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As the UK’s net zero goals hurtle ever closer, the pressure is on to find new and innovative ways to become more sustainable. Aside from implementing legislation for businesses across the country, the UK is starting to take action on a larger scale. One key element of this is the country’s first ever net zero power plant.

Sembcorp Energy UK (SEUK) and a US firm 8 Rivers Capital have announced that they will be working together to develop the UK’s first net zero power plant. The plant will be located in Teesside at the industrial Wilton International site. Named the ‘Whitetail Clean Energy Project’, the natural gas power plant will capture and store its carbon emissions below the North Sea.

The companies are aiming to commission the net zero power station by 2025. Earlier this year the government announced a new emissions target, slashing emissions by 78% by 2035. This project could prove essential in reaching these goals.

So, what does this mean for the UK’s net zero targets?

How does it work?

Being located in Teesside offers the plant convenient port and pipeline access. This means that captured carbon dioxide can be easily transported to UK sequestration sites. The aim is also to advance 300 Megawatt facilities across the UK, where power will be stored and available whenever it is needed.

The process combusts natural gas with oxygen. It also uses supercritical CO₂ to drive a turbine, instead of steam. This means all air emissions are eliminated, allowing pipeline quality CO₂ to be produced, captured and stored in the hubs in the North Sea. Over 800,000 tons of CO₂ will be captured per year for storage.

How will it impact UK sustainability?

Not only will Whitetail fast track the UK towards their net zero goal, but it will also heavily impact the job sector. It is expected to support over 2000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs. This includes supply chain opportunities and the retraining of power generation engineers. Meaning many local workers will be offered the opportunity to gain employment and enhance their skills by working on such a large-scale project.

Earlier this year the UK government announced a ten-point plan for mass decarbonisation and achieving net zero emissions. Whitetail will significantly fast track this scheme as we hone in on the country’s promised targets.

Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan says that Whitetail is a ‘real game-changer’ for the energy industry. She also supports claims that it will ‘revitalise this key industrial heartland’. The project further solidifies the UK’s status as a leader in climate change and exhibits our dedication to scaling up research and environmental development.

Where does Monarch come in?

Reaching your sustainability targets is now vital. Not only will using green energy help your business avoid government fines, but it can also ensure your business is not unnecessarily harming the environment.

At Monarch, we prioritise energy efficiency and environmental health. Cutting out energy waste ensures businesses get both of these attributes. Our expert team is on hand to analyse your energy habits so that we can procure the best contract for you. Specifically tailored to your needs.

Get in touch today to hear more about how we can help you reach your own sustainability goals.

Sophie Wyatt

Author Sophie Wyatt

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