Transmission charges “ludicrously punitive”, says chief executive of Scottish Renewables

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 24 March 2015 in News

Niall Stuart slams early closure of Longannet power station

The chief executive of Scottish Renewables has slammed the early closure of Longannet power station, blaming the “ludicrously punitive” system of transmission charges for the difficulties facing the plant.

Speaking at the body’s annual conference, Niall Stuart said: “Instead of having Longannet make a fair and reasonable contribution to the overhead of running our electricity network, we now have a situation that, because of a ludicrously punitive level of charges, the station will apparently shut early and National Grid will have to pay another power plant to fill the gap left behind.”

Longannet will close in the next year, after missing out on a voltage control contract from National Grid, worth £15m. The National Grid yesterday announced that Peterhead power station had won the contract instead.

Stuart added: “All generators understand that they have to make a fair and reasonable contribution to the overhead of the national grid, but the current system of transmission charges places a disproportionate burden on power plants in the north of Great Britain.

“It seems incredible that we are allowing these charges to undermine the economics of an existing power station at a time when we barely have enough capacity to meet the UK's electricity needs over coming winters."

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