One of the UK’s landmark coal-fired power plants will close today after half a century of service.
Ferrybridge C in Yorkshire was taken offline last week and will officially shut this afternoon.
Construction of the plant began in 1961 and it started generating electricity on February 27 1966.
It became a record-breaking example of coal-fired power. It’s Unit 1 was the world’s first 500 MW ‘single line’ turbine generator and in 1973, Unit 2 set a world record by running non-stop for 5488 hours, generating 2999 GWh at an average thermal efficiency of 34.45 per cent.
It was the first power station in Europe to have four coal-fired 500 MW units capable of meeting the needs of two million people.
The plant also weathered political storms – during the miners’ strike in 1985 Ferrybridge’s coal stocks dwindled to less than three weeks’ supply.
In 1990 the plant became owned by the newly-privatized PowerGen plc and in 2004 ownership transferred to Scottish and Southern Energy, now known simply as SSE.
In 2015 a new £300m multifuel site called Ferrybridge Multifuel was opened next to Ferrubridge C. The new plant is capable of generating around 68 MW of electricity from various sources of municipal or commercial waste and waste wood. A second multifuel station is planned for the site, with construction expected later this year.
The rapidly-changing energy landscape of recent years meant that in May last year SSE announced the decision to close Ferrybridge C.
Paul Smith, SSE’s managing director for generation, said today that “it was with a heavy heart that we announced our plans to close Ferrybridge last year. But today is all about recognising and thanking those who have played their part over the years in Ferrybridge’s wonderful history and immense contribution to powering the nation.”
The UK government has announced that all Britain’s coal-fired stations will close by 2025.