Date: May 21, 2019
Author: KiWi Power

MCPD: what your business needs to know

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) was introduced by the EU in an effort to reduce pollution and improve air quality.

The directive applies UK-wide and aims to bring harmful emissions from medium combustion plants (those with a thermal input between 1 and 50 MW) down via a pan-European standard. In addition, the UK government has introduced Specified Generator Regulations which require certain types of plants in England and Wales to comply with stricter emission limits in a tighter timescale.

KiWi Power’s in-house MCPD expert Jack Christie looks at how the legislation is affecting businesses and the steps they must take to ensure compliance. 

How does the MCPD and Specified Generator Regulations affect businesses?

The regulations apply to all medium combustion plants across the UK including back-up generators, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and boilers.  An estimated 30,000 plants in England and Wales are affected.

If businesses want to run their plant for over 50 hours or participate in Demand Side Response (DSR) programmes such as the Capacity Market or National Grid’s STOR programme they must abate their emissions and receive a permit from the Environment Agency (or Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in Scotland or Natural Resources Wales in Wales).

The date from which a permit is required will depend on the characteristics of the plant, the site on which it is situated and the programmes it is participating in but any business wishing to participate in STOR or the Capacity Market from October 2019 onwards needs to comply now.

An exemption exists for backup generators operating for on-site resilience only (up to a maximum of 50 hours over a rolling 12-month period) but this is lost if the generator enters into a DSR programme.

In terms of the upcoming 2019-20 Triad season, Tranche A sites over 5MW will have to use their 50 hours wisely and track their running hours to ensure they hit the Triads and avoid significant costs.

How is KiWi Power helping businesses to comply?

The legislation’s complexity means many businesses have found the compliance process both stressful and costly. KiWi Power have developed a comprehensive MCPD service to guide businesses through the compliance process.

We have identified industry-leading providers of abatement technology – known as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) – capable of reducing emissions by 99%. In addition, we’re working with carefully selected financing partners who can help customers finance abatement. It’s an expensive process per unit and can cost between £60-100k so we offer our clients a way in which they can pay for that reduction in emissions and show them a detailed return on investment.

Tailored Triad Management strategy

As explained, businesses with Tranche A sites over 5MW who are not MCPD compliant will only be able to run their plant for 50 hours over a rolling 12-month period.

To help these businesses safeguard valuable Triad savings this winter, KiWi Power has developed a bespoke Triad Management service designed to maximise Triad savings and ensure clients comply with the MCPD.

This requires a steadfast regime that ensures sites are only called to respond to Triads when absolutely necessary. We use our highly experienced in-house Triad analytics and forecasting expertise combined with fully automated Triad monitoring and dispatch technology to ensure we hit all three Triads without breaching the 50-hour limit. Our proven track record forecasting Triads speaks for itself. In 2018-19 we hit all three Triads with a minimum runtime of 19 hours, saving our customers over £13 million.

What is the future of MCPD?

The MCPD is an important piece of legislation that will help to improve health and well-being by tackling harmful emissions. Currently the UK’s Nitrogen Dioxide (NOx) levels are often three times in excess of allowable EU levels in densely populated areas, leading to an estimated 40,000 deaths a year. By taking steps to address their emissions, businesses will play their part in improving air quality across the UK.

The legislation is only going to get stricter, so it’s important businesses respond and develop strategies to manage power generation assets in order to minimise their legislative risk and maximise their financial return. 

If your organisation would like to learn more about how KiWi Power’s MCPD or Triad Management services can help please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

On the 4th July we will hosted a free MCPD webinar with Energy Live News and our partners Enzygo and Power Electrics which is available to view on demand.