The UK’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions are getting more ambitious thanks to Equinor and SSE Thermal. In order to shift to using hydrogen in the Saltend Power Station, the firms are beginning the process of purchasing power provider Triton Power from energy transition infrastructure investor Energy Capital Partners (ECP).
The Saltend Power Station, with an installed capacity of 1.2 GW, is the main facility bought with Triton Power. This is a typical natural gas-powered combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT). This power plant’s primary function now is to supply electricity at times when solar and wind energy production is minimal. With a goal of eventually operating at 100 percent hydrogen, Equinor and SSE Thermal are currently beginning work on equipping the power plant to utilize up to 30 percent hydrogen starting in 2027.
The hydrogen may originate from Equinor’s H2H Saltend hydrogen project, which would convert natural gas into hydrogen through carbon capture and storage while retaining more than 95% of its CO2 concentration. The hydrogen project’s anchor customer would then be Saltend Power Station. By making the acquisition, Equinor and SSE Thermal might start the process of decarbonizing flexible electricity generation while also helping to stimulate the creation of low carbon hydrogen for industrial use.
“This purchase, together with SSE Thermal, shows our dedication to forging a deep energy collaboration with the UK. By providing a transition to hydrogen through our hydrogen project H2H Saltend, we will continue to aim to provide the UK market with dependable energy and to reduce emissions. In order to ensure energy security through the energy transition, flexible power supplies with low CO2 emissions must be supported by renewable energy sources that are dependent on the weather “Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president for marketing, midstream, and processing at Equinor, makes this statement.
“As renewable energy sources scale up further in the next years, flexible energy will become increasingly vital, offering crucial backup and enhancing supply security. The true benefit, however, will come from how we help reduce carbon emissions in the long run. This is why we are so enthusiastic about the potential for hydrogen and carbon capture in Saltend. Together with Equinor, we’ll look into every possible way to decarbonize Saltend and open up fresh possibilities for other companies so they may function in an era of net-zero emissions, “explains SSE Thermal CEO Catherine Raw.
With yearly emissions of almost 12 million tonnes of CO2, more than 50% higher than the second-largest region, the Humber is the UK’s most industrialized region. In order for these businesses to continue operating as society moves toward net-zero emissions, decarbonization is crucial. The H2H Saltend hydrogen project will enable companies in switching from coal to hydrogen in addition to providing flexible electricity to support fluctuating generation from renewable sources. This includes the Saltend Chemicals Park’s industries, which are already supplied with steam and power by the Saltend Power Station.
“With the help of this agreement, Triton Power assets will be able to continue offering vital grid services and flexible power generation while advancing the decarbonization effort. According to Mick Farr, Chief Executive of Triton Power, “I have been particularly impressed by the vision and commitment shown by SSE Thermal and Equinor in our discussions and believe they have the capabilities and knowledge required to allow our pipeline of clean energy projects to proceed at pace.
ECP is pleased with the advancements we and the Triton team have made in repositioning the portfolio for a world that is quickly decarbonizing throughout the length of our ownership. We believe the company will continue to serve as a model for environmentally responsible power generation during the ongoing energy transition with the completion of the conversion of Deeside into a carbon-neutral provider of inertia, the H2H Saltend project underway, and this transition to experienced and similarly aligned new owners in SSE Thermal and Equinor, says Rahman D’Argenio, Partner at ECP.
Triton Power will be purchased by Equinor and SSE Thermal for a total of £341 million. Equinor and SSE Thermal will jointly own Triton Power after the deal is done, in a 50:50 split. Subject to UK National Security Filing and EU Merger Control clearance, the transaction is anticipated to complete in September.
The acquisition of Triton Power broadens the range of low-carbon options available to Equinor and SSE Thermal in the UK. In Scotland’s Keadby and Peterhead, there are existing proposals for hydrogen power plants, hydrogen storage, and CCGTs with carbon capture and storage.