The Anonymous Widower

Centrica Plan Green Energy Hub At Former Gas Power Plant

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item from Centrica.

These three paragraphs outline the project.

A former gas fired power plant in North Yorkshire is to be turned in to a green energy hub under ambitious plans by Centrica.

The energy company has acquired the four-acre former Knapton Generating Station from Third Energy and plans to develop a 28MW battery on the site.

In addition, Centrica is exploring how Knapton could be used for off-grid hydrogen production, as well as the possibility for solar energy in the surrounding area.

Over the last few months, I’ve written about other small projects from Centrica.

The company has also announced links with other companies.

Note, that the first concerns generators and the others concern hydrogen.

The Centrica news item about the Knapton generating station has this fourth paragraph.

The multi-million pound deal is part of Centrica Business Solutions strategic plan to create a 900MW portfolio of solar and battery assets by 2026.

It seems obvious to me that the Brigg, Knapton and Redditch projects fit this Centrica Business Solutions strategic plan, with sizes as follows.

  • Brigg – 49 MW
  • Knapton – 41.5 MW
  • Redditch – 20 MW

I would expect to see Centrica behind several more of these smaller energy projects.

For that reason I have tagged all articles dealing with these projects as Centrica Small Energy Projects.

These are my thoughts about the Knapton generating station.

Third Energy

Third energy’s web site defines Third Energy as an unusual fossil energy company.

  • The History page says that Knapton Generating Station was producing electricity using gas from the Vale of Pickering for over 25 years.
  • The Net Zero Rise page describes their involvement in the Net Zero RISE consortium with Durham, Leicester and Oxford Universities.
  • The Plug & Abandon and Geothermal pages are very much worth a read.

According to the Centrica news item, Third Energy will retain the ownership of the 12 well-sites and associated gas pipeline network.

I shall be watching this company and their developing relationship with Centrica.

The Net Zero RISE Consortium

The Net Zero RISE Consortium has a home page on the Newcastle University web site.

The page has this sub-heading.

Research Infrastructure for Subsurface Energy: an academic-industry partnership to deliver the UK’s first deep test sites.

This is said under a heading of Our Ambition.

This is the most cost-effective way of developing the UK’s first deep test site onshore.

Repurposing wells leverages previous capital investment. Using an onshore site with existing wells and geophysical data:

  • eliminates the major cost of drilling and engineering
  • reduces uncertainty by drawing on knowledge of the well and surrounding geological conditions
  • is safer and easier access than offshore locations

We propose developing three test sites: CO2 storage; H2 storage and geothermal.

This seems to be a very sensible research collaboration and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more companies and universities join.

The Battery

The Centrica news item says this about the battery.

The first project at the site near Malton will be a 56MWh battery which will utilise some of the 41.5MW export capability of the existing grid connection. It’s anticipated the battery would be able to power around 14,000 homes for two hours.

This paragraph would indicate that the battery is supplying just 2 kWh per hour.

A common figure on the Internet is that the average house uses 8 kWh per day, which is 0.33 kWh per hour.

I have a feeling that the figures need correcting somewhere.

Solar Power

The third paragraph of the Centrica news item mentions solar energy.

In addition, Centrica is exploring how Knapton could be used for off-grid hydrogen production, as well as the possibility for solar energy in the surrounding area.

This Google Map shows the site.

It appears to be several hundred metres to the nearest house.

I have read a very simple rule, that says a hectare, which is about the size of a full-size football pitch can accommodate a MW of panels. Obviously Centrica will have accurate calculations.

Off-Grid Hydrogen Production

The third paragraph of the Centrica news item mentions off-grid hydrogen production.

In addition, Centrica is exploring how Knapton could be used for off-grid hydrogen production, as well as the possibility for solar energy in the surrounding area.

Consider these points about the Knapton site.

  • It has been handling gas for at least twenty-five years.
  • It is connected to the electricity and gas grids.
  • It has connections to a dozen gas wells.
  • There would be space for a smaller electrolyser.
  • Hydrogen could be exported from the site, by blending into the natural gas grid.

If Third Energy and the Net Zero RISE Consortium develop Knapton as a site for their H2 Storage test well, Centrica and an off-grid hydrogen production facility would be ideal partners.

Centrica could even use the site to try out new ideas.

This appears to be one of those engineering projects, that has been thought through whilst drinking several pints of real ale in a welcoming hostelry nearby.

Geothermal Engineering

This site could be used for experiments with geothermal engineering, but there doesn’t seem many places nearby, that would need a good supply of hot water.


There’s more to this deal, than meets the eye.

April 7, 2023 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Centrica Plan Green Energy Hub At Former Gas Power Plant […]

    Pingback by Businesses Back Hydrogen Trials To Accelerate Net Zero Ambitions « The Anonymous Widower | April 19, 2023 | Reply

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