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Geo-pressure creates energy
The corporation responsible for the UK's electricity transmission system and natural gas transportation system, National Grid, has entered into a partnership with a company called 20 C to provide renewable energy at various National Grid centres. The idea is to use innovative technology to generate renewable electricity from natural gas pressure in the pipe network through a process known as geo-pressure.
Initially, pilot projects will generate electricity at two of National Grid's gas pressure reduction stations, with the potential for work to start on six further sites in spring 2008.
Natural gas is driven through the pipe network under pressure, which must be reduced by a pressure reduction station before being safely delivered to homes and businesses. By installing a turbine generation system at some of these stations, the energy created by reducing the pressure can be harnessed and used to generate renewable electricity.
It is expected that each of the pilot installations will generate between 5 and 13 MW of electricity. While the actual generation capacity will depend on the characteristics of the site, a feasibility study has indicated that renewable energy could be generated at around 200 of National Grid's sites.