Cottam power stations

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Cottam power station
Harvesting in the shadow of the power station - - 209223.jpg
Cottam Power Station
Viewed from the north in July 2006
Cottam power stations is located in Nottinghamshire
Cottam power stations
Location of Cottam power station
Country England
Location Cottam
Coordinates 53°18′14″N 0°46′53″W / 53.304°N 0.7815°W / 53.304; -0.7815Coordinates: 53°18′14″N 0°46′53″W / 53.304°N 0.7815°W / 53.304; -0.7815
Status Operational
Commission date 1969
Operator(s) Central Electricity Generating Board
London Energy
Power generation
Primary fuel Coal
Secondary fuel Oil
Tertiary fuel Biomass
Units operational 4
Nameplate capacity 2,000 MW
grid reference NZ174644

The Cottam power stations are a pair of power stations, located on the River Trent at Cottam near Retford in Nottinghamshire. The larger of the two is a coal-fired power station, which was commissioned in 1969 by the Central Electricity Generating Board, and has a generating capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW). It is now owned by EDF Energy.[1] The other is Cottam Development Centre, a combined cycle gas turbine plant commissioned in 1999, with a generating capacity of 400 MW. This plant is owned by E.ON UK.

The site is one of a number of power stations located long the Trent valley, with the West Burton power stations located 3.5 miles (5.6 km) downstream of the station, and Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station located 52 miles (84 km) upstream. The decommissioned High Marnham Power Station is located 6 miles (9.7 km) upstream.


It opened in 1969 when owned by the Central Electricity Generating Board. After electricity privatisation in 1990, ownership was shifted to Powergen. In October 2000, the plant was sold to London Energy, who are part of EDF Energy, for £398 million.[2]

Cottam Development Centre[edit]

Cottam Development Centre in August 2007

The Cottam Development Centre is a 400 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station, fuelled by natural gas. It was built as a joint venture between Powergen and Siemens, as a testbed for Siemens to develop CCGT technology.

Construction of the station commenced in July 1997 on a football and cricket pitch adjacent to the coal-fired power station. During construction, heavy components weighing up to 400 tonnes were brought onto site using inland waterways, to avoid damaging local roads.[3] The station opened in September 1999. In May 2002 the station was bought out by Powergen for £52 million.


The power station generates electricity using a single Siemens V94.3A (now called a SGT5-4000F), which has one BENSON heat recovery steam generator gas turbine and one steam turbine.[4][5] Electricity from the station has a terminal voltage of 21 kilovolts (kV), and enters the National Grid via a transformer at 400 kV. The plant has a thermal efficiency of 58%.[3]

Industrial action[edit]

2004 Wildcat strike[edit]

Wildcat strike action was taken in December 2004, when scaffolding collapsed and injured one worker.[6]

2006 Wildcat strike[edit]

In February 2006, 51 British workers at the station walked out on Wildcat strike action due to the underpayment of Hungarian workers during construction of Flue Gas Desulphurisation equipment. The Hungarians had worse working conditions than the British workers and were underpaid £1 million by employer SFL. 15 British workers who walked out in solidarity were made redundant.[6]


  1. ^ "Power Station Locations and Capacities". United Kingdom Quality Ash Association. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Powergen generates £398m from Cottam". The Telegraph (London). 2000-10-17. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Cottam Development Centre" (ASP). E.On UK. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "SGT5-4000F". Siemens. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  5. ^ "BENSON HRSG". Siemens. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  6. ^ a b Steven (1 March 2006). "UK: Cottam power station wildcat strike". Retrieved 2 November 2009. 

External links[edit]