SSE confirms hydro and pumped storage units secure contracts in T-4 capacity auction

1 March 2024

Sloy power station. Image courtesy of SSE Renewables

SSE has announced that a variety of renewable energy units, including hydroelectric, pumped storage, battery storage, and onshore wind facilities, have provisionally secured contracts totalling over 1.1GW for the delivery year 2027/28 in Great Britain's most recent T-4 capacity auction.

In total, 46 units comprising hydroelectric, pumped storage, battery storage, and onshore wind facilities situated across 35 sites in Scotland and England have finalized agreements for a combined de-rated electricity generation capacity of 1,148MW. These contracts form a segment of SSE's broader achievement of securing 5.7GW of de-rated capacity agreements across its Renewables and Thermal fleet, including Joint Venture interests.

In sum, SSE Renewables has successfully secured provisional one-year contracts for a total of 1,074MW of de-rated hydro-electricity generation and pumped storage capacity, spread across 29 hydro sites in the Scottish Highlands. Notable allocations include 36.5MW of capacity at the Sloy scheme, recognized as the largest conventional hydroelectric power station in the UK, as well as 30MW of capacity at the Tummel power station, where state-of-the-art hydro turbines are presently being installed as part of a comprehensive asset overhaul. Additionally, SSE has secured 283MW of pumped storage capacity at Foyers. Furthermore, an additional 11MW of one-year contract capacity has been successfully obtained across three onshore wind farms in Scotland: Artfield Fell (2MW), Drumderg (2MW), and Hadyard Hill (7MW). These contracts are slated for the duration of 12 months, effective from October 1, 2027, to September 30, 2028.

SSE Renewables has additionally finalized 15-year agreements for three battery storage sites currently under construction in Northern England. These sites, located at Monk Fryston (32MW), Ferrybridge (15MW), and Fiddler's Ferry (15MW), represent a strategic move as part of SSE's broader initiative encompassing a secured pipeline of 1.2GW utility-scale battery and solar projects spanning across the UK and Ireland. Notably, the transformation of the Ferrybridge and Fiddler's Ferry sites from former coal-fired power stations underscores the potential for repurposing historic energy locations in alignment with the goals of achieving a net-zero future.

“Through this auction process our hydro power assets are continuing to demonstrate their value to Great Britain’s energy market some 80 years after they first brought electricity to the Scottish Highlands. Additionally, contract wins for new battery storage projects which we’re currently building in Northern England are supporting our accelerated growth plans through the delivery of our secure 1.2GW pipeline of utility scale solar and battery projects,” said Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Renewables. “In securing over 1.1GW of capacity, our mix of renewable technologies will play important and complementary roles in delivering increasing amounts of renewable energy generation and flexibility to help meet the UK’s climate action goals."

The provisional results are subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).

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