Industrial Visit to Peterhead Power Station
Mining Institute of Scotland members along with colleagues from the Highlands and Islands Branch of the Institute of Energy made up a party of 13 people for a visit to the Peterhead power station. Now under the control of Southern and Scottish Energy PLC, this is a modern and efficient plant capable of supplying up to 40 percent of Scottish electricity demand. Two 650 MW steam turbine generators were commissioned in the early 1980s and were designed to run off oil or gas. Although oil-firing has been used at various times, current economics favour the exclusive use of gas. In the early 1990s the capacity of the site was extended by adding a new, independently operated, 230 MW gas turbine units using the entire gas output of the Miller Field. Town water, after treatment, is used as boiler feed but the cooling circuit utilises sea water.
In 2000 the station completed a major repowering project to increase the efficiency and capacity of the station. Three gas turbines were installed to provide steam to one of the original steam turbines. These changes allowed for 1150MW of output to be delivered at 57% thermal efficiency compared with 37% for the original configuration. The installed capacity of Peterhead is now around 2500 MW making it the largest power station in Scotland. However, current limitations in the transmission system restricts output to a maximum of 1550MW
At the end of the visit Aberdeen-based members from both Institutes held an informal joint dinner to round off a very enjoyable and informative day. The three hardy souls that had travelled up from south of the central belt were there in spirit but in the course of their homeward journey actually made use of an excellent pub near Perth. Following the success of this joint meeting, it is proposed to organise something similar next year.