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Should diesel farms be the real winners in the Capacity Market?

Distributed generation can benefit the electricity system and offer local efficiencies. The Capacity Market has brought forward generation of that type. But Janet Wood asks: when tax benefits no longer available to renewable generators are also in the mix, is the system too tilted towards diesel?

The big surprise of the inaugural Capacity Market (CM) auction was the large number of small gas and diesel-fuelled plants that sought – and won – ­contracts, mostly as new-build suppliers. Each of these sites is sized at up to around 20MW, although for diesel versions most would be “farms”, made up from an array of engines sized at 1MW or so.
That mounts up: last year in total around 1.5GW of such capacity won contracts, much of it as new-build for 15-year terms.

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