The union representing engineers, technicians and other professional staff in the electricity supply industry has warned the viability of Scottish Power-run Longannet, Scotland’s largest power station, is threatened by a £40m charge for connecting it to the grid, which penalises it in comparison to similar energy generation south of the border.
Discussions between Scottish Power and National Grid, which levies the charge, have stalled, prompting Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon to write to David Cameron seeking assurances over the security of Scotland’s energy supplies.
Prospect’s national secretary Anne Douglas urged the energy minister to continue to fight for Longannet, which supplies power to more than 2m Scottish homes, when she met him at the power station yesterday (Monday, 23 February), along with Prospect negotiator Richard Hardy.
“Because of National Grid’s demand for £40m in transmission charges, the viability of Longannet which is vital for Scotland’s current energy needs, is marginal,” said Douglas.
“We welcome the minister’s commitment to continue to put pressure on the Westminster government who have responsibility for this matter.”
Prospect has also criticised National Grid for failing to make Longannet a critical part of its “black start” plans to recover supplies in the event of a widespread power cuts, despite its major contribution to Scotland’s power needs.
“The timescale for a deal is getting shorter by the day,” warned Hardy. “Longannet supplies about 25% of power for Scotland, and Prospect believes it must remain viable and on stream while other generating sources are brought on line as part of a balanced energy policy.”
Prospect will now raise the issue with both the STUC and is asking for an urgent meeting with Caroline Flint, Labour’s shadow energy minister in Westminster.