Renewable energy producer Statkraft awarded the contract for the £20m grid project to Powersystems UK, with Knights Brown appointed as civils subcontractor. Aecom is owner’s engineer.
Work has now begun to prepare the ground prior to installation of the site compound and access routes, before the main civil engineering works get under way. The Keith Greener Grid Park, which is located near Scottish and Southern Electricity Network’s transmission substation at Keith, is due to reach operational stage in autumn 2021.
The project will include two large rotating stabilisers designed to provide stable flows of energy through the grid network, helping to increase the amount of renewable energy transmitted on the system and prevent power blackouts.
The rotating stabilisers are being manufactured in Rugby by GE Power Conversion, with steel casting and forging specialist Sheffield Forgemasters manufacturing the key component of the main rotator shaft and hub. The two machines at Keith are expected to be up and running in autumn 2021, with another project in Liverpool to follow. Statkraft also has three further projects in the consenting process across Wales, England and Scotland.
Knights Brown is responsible for the design and construction of the civil engineering works.
Andrew Eilbeck, divisional director for Knights Brown said: “As the first of its kind in the UK, this is an inspiring project for us to be involved with as part of PowerSystems UK and Statkraft’s supply chain. Statkraft is leading the way in this developing technology that will reduce the costs of generating more renewable electricity and assist in delivering National Grid ESO's target of operating a zero-carbon electricity system by 2025.”
Statkraft UK managing director David Flood said: “We are at the forefront of an emerging area for global energy systems. The UK are world-leaders in their approach to grid stability and we can showcase this expertise to other countries looking to do the same as their renewables capacity increases.”
There has been a strong response from local suppliers responding to a call made by Statkraft in conjunction with Moray Chamber of Commerce, with over 75 registrations of interest received in the first week.