Centrica buys old gas plant to turn it into green energy site

Centrica Plc, the UK’s biggest household energy supplier, plans to turn an idled gas-fired power station into a renewables hub in a push to move away from fossil fuels.

The company has acquired the former Knapton plant in northern England, where generation ended in 2019, to develop a 28-megawatt battery on the site, it said Tuesday. It’s also studying potential hydrogen and solar energy production in the surrounding area as part of the “multimillion-pound deal,” it said.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas and long-associated with the fossil fuel, is rushing to catch up with Europe’s top utilities in expanding its renewables business as the energy transition accelerates. It’s targeting a 900-megawatt portfolio of solar and battery assets by 2026.

The planned battery at Knapton will be able to power around 14,000 homes for two hours, the company said in a statement. The former owner of the plant, Third Energy, will retain the 12 well sites that used to produce gas, and the associated pipeline network.

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