| LONDON, Sept 21
LONDON, Sept 21 Britain's first new large gas
plant in three years began electricity generation this week, the
owner of the Carrington plant near Manchester said.
The plant, with a capacity of 880 megawatts, can generate
enough electricity to power around 1 million homes.
"Carrington Power Station is the first large-scale gas-fired
power plant to come online in Great Britain since 2013," Irish
utility ESB, the plant's owner, said in an emailed statement,
adding that first commercial operations began on Monday.
"As well as providing 880MW of reliable baseload
electricity, Carrington Power Station will be one of the most
flexible plants providing fast back-up to intermittent wind and
solar generation when it is needed most," ESB said.
The plant has already secured a contract for the winter of
2019/20 under the government's new capacity market scheme, which
pays owners of power plants to provide back-up electricity at
The scheme will kick in when supply is too low to meet
demand, for instance when renewable energy sources fail to
produce enough power or when thermal power plants close or have
Britain, which last week gave the go-ahead for EDF to build
its 18 billion pound ($23.32 billion) Hinkley C nuclear project,
needs several new power plants to be built over the next decade
to replace its ageing power fleet.
All but one of Britain's existing nuclear plants, which
produce around a fifth of the country's electricity, are set to
close by 2030 as the plants come to the end of their operational
Coal-fired power plants provided around a quarter of the
country's electricity last year, but the government plans to
close these by 2025 as a part of its efforts to meet climate
($1 = 0.7718 pounds)
(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Adrian Croft)