Alkane’s in house Business Development and Projects Team manage all stages of a power generation project. After initial site identification and securing utility connections and planning consent, we manage the subsequent design, procurement and construction phases to deliver a turnkey solution to our Operations team. As part of this process we carry out rigorous commercial evaluation to ensure the project will fulfil its objectives.
In addition to our in-house staff, we have a network of key service providers to assist with various specialist aspects to secure efficient and effective end to end delivery.
As well as the surface infrastructure elements of a generation project, our expertise extends to the assessment of underground coal mine workings for coal mine methane reserves and their exploitation through drilling of extraction wells.
Our proven development capability is one of the key reasons we have successfully grown the business.
Coal Mine Methane is a naturally occurring gas that is released by coal during the process of mining a coal seam. When a colliery is operational the gas is actively recovered from the mine workings to ensure the safety of the miners working underground. This same gas continues to be produced by the coal even after the mine has closed.
Alkane has a strong track record of utilising the coal mine methane as a fuel for power generation. We are highly competent in identifying and predicting collieries that make good coal mine methane prospects and apply to the Oil and Gas Authority and the Coal Authority for Licences to extract the gas.
We work closely with the Coal Authority to identify a suitable point to access the mine workings from which will provide the maximum practical levels of coal mine methane recovery.
Coal Mine Methane is classed as a hydrocarbon and hence activities to collect it are controlled and Permitted by the Minerals Planning Authority and the Environment Agency.
Alkane also has two Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences. These licences were acquired in 2011 when we purchased the Nooks Farm and Calow gas fields from a company called Seven Star Natural Gas. These gas fields were originally discovered in the 1950’s and 1960's but at that stage were considered uneconomic as purely gas producing fields. Alkane acquired Seven Star Natural Gas in order to expand its operations beyond its core business of coal mine methane whilst using its in-house skill sets and experience.
The Nooks Farm gas field was re-entered in 2013 and production tested. Alkane were granted Planning Permission to develop a single engines power generation scheme at Nooks Farm.
We continue to evaluate the two prospects.
Alkane currently has around 100MW of operational flexible peak generation plant which can be used to provide balancing services and peak power to the National Grid. This plant can be remotely activated by National Grid as part of their Balancing Services Agreements but can also operate at times of peak demand or when other operational conditions require it.
These plants are operational throughout the year to support the grid during the heaviest demand periods particularly in winter evenings. We are able to provide power when renewable energy supplies are uncertain. If the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn’t shining there will still be gas in the National Grid to allow the Alkane plants to run.
The Capacity Market was introduced by The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in 2014 to ensure the future security of our electricity supply by allowing generators to secure Capacity Market Agreements ranging between 1 and 15 years. Alkane has been active in the Capacity market since its inception and continues to develop a pipeline of new projects.
The capacity market is a natural extension of our flexible power generation business and we are looking to add 30-40MW of new capacity to our existing fleet each year.
Our proven in-house development team identify and assess the suitability of sites to participate in the Capacity Market and progress them through securing land access right, planning permissions and utility connections prior to handing over to the projects team for construction.
Alkane has experience in delivering gas to power solutions to convert the raw biogas into either electrical and heat energy through a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit or 'gas to grid' in which the biogas is upgraded to a quality to enable injection into the national transmission grid.
CHP units sized between 400 kW and 2MW have been installed for clients with our scope including biogas pre-treatment to remove damaging H2S and moisture. In some cases we have gone on to provide service and maintenance of the power generation elements of the AD plant.
Our gas to grid offering is designed in house and it's modular concept using membrane technology ensures optimum flexibility in sizing new plants. Each module is capable of producing c. 200 m3/h of grid compliant biomethane from c. 350 m3/h biogas.
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First Floor, 500 Pavilion Drive
Northampton NN4 7YJ
One of the UK's fastest growing independent power generators with a total of 160MW of installed generating capacity.