Hams Hall power stations

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Hams Hall Power Station
Fields near Whitacre Junction - geograph.org.uk - 1017099.jpg
Hams Hall B and C power stations
Viewed from the east in August 1984
Country England
Location Warwickshire, West Midlands
Coordinates 52°31′29″N 1°42′19″W / 52.524608°N 1.705175°W / 52.524608; -1.705175Coordinates: 52°31′29″N 1°42′19″W / 52.524608°N 1.705175°W / 52.524608; -1.705175
Commission date 1928
Decommission date 1992
Operator(s) Central Electricity Generating Board
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal-fired
grid reference SP201919

Hams Hall Power Station refers to a series of three, now demolished coal-fired power stations, situated in Warwickshire in the West Midlands of England, 9 miles (14 km) from Birmingham.


Hams Hall A[edit]

Following the death of Lord Norton in 1905, his estate was put up for sale in 1911. Part of the house was rebuilt near Cirencester, but the rest was demolished in 1920. Hams Hall Power Station was constructed on the site in 1928.[1] It was opened on 6 November 1929, equipped with two Fraser & Chalmers 30,000 kW turbo-alternators.[2] The generating capacity of the site was progressively increased to 240,000 kW. The station burned approximately 774,000 tonnes of coal a year. At the time it was one of the largest power stations in Europe.[3]

The station was also the first power station in the United Kingdom to burn pulverised coal, rather than lumps of coal. It was also used as a prototype site for the installation of gas turbines in coal-fired plants. Water for the station was cooled by six reinforced concrete hyperbolic cooling towers.[3] At the time, these were the largest cooling towers ever built. The station had two 350 feet (110 m) tall chimneys.

The station's closure was announced in 1975, following a fall in electricity consumption. By the time of its closure its generating capacity had fallen to 151 MW.[4] The station's chimneys and cooling towers were demolished in 1978.

Hams Hall B[edit]

The second station on the site, Hams Hall B Power Station, was planned in 1937. It began generating electricity in 1942. The station was expanded between 1946 and 1949.[5] The station had a generating capacity of 160,500 kW. Its water was cooled by four cooling towers.[3] The station used Parsons turbo-alternators.[6]

In December 1945 there was complaint about pollution from the station. This was caused by a corroded metal connection between the boilers and the chimneys. The pollution continued until 1948, when the connection was eventually replaced.[7]

The station closed on 26 October 1981 after 39 years of operation. It had a generating capacity of 306 MW at the time of its closure.[8] Its four cooling towers were demolished in November 1985, with chimney number 2 going down in September 1988.

Hams Hall C[edit]

The third, final station to be constructed on the site was Hams Hall C Power Station, built in the 1950s and commissioned between 1956 and 1958.[9] The station's water was cooled by three 350 feet (110 m) high natural draft cooling towers.[10] It generated 357 MW of electricity using six generating sets.[9]

In 1968, the station was under consideration to be converted to fuelled by natural gas, after a successful experimental trial of the fuel in one of the station's boilers earlier in the year.[11][12] In October 1968 permission for the conversion was refused due to difficulties in the coal industry.[13] Despite this, talk of conversion started again in 1970, and following discussion with the National Coal Board and the National Union of Mineworkers, permission was granted for the station to co-fire coal and natural gas.[14]

Following privatisation in 1990, the station was operated by Powergen.[3] The C station closed in 1992.[9] Its two chimneys and three cooling towers were demolished on 15 December 1993, under darkness.

Proposed D station[edit]

In 1968 the site was considered for a fourth power station. The CEGB made routine investigations into the feasibility of a D station, but nothing was ever built.[15]

Post closure[edit]

After closure and demolition of the power stations an industrial estate was constructed on the site. Alfred McAlpine were involved in the construction work of the new estate.[16] The site is still owned by E.ON, the current form of PowerGen, and known as Hams Hall Distribution Park.[17]


  1. ^ "Lea Marston. Hams Hall Power Station". 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "New Birmingham Power Station". Tamworth Herald. British Newspaper Archive. 9 November 1929. p. 2.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d beno (7 February 2005). "Former Hams Hall Power Stations". Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Mr. Patrick McNair-Wilson (15 October 1975). "Power Stations". Hansard. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Lea Marston. Hams Hall Power Station 'B' Plant". 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Lea Marston. Hams Hall Power Station". 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  7. ^ Sir John Mellor; Mr. Gaitskell (29 April 1948). "Power Station, Ham's Hall (Atmospheric Pollution)". Hansard. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  8. ^ Mr. Redmond (16 January 1984). "Coal-fired Power Stations". Hansard. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c "Generation disconnections since 1991". http://www.nationalgrid.com/. 2003. Retrieved 5 October 2009.  External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^ D Campion (May–June 1983). "Bird Life: Hams Hall Cormorants". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "Hams Hall C Power Station". 10 July 1968. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  12. ^ Mr. Speed; Mr. Freeson (30 May 1968). "Hams Hall Power Stations (Natural Gas)". Hansard. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Mason, Roy (15 October 1968). "Hams Hall C Generating Station". Hansard. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  14. ^ Mr. Leslie Huckfield; Mr. Harold Lever; Mr. G. Elfed Davies (21 April 1970). "Hams Hall Power Station". Hansard. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  15. ^ Mr. Speed; Mr. Mason (19 November 1968). "Proposed Generating Station, Hams Hall". Hansard. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  16. ^ "McDermott Construction". 9 June 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  17. ^ "Hams Hall". E.ON. Retrieved 12 February 2009.