It’s hoped a new project will accelerate the decarbonisation of Shetland and help to secure the island’s energy supply.
Finnish manufacturing and services firm Wärtsilä will supply and install an advanced energy storage system at the Lerwick power plant, which is operated by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution.
The facility currently runs on diesel fuel and it’s claimed the adoption of the new technology will enable “significant reduction of the plant’s emissions”, as well as delivering a more “cost effective” supply.
The 8 megawatt (MW)/6 megawatt hours (MWh) advanced energy storage system will provide the island with grid balancing and essential back-up capabilities.
It will also enable existing wind turbines greater penetration onto the electricity grid, shoring up the supply of power.
The project is being delivered by Wärtsilä under a full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract and will be supported with a ten-year service agreement, including maintenance, as well as 24/7 remote support and management.
The system is expected to be delivered by mid-summer 2021 and become fully operational in September.
Bent Iversen, senior business development manager at Wärtsilä Energy, said: “The Shetland Islands are leading the way and providing a blueprint for other islands to follow. The learnings will enable us to plan the best net zero pathway for larger island nations – such as the whole of the UK.
“This project demonstrates that decarbonising energy systems can go hand-in-hand with increasing power system reliability and cutting costs. It will show how advanced flexible technologies can benefit communities all over the world as we strive to achieve 100% renewable energy.
“The UK is in a unique position on its journey towards net zero carbon emissions. The government has set bold ambitions and has clear intentions to lead the world towards a clean energy future. We are partnering with industry innovators to roll out advanced flexible energy infrastructure and make these ambitions a reality.”
Darren Hitchin, embedded generation manager at Lerwick Power Station, added: “As the electricity distribution network operator responsible for ensuring homes and businesses in Shetland receive a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity, we’re investing in Lerwick Power Station to support full duty operations of the station until Shetland is connected to the GB electricity system.
“A reliable supply of electricity is essential to the local community and the North Sea oil companies operating out of Shetland, which is 200 kilometres from the northern tip of Scotland. The Wärtsilä energy storage system will enhance the islands’ security of supply, while at the same time lowering our carbon footprint.”