Energy minister Charles Hendry gave the green light to the plant in Willington, South Derbyshire, which could now take up to three years to build.

The new combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station at Willington, if built, will be a compact industrial facility on land currently occupied by the former Willington A and B Power Stations which closed in 1995 and 1999 respectively.

The new station would comprise up to four CCGT generating units, each around 500MW in capacity and four open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) generating units with a combined capacity of 400MW.

The OCGT units would be used to provide additional capacity at times of peak demand and would typically operate 5%, or less, of the time.

The site is ideal to help deliver new generating capacity in the UK as it was previously developed and has existing connections to the national electricity grid and proximity to cooling water from the River Trent.

Charles Hendry, who visited the proposed site today (March 3) said: “Gas plants like Willington will continue to be a central part in the country’s energy mix as we make move towards a low carbon economy.

“There is also a major opportunity in the long-term for gas power stations like this to be fitted with abatement technology.

“This station will be built carbon capture ready, which means that eventually CO2 emissions from the plant could be captured and transported for storage offshore.”

Luke Walsh

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