Image: Urban Reserve/Statkraft

Statkraft has concluded a 15-year flexibility contract with UK distributed energy company AMP Clean Energy to trade its Urban Reserve natural gas peaking plant portfolio.

Under the agreement Statkraft will optimise the plants totalling up to 175MW capacity into the day ahead and intraday wholesale markets and the balancing market, while also providing AMP Clean Energy with a minimum income guarantee to support financing.

The first plant to go live is Urban Reserve’s 2.5MW Collins Power site in Romney Warren, Kent, which also benefits from being part of a UK Power Networks flexibility contract. The plan is for the first 80MW of the portfolio to be commissioned over the next eight months.

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“The Urban Reserve plants provide us with a unique optimization opportunity, as smaller scale and distributed transitional technologies like natural gas engines provide the reliability and flexibility required to keep the lights on when there’s not enough wind or sun,” Brian Lonn, Head of UK Flexibility at Statkraft, said in a statement.

The Urban Reserve plants are typically 2-4MW projects situated in urban and commercial areas across Britain.

The agreement marks the next phase in the growth of the Urban Reserve portfolio, which has gained planning for 29 flexible electricity facilities over the last 18 months. Nineteen projects representing 80MW are in the delivery phase, with a further 45MW planned to become operational during the course of 2021.

“Statkraft’s ability to optimise assets alongside its renewable portfolio means it has a strong overview of the intermittency of the renewables market. As a result, it can make the most of assets like Urban Reserve, which are specifically designed to provide back-up power when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine,” said Mark Tarry, Managing Director at Urban Reserve.

The Urban Reserve portfolio joins the approximately 500MW of third-party distributed flexible generation and battery storage capacity which Statkraft already optimises alongside its nearly 4,000MW predominantly third-party renewable generation portfolio in the UK.

Statkraft’s Unity trading platform integrates intermittent renewable generation and flexible assets and trades into all available short-term energy markets.