Ferrybridge Power Station

1917 - 2017

Ferrybridge power station was a series of three coal-fired power stations in Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire.

Preparations for the first station on the site, Ferrybridge A, began in 1917, when the West Yorkshire Power Company bought the land. After plans were initially put on hold, the power station was finally built and commissioned in 1927. In 1976 it closed and only the turbine hall remains today.

Ferrybridge B was commissioned in 1957 and decommissioned in 1992, it was demolished in 1997.

In the 1966, Ferrybridge C was commissioned with a generating capacity of 2 GW from four 500 MW sets. It was privatised in 1989 and the site remains in private ownership today.

Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 is a 68 MW multifuel plant on the site which became operational in 2015.

Ferrybridge C electricity generation ended at about noon on 23 March 2016 and the official closure date was 31st March 2016. Work by SSE continues, on the decomissioning of the Ferrybridge C site and building the new plant, Ferrybridge Multifuel 2.

The initial A station covered 32 acres, including main buildings containing the boilers, turbines, offices and workshops, and a smaller building that housed the electrical switchgear.

There were railway sidings that connected to the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) with equipment for handling wagons containing up to 20 tonnes of coal, and a river wharf for transport by barge.

Wagons were unloaded by a side tipper, into an automated weigher and then conveyors. Barge unloading was by a crane into the weighing machine.

In 1947 when the UK’s power industry was nationalised, the station passed into the ownership of the British Electricity Authority. This then became the Central Electricity Authority in 1954. When the station closed on 25 October 1976, it had a generating capacity of 125 MW.

The turbine hall and boiler room are still standing today. They are now used as offices and workshops by the RWE npower Technical Support Group, who are responsible for the maintenance and repairs of power station plant from around the country.

Ferrybridge B Power Station was built during the 1950s. It generated electricity using three 100MW (megawatt) generating sets which were commissioned between 1957 and 1959. The station originally had a total generating capacity of 300 MW, but by the 1990s this was recorded as 285 MW. After privatisation in 1989, the station was operated by PowerGen. The station closed in 1992 and was demolished in 1997.

Construction began on Ferrybridge C in 1962. It was eventually commissioned in 1966 after the initial collapse, in 1965, of 3 cooling towers. All 3 towers were rebuilt and the remaining 5 were strengthened in rehabilitation works carried out by Civil Consultants CS Allott and Son. Construction of all 8 towers was completed in 1968.

Ferrybridge C had 4 500MW generating sets that were known as units 1 through 4. In addition to this, the plant originally had four gas turbines with a combined capacity of 68MW and these units were used to start the plant in the absence of an external power supply.

Coal supply was by rail, road transport and barge. The plant's two chimneys are 650 feet high and the eight cooling towers are 377 feet high.

On 31 October 2011 SSE was granted Section 36 planning permission to construct a 68 MW Multifuel plant at its Ferrybridge C site.
Section 36 planning permissions are those that have been granted under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for the construction or extension, and operation, of electricity generating stations.

The 68  MW (megawatt) plant was designed to burn mixed fuel including biomass, fuel from waste and waste wood.
The plant became operational during 2015.

In late 2013 consultations began for a second multifuel plant "Ferrybridge Multifuel 2" (FM2). The plant was initially specified to be similar in scale to the first plant, and to have a capacity of up to 90 MW.