tackle climate change, and today’s announcement marks a significant step towards a greener, more sustainable future for Scotland and the whole UK,” said Annie-Marie Trevelyan, Energy Minister and the UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for COP26.

“Once up and running, CO2 emissions saved through this station alone will be the equivalent of taking 60 million cars off the road every year. Developing and applying this technology in Scotland will be. Key element in the energy transition whilst creating a skills base and jobs on the ground that will ensure and grow for decades to come.”

“We’re delighted to announce this agreement with Equinor today to work together decarbonise our power generation at Peterhead. Through cutting-edge carbon capture technology, we can decarbonise this vital flexible power generation, as well as heavy industry and other hard-to-reach-sectors of the economy, which will be crucial in Scotland transition to a net zero future,” said Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Thermal.

“Ahead of the critical COP26 conference in Glasgow this year, there is a clear opportunity to demonstrate leadership on CCS, maximising the benefits of a green recovery in industrial regions and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities.” 

Grete Tveit, Senior Vice-President for Low Carbon Solutions and Equinor, concluded, “We are pleased to ne joining SSE Thermal in the development of this world-leading plant at Peterhead. It is another important step in the energy partnership between Equinor and SSE.”

“This power station is a milestone for Scotland’s ambitions to create a decarbonise industrial cluster. Projects such as these are critical for efforts to reach net zero, contributing to the UK’s goals to become a world leader in low carbon, and also helping ensure a just transition for industrial communities.”