Medium Combustion Plant Directive

What you need to know about the MCP directive

In an effort to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants from medium sized combustion plants and generators in England and Wales, the Government has transposed the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) into UK law from the 19th December 2017.

The legislation forms part of the European Union’s Clean Air Policy Package that targets reducing air pollution and thus improving human and environmental health. The Medium Combustion Plant Directive will affect an estimated 30,000 UK plants that have a thermal input of between 1-50MW.

When is MCDP coming into force?

Plants that became operational before 1st December 2016 and plants with capacity agreements from the 2014 and 2015 auctions will have to comply with the set limits from 1st January 2030 providing they have a thermal input of less than 5MW. Existing MCPs over 5MW must comply with the emission limits by 2025. The controls will apply to new plants from December 2018.

What Generators are affected?

Emission limits of large and small generators have been covered historically by the Industrial Emission directive and the Ecodesign Directive respectively. The Medium Combustion Plant Directive has been introduced to address the gap in legislation and reduce the subsequent sulphur dioxide (SO2) nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust emissions from medium sized generators.

MCPD will affect plants with a rated thermal input between 1MW and 50MW. The Department of Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) who drafted the legislation defined a ‘generator’ as:

Any single stationary electricity generating combustion plant
Any single mobile generator that provides balancing services to the grid or permanent infrastructure
Any group of stationary electricity generating combustion plant located at the same site and providing electricity for the same purpose
Back-up generators are excluded from the rules, providing they operate for 50 hours a year or less and only for emergency purposes.

Balancing Services

The stated timescales only apply providing a generator has not entered into any new balancing service agreements. Any generator partaking in STOR or the Capacity Market will have to comply by the end of this year. Despite being a charging methodology rather than a balancing service, DEFRA have also confirmed generators used in TRIAD avoidance schemes will be within the controls of MCPD and will have to clean up by the end of 2018.

How can we help?

Nationwide Utilities will ensure your business is fully compliant with the legislation in a timely manner. The services we provide are:
Audit any existing or planned generator assets and advise on the compliance capabilities.
Work with suppliers who specialise in delivering bespoke retro-fit and first-fit solutions on generators to reduce emissions.
Review potential revenue streams from various demand side response solutions.
Produce revenue forecasts of current and prospective DSR commitments. With this in mind, we can undertake a feasibility study to decide on the economic viability of modifying the generators.
For more information on how Nationwide Utilities can assist your business, please send us a message or contact us on 0800 862 0861