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Britain's first CCS project goes live at Ferrybridge

Britain's first CCS project goes live at Ferrybridge

The largest UK Carbon Capture Storage project has opend at SSE's Ferrybridge Power Station in West Yorkshire.

The project is the first of it's size to be integrated into a live power plant in the UK. It aims to capture 100 tones of carbon dioxide per day from the equivalent 5 megawatts of coal fired generating capacity. This project aims to bridge the gap between various pilot schemes that are underway, and a full commercial size development that is envisaged by government.

The scheme will be monitored by both the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. Concerns about the safety of CCS technology have been raised around the world - see article 27.09.11 'German Upper House rejects Carbon Capture Law.'

This launch follows quickly after the announcement in October of the cancellation of the  £1 billion state funded Longannet CCS project. Longannet is the third largest coal fired power station in Europe, opened in 1973, situated on the north bank of the Firth of Forth.

The Ferrybridge Powerstation refers to three coal fired powerstations on the River Aire near the junction between the M62 and the A1. The first power station was built in the mid 1920s, and the second brought online in the 1950s. These have both been demolished, the new power station was opened in the 1960s with a capacity of 2000 megawats. It is operated by Scotish and Southern Energy plc. It is capable of co firing biomass and is currently being fitted with a Flue Gas Desulpherisation [FGD] plant.

Carbon Capture Storage is seen by many as the one 'big idea' that can present a real alternative to nuclear power to generate low carbon electricty over the next twenty years. Despite a great deal of research and international work in devising regulation for this new science, skeptics believe that the inherent health and safety risks and sheer magnitude of the infrastructure required to transport waste carbon thousands of miles to be safely sequestered will outweigh many of the claimed benefits of such projects. Opponents believe that scarce government resources should be directed developing energy storage capacity to ensure that wind and solar power can be stored and deployed in an economic fashion, rather than attempting to clean up old fossil fuel power stations using CCS.

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