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Peterlee one of two locations for £7m energy security project

Oct 31, 2022 | Business

A fast-growing Teesside engineering and management services consultancy is driving forward two multi-million-pound projects that are helping to bolster Britain’s energy security.

Stockton-on-Tees-based Encora Energy is engaged with an investment team to successfully commission two gas-fired peaking plants in Sunderland and Peterlee. Often known as “peakers”, they are power plants that generally run only during periods of high demand for electricity, in order to balance the grid.

The two plants represent an investment of around £7 million across their 15-year lifespan. Over this period, the combined worth of the work for Encora will be an estimated £1m. Encora has been involved in these projects from their inception, helping the plant owners to identify suitable sites and overseeing the construction phase. Now Encora will help the owners to operate the plants as efficiently as possible to extract maximum value from them.

Both plants will help the North East – and Britain – to address key energy security concerns, which have been heightened since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The conflict has sent wholesale gas prices soaring and reduced supplies of gas from Russia into Europe.

Andrew Normand, Business Development Director at Encora Energy, said: “Britain is on a mission to create a green electricity system, but as we transition we need to deal with the variability of renewable energy. These efficient gas-fired peaking plants are there to provide additional energy to top up the system in periods of low wind and solar generation.

“These plants will provide a safety net during these periods, to be used when demand is high. They will help Britain to balance the grid as we move towards a green energy future.”

Encora provides project development, engineering, consultancy and operations management services to customers, helping them deal with the practicalities of developing, installing, operating and maintaining new energy systems such as renewable and battery storage systems, combined heat and power (CHP) plants, fuel cells, gas engines and gas turbines. The company also acts as UK and European agents for UptimeAI, providing cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the process industries.