PLANNERS have approved a bid for a gas-powered power station on the outskirts of Caernarfon.

The plans, earmarked for the Griffiths Crossing industrial estate, involve a gas-powered standby fast response generation plant to help fill the void left by the demise of Britain’s coal-fired power stations.

According to developers Caelus Limited, while the UK Government is trying to replace coal powered stations with renewable sources, back-up providers are also needed due to renewables like solar and wind often being dependent upon weather patterns.

The move marks another step in the Government’s bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and to phase out coal completely by 2025.

The UK will have just four coal-powered stations following next year’s planned closure of the Aberthaw facility in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The plant, which has been approved by Gwynedd Council’s planning officers without going in front of councillors, would be used to support the main network at times of greater demand and peak periods, but would only kick in when a “demand” signal is received from the National Grid.

“The generation will be operated on request, responding to avoid use of other less efficient types of fossil fuel generation; thereby, enabling the management of large scale intermittent renewable energy,” says the design and access statement accompanying the application.

“The use of these embedded gas generation projects reduces the need for expensive large-scale centralised stand-by generators, providing an efficient and economical solution; aiding to reduce the cost of energy to consumers and enabling the UK to reduce its reliance upon, other higher polluting fossil fuels for primary generation of the UK’s electricity and helping to assist in reducing the impact created by man-made climate change.”

Similar plans for a 7.5MW gas-powered standby fast response generation plant have also been unveiled recently at Parc Cybi in Holyhead on Anglesey.

The facility is also expected to provide employment for one permanent full-time skilled technician and up to 25 temporary site operatives during the construction period.

They estimate that the 1,825 square metre plant would be in operation for around 2,500 hours a year, with most spikes in demand taking place between 4:30pm and 9pm.

Gwynedd Council officers, in their report, noted that no objections were received during the consultation phase.

“It is considered that the proposal is acceptable in principle and the development would not cause any significant harm in terms of visual amenities or amenities to nearby land users,” they said.