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CHAMBER NEWS


Power station has the potential to become green energy hub


production, believes the man at the helm of redeveloping the site – but he warns there is no “silver bullet answer” for its future use. Dave Johnson, plant manager


T


and site redevelopment manager at the Uniper-owned site, said the German energy giant was exploring a number of options and was open to collaborating with businesses, universities and other organisations. As a green energy hub, he


admitted it wouldn’t be able to replicate the peak energy density of 2,000MW produced as a coal- fired generator, believing it would perform better if the development was split up into different uses. Speaking at last month’s East Midlands Energy Summit, run by the Chamber, he said there was an opportunity to look at hydrogen – although coastal locations would be preferred due to their proximity to offshore wind, as well as carbon capture and storage facilities – while Uniper had also received “fascinating proposals” from universities in the region to explore a decarbonisation R&D centre. Dave added: “In terms of


collaboration, we’ve even looked at


he Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station could have the potential to become a “gigafactory” for electric vehicle battery


gigafactories with representatives for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Department for International Trade and D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. “This is clearly speculative, but


the site definitely has that potential and, on a national level, it ranks highly in the league table of attractive locations that are ‘ready to go’. “When we first started, we


wouldn’t have expected this could be one of the leading inland sites for gigafactories – but it certainly has the capacity. “With direct grid connections of


2,000MW-plus, and with water, steam, heat, power and the local connectivity right on the Midland Main Line, this is a very attractive proposition.”


‘ICONIC’ SITE WON’T BECOME BLIGHT ON LANDSCAPE The Ratcliffe site, commissioned in 1968 after a five-year construction project, currently employs 1,000 people. It is due to close by 2025 in line with the Government’s environmental policy to phase out coal from the energy mix. It has since been earmarked as a


key strategic site by the newly- founded East Midlands Development Corporation, which wants to transform it into a zero-


40 business network December 2020/January 2021 HOW WE CAN PLAY OUR PART


The Midlands can play a key role in the UK’s so-called “green industrial revolution,” according to the Government’s Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth. Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) pledged


to back the region’s automotive sector in the transition to electric vehicles. His speech at the East Midlands


Energy Summit on 19 November came less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a 10-point plan to unleash a “green industrial revolution” – headlined by bringing forward a ban on new petrol and diesel car sales to 2030. Mr Kwarteng said: “We’ll support regions such as the Midlands by


backing our world-leading automotive sector to transition to electric vehicles. “This includes nearly £500m to be spent on the development on the


mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries and other strategic technologies we’re engaged in. “This means we’ll be able to provide up to £1bn and attract more


private capital and international investment into our strong manufacturing bases, including in the North East and particularly the Midlands.”


carbon energy hub that will open up new commercial markets and help the UK hit its climate change targets. Uniper, a 78bn euros (£69bn)


turnover company with 34GW global capacity, is working with the region’s stakeholders to establish its best future use, with 273


hectares of land available for redevelopment. Dave said: “We don’t want this to


become a long-term blight as we’ve seen with many other stations over the past 25 years. “We want to bring forward jobs


and industry, and do that in a vibrant way, before the station closes.”


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