Mercia Showcase

Mercia Power, Ltd are a key provider of flexible power response services to the UK electrical grid, helping to balance the supply of renewable energy with demand. They specialise in developing and operating advanced power stations that provide energy to communities across the East Midlands, ensuring that communities can keep the lights on and kettle boiling when supply from renewables is low.

Mercia Power Glossop 3

As electricity cannot currently be stored in useful quantities, National Grid requires a range of ‘back-up’ balancing services such as Mercia’s because at certain times of the day, peak electricity demand cannot be met by ‘baseload’ generation sources. Mercia’s Gas Reciprocating Engine sites provide a backup energy supply for when energy demand is greater than forecasted demand or because other sources of electricity are unavailable.

Mercia typically build and operate 5-8MW generation plants connected to localised 11kV networks, which enables them to provide energy quickly and efficiently to households and businesses.

They currently operate 31 sites with a combined capacity of 243MW and have a number of sites under development and construction. They aim to grow their gas-fuelled power station capacity to about 300MW by 2025.

Hydrogen is essential to Mercia’s future operations – it is their only option to ensure they can fully decarbonise all of their operations. The gas reciprocating engines used by Mercia are a uniquely placed technology, as they can respond to grid needs within seconds and potentially be transitioned to low-carbon fuels, such as Hydrogen, in the future. Mercia are at early stages of scoping and looking at the feasibility of changing their assets over to run on hydrogen and plan to commence formal project trials early in 2024.

Mercia’s biggest challenge currently is confirmation that there will be a resilient hydrogen supply available to them. They need this certainty to make informed business investment decisions on converting their assets to run hydrogen. East Midlands Hydrogen is helping to ensure the future of Mercia’s business by establishing a clear, reliable and secure hydrogen supply in the Midlands for power generation.

The fuel-switch from natural gas to hydrogen will enable decarbonisation and will have long-term positive environmental, social and economic impacts by reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

“Hydrogen offers an exciting opportunity to transition our plant and be a contributing part of reaching Net Zero, while also maintaining vital energy security for the UK.  East Midlands Hydrogen will be the best way to ensure a dedicated supply we can rely on to pivot our business” – Graham White, CEO, Mercia Power Response

“The role of Hydrogen in the coming decades will support renewable technology growth and energy security so needed in the future for both the UK and globally.  It is imperative now that we plan the right infrastructure and supply chain for key use cases.  East Midlands Hydrogen is critical for our sites to be able to access hydrogen” – Dr. Courtney Depala, Research and Development Director, Mercia Power Response.