Shoreham Power Station

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Coordinates: 50°49′46″N 0°13′50″W / 50.82944°N 0.23056°W / 50.82944; -0.23056

Shoreham Power Station

Shoreham Power Station is a 420MWe[1] combined cycle gas-fired power station in Southwick, West Sussex. It was built on the site of the Brighton B Power Station. Predating both the former Brighton A & B stations, the town of Brighton has a long history of association with the electricity supply industry. At 106 metres (348 ft) tall, the power station is the second tallest structure in West Sussex at just over 10m below the height of the Midhurst transmission transmitter.[2]


Gloucester Road Power Station[edit]

Brighton was one of the first towns in the UK to have a continuous supply of electricity. In 1882 Robert Hammond established the Hammond Electric Light Company and on the 27 February 1882 he opened the Gloucester Road Power Station. It was set up in the yard of Reed's Iron Foundry, and consisted of a Brush dynamo, driven by a Robey engine. This was used to power sixteen arc lamps on a 1.75 mi (2.82 km) circuit around the town centre, operating from dusk until 11pm every day. In spring 1883 another dynamo was brought into operation, powered by a Marshall engine, powering a 40 lamp circuit.

In 1885 the Hammond Electric Light Company went into voluntary liquidation, and the system was bought by the Brighton Electric Light Company who registered on 16 December 1885. It further extended the system, building a new station on the same site, consisting of three 40-lamp Brush dynamos, powered by a Fowler engine. This station was later extended by another two Brush dynamos and another Fowler engine.

By January 1886 the company's system had increased to include 1,000 filament lamps on 8 mi (13 km) of circuit, and in 1887, it was decided for the company to provide a day time service. A 16-lamp dynamo and a Hornsby engine were installed to take the day-time load. In the same year, the system was switched from DC to AC, and electricity was generated at 1,800 volts (V) using single-phase Elwell Parker and Mordey alternators. Voltage was reduced to 100 V by Lowrie-Hall transformers mounted on customers' rooftops. By 1887, 34 arc lamps and 1,500 filament lamps were being supplied by five Brush dynamos, on a 15 mi (24 km) system of overhead lines. In 1890 the company became the Brighton and Hove Electric Light Company.[3]

North Road Power Station[edit]

The local authority, the Brighton Corporation, had obtained a provisional order allowing them to generate electricity in 1883 but had never the need to exercise it. However, in 1890 it acquired the site for a power station and opened its own municipal North Road Power Station on 14 September 1891. It supplied at 115 V DC, using four Willans-Goolden generating sets, two at 45 kilowatts (kW) and two at 120 kW, provided with steam by three Lancashire boilers. Another two Willans engines driving 240 kW dynamos were added later. In 1894, the Brighton Corporation bought out the Brighton and Hove Electric Light Company.

By 1904 the North Road station's capacity was at 5,935 kW, with six Lancashire boilers and ten Babcock & Wilcox boilers, steaming nineteen Willans engines, coupled directly to DC generators. It was decided a larger station would be needed, and the site was chosen at Southwick. When this station was opened in 1906 the old station became less required, and so in 1908 North Road station was closed down.[3][4]

Brighton A Power Station[edit]

The construction on the Southwick power station commenced in 1904, its site chosen because of its position on the harbour, meaning plentiful supply of water for cooling, and access to seaborne coal. The first phase of the station opened in June 1906, with a generating capacity of 5,470 kW. The station was given various modifications and extensions, and by 1946 it had a capacity of 190 megawatts (MW).[4] The A station was closed on 15 March 1976 with a generating capacity of 53 MW.[5]

Brighton B Power Station[edit]

In the early 1940s it became clear that a large power station was going to be needed to provide electricity for the south east area. The Southwick site was selected by the national power board, the Central Electricity Board. In 1946 Brighton Corporation was ordered to proceed with the construction of the new station, consisting of six 52.5 MW generating sets. The first pile was driven on 25 November 1947. During the construction of the station, on 1 April 1948, the electric supply industry in the United Kingdom was nationalised, and the British Electricity Authority took over responsibility of the site from Brighton Corporation. On 26 June 1950 consent was given for the second section of the station, but it was decided that the last two generating sets would have a capacity of 60 MW, and sets 1 to 4 uprated to 55.5 MW. The station's six units were commissioned from December 1952 to September 1958, and the station had a total generating capacity of 342 MW.[4] The chimneys were 350 feet high and were 32 feet internal diameter at the base reducing to 24 feet internal diameter at the top. The demolition of one of its chimneys was featured in a 2009 advert for EDF Energy.

Shoreham Power Station[edit]

The gas-fired station is built on the site of the B station, and named after nearby Shoreham-by-Sea. It is owned by Scottish Power, being constructed by Alstom and Mott MacDonald, and opened in 2002 costing £150m. It was originally owned by South Coast Power Ltd, a consortium of Scottish Power and SEEBOARD (owned by Central and South West Corporation). In September 2004, Scottish Power bought the other 50% share of the power station for £26m from American Electric Power. The Monarch's Way footpath passes next to the station, and the station backs on to Southwick Beach.


It is a 420 megawatt (MW)[1] CCGT-type power station that runs on natural gas. There is one Alstom gas turbine from which the exhaust gases heat an Stork heat recovery steam generator which drives an ABB steam turbine, in a single-shaft configuration. The chimney is 100m tall, and a local landmark.


  1. ^ a b "ScottishPower Generation - Shoreham Power Station". Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Shoreham Power Station: Site Information" (PDF) (PDF). ScottishPower. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b The Electricity Council. "Electricity Supply in the United Kingdom" (PDF). pp. 22–23. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Zwierzanski, Paul. "Brighton 'B' Power Station - Page 1". Retrieved 21 June 2010.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ Mr. Redmond (16 January 1984). "Coal-fired Power Stations". Hansard. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 

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