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Record low clearing price in UK's 2019/20 capacity auction

London — A total of 3,626 MW of capacity market units were awarded agreements in the UK's 2019-2020 Capacity Market auction at a clearing price of GBP0.77 per kW per year (Eur0.86/kW/year), National Grid said Wednesday evening.

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Some 129 units were offered agreements, owned by 58 parent companies. The auction cleared in the last of 15 rounds at the lowest price yet seen in four year-ahead auctions stretching back to 2016/17.

Existing generating units made up 48.5% (1,759 MW) of the total awarded an agreement, new-build 17.64% (640 MW).

The remainder came from existing interconnection (345 MW), new interconnection (680 MW -- first sight of the Nemo link to Belgium) and proven/unproven demand-side response (203 MW).

The largest new-build units offered agreements include:

--Centrica's new combined cycle plant at Kings Lynn (329.5 MW) and its new gas unit at Peterborough (45.7 MW)

--two Viridor waste-to-energy plants at Beddington and Dunbar (23 MW and 29 MW)

--some 13 embedded gas-fired reciprocating engine units developed by Mercia Power Response (97 MW in all)

--five gas units totaling 28.54 MW developed by TGC Emerald (Gas Power Developments)

--two gas units also totaling 28.54 MW developed by Walker & Son (Hauliers)

--FCC (E+M) Holdings' waste-to-energy plant at Millerhill, Edinburgh (13 MW)

Notable bidders failing to secure agreements included:

--SSE's Peterhead gas unit (1,051 MW)

--EDF Energy's West Burton A coal plant (4 x 433 MW)

--ESBI's Corby gas plant (362 MW)

--Intergen's new Spalding gas unit (285 MW)

Battery storage had an underwhelming auction, with 13 MW of existing and 8 MW of new capacity awarded agreements (all for 30 minute duration). Some 130 MW of existing and 68 MW of new battery capacity dropped out ahead of clearing.

All capacities in the auctions are de-rated to reflect reliability. Year-ahead auctions are used to top-up the main four year-ahead auctions. In the relevant T-4 auction for 2019/20, held in December 2015, some 46,224 MW were awarded agreements at a clearing price of GBP18.00/kW/year.