Fiddler’s Ferry gets stay of execution

Three units at SSE’s Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired station will remain operable for another year and could be retained until 2017/18, SSE has announced.

The stay of execution has come after one of the three remaining units won a one-year contract with National Grid to supply ancillary services. The contract starts on 1 April.

As a result SSE has decided not to close it and two other units imminently. Instead, it hopes to win support for them in the forthcoming Capacity Market auction to supply capacity in the winter of 2017/18. The Department of Energy and Climate change recently closed a consultation on running a Capacity Market auction for that winter.

SSE said, in view of the UK government’s current consultation on reforms to the Capacity Market, it had decided to:

  • Retain Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) for the station of 1,455MW, equivalent to the capacity of three units, for 2016/17; and
  • enter all or part of Fiddler’s Ferry capacity into any 2017/18 Capacity Market auction.

Unit 4 is closed but has a contract with National Grid to provide Supplementary Balancing Reserve if called on in the winter of 2016/17.