UK coal power station closes as gas gets going

Posted at September 26, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK coal power station closes as gas gets going

Energy company RWE npower has confirmed that its Didcot and Fawley power stations in the south of England are to close under new European regulations.

The EU Large Combustion Plant Directive requires high-emitting power stations to cease operations by the end of 2015 or whenever they have completed 20,000 hours of operation for coal-fired power stations or 10,000 hours for oil-powered facilities.

The 2000 MW coal-fired Didcot A Power Station in Oxfordshire and the 1000 MW oil-fired Fawley facility in Hampshire will both close at the end of March next year after forty years of operation.

RWE is now investing in renewable energy generation and gas-fired power stations, like the newly opened Pembroke power station in Wales.

The new 2000 MW gas-fired power station, which has taken three years to construct, is one of Europe’s largest and most efficient combined cycle gas turbine plants, claims RWE.

The company has invested £1 billion in the development, which it says is able to respond quickly to market demand to provide a highly flexible and reliable source of power for over 3.5 million households.

“This addition means RWE npower now has the largest and most efficient gas portfolio as well as the largest fleet of renewable energy technologies in the country,” commented Volker Beckers CEO RWE npower.

The new facility was opened in the presence of UK Energy Minister John Hayes and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb on Wednesday.

“The opening of Pembroke Power Station is great news for our energy security,” says Hayes. “Every new power station built is a real strategic asset for our economy. This billion-pound investment will play a vital role in our energy mix, providing a flexible, reliable energy supply for homes and businesses across the country.”

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Related stories:
Climate Change Committee condemns UK government’s ‘dash for gas’ (14-Sept)
UK government calls for input into gas generation strategy (3-May)
UK Energy Secretary gives gas a boost (20-Mar)
E.ON to close Kingsnorth power station and drop CCS plans (9-Mar)

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