UK government publishes submission guidelines for BECCS projects
The submission is for power BECCS projects’ application and assessment to enable project selection and alignment to Track-1 of the Cluster Sequencing programme. The Cluster Sequencing Process launched in May 2021, and aims to deliver a minimum of two clusters by the mid-2020s and four by 2030.
Hynet and the East Coast Cluster have been confirmed as Track-1 clusters for the mid-2020s and will be taken forward into Track-1 negotiations. The Acorn Cluster was announced as a reserve cluster.
The Cluster Sequencing Process has been executed across two phases:
In Phase-1, the government received submissions from CO₂ transport and storage companies (T&SCos), and prospective projects for these clusters. The government then provisionally sequenced those clusters which are most suited to deployment in the mid-2020s onto Track-1 in accordance with government’s stated objectives. Power BECCS projects were included in Phase-1 cluster applications.
In Phase-2, government received submissions from individual Projects (industry, power, hydrogen sectors) to connect to the Track-1 T&S Networks.
Power BECCS and other Engineered Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) projects were not invited to submit a full Phase-2 application, due to the relative immaturity of a power BECCS business model, and wider GGR business model development. A separate GGR EOI was launched alongside this with guidance published as part of the Phase-2 guidance. The intent of this was to understand the scale and evidenced market readiness of potential GGR projects within Great Britain that could feasibly connect to Track-1 T&S Networks.
The government is now launching a power BECCS specific project submission process with the intent of bringing forward projects that meet eligibility and pass deliverability assessment onto Track-1. Projects that are successful in assessment will be added to the shortlist for Track-1, to progress to further assessment in a due diligence phase and negotiation before a final decision is taken on which projects receive government support and join one of the selected Track-1 CCUS clusters.
The following objectives have been set for the power-BECCS programme:
• Provide negative emissions to offset hard-to-decarbonise sectors.
• Enable a first of a kind (FOAK) power BECCS project to deploy on a timeline that will enable it to provide genuine negative emissions for Carbon Budget 5, 6 and Net Zero and 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions.
• Enable power BECCS participation in Track-1 of the Cluster Sequencing process
• Ensure that power BECCS plants are subject to sustainability criteria in order to guarantee negative emissions.
• Bring forward power BECCS projects that can deliver the co-benefits of electricity generation and negative emissions.
• Provide sufficient certainty to investors to unlock private sector investment and expertise.