Centrica + Wärtsilä

Reference case

Flexible balancing power plants in Brigg & Peterborough, UK

The rapid growth in renewable energy, has increased the need for flexibility to balance the UK electricity grid. Centrica invested in two 50 MW flexible power plants to tackle issues created by intermittent renewables, and to support the transition to a decarbonised energy system.

Preventing blackouts in an optimised energy future

Recognising the need for sufficient and reliable back-up capacity, Centrica, a British multi-national energy and services company, is focusing on providing flexibility and grid stability. When looking for partners for a new balancing solution for power plants, the company wanted to find someone with a solid track record of delivering quality products safely. Centrica turned to Wärtsilä.

Centrica’s two 50 MW flexible natural gas power plants from Wärtsilä, delivered under an EPC contract, are located in Brigg in North East Lincolnshire and Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. They are the biggest medium-speed gas-fuelled engine power plants in the UK, offering electricity for about 100,000 households in less than two minutes after they have been switched on.

“As we utilise more and more renewable and distributed power sources, the situation gets increasingly difficult to manage. The under two-minute start-up time that Wärtsilä’s solutions deliver is a rare feature and very important to the UK grid,” says Mark Futyan, Distributed Power Systems Director from Centrica Business Solutions.

Low costs through modular design

The UK electricity market has changed in the past few years, as many firms have tapped into the opportunities of flexible and sustainable power generation. With increased competition, power plant operational costs have come down. In addition to providing flexibility, the modular design of Wärtsilä’s balancing power plants further cut operating expenses. The modular design significantly reduces a plant’s maintenance time and costs, improving its availability and reducing the need for spare parts. Furthermore, Wärtsilä’s modular engine power plants run with outstanding performance at any load.

What2 x 50 MW Flexible balancing
WhereUnited kingdom
HowEPC (Engineering, procurement & construction)



This is what we achieved


households powered in the UK


and less, to full power after start


MW of total electrical output

The under two-minute start up time is a rare feature and very important to the UK grid.

Mark Futyan, Distributed Power Systems Director, Centrica Business Solutions

How we did it

Challenge icon


  • Balancing the intermittency of renewable power sources

  • Need for quick responding power supply during demand peaks

  • Transition towards a low-carbon energy system

Solution icon


  • Adding flexibility to the grid with two 50 MW engine-based power plants

  • Power plant with under two-minute start up time

  • Flexible capacity enabling the growing share of intermittent renewables

Benefit icon


  • Enabling the growing share of renewables

  • Stable and balanced grid at all time

  • Greener energy and reduced carbon footprint in the UK

Centrica, UK

The main details

TypeWärtsilä 34SG gas power plant
Operating modeFast reserve and balancing markets
Gensets2 x 5 Wärtsilä 20V34SG
Total output2 x 50 MW
FuelNatural gas
ScopeEPC (engineering, procurement and construction)

Would you like to know more?

Contact us

Contact us

Fill in a contact form and our experts aim to be in contact within 1-2 business days. Contact us »


Read our brochure

Read about our solutions to get all the details.


Find your local office

Find a Wärtsilä office near you.

Related solutions and services

Related materials

Explore related references

Trusted partner to the best companies in the world

Wärtsilä Energy. Let's connect.