Uskmouth power stations
|Uskmouth power stations|
Uskmouth B Power Station
Viewed from the south east, September 2007
|Country||Wales, United Kingdom|
A station: Demolished|
B station: Operational
A station: 1950s|
|Decommission date||A station: 1981|
|Thermal power station|
A station: 228 MW|
B station: 363 MW
The Uskmouth power stations (also known as the Fifoots Point power stations) refers to a series of two coal-fired power station at the mouth of the River Usk in the south-east of Newport, Wales. The first of the two station, Uskmouth A power station, was built in the 1950s and demolished in 2002. The second station, Uskmouth B power station, was built in the 1960s and is currently undergoing a conversion to run on Biomass.
Uskmouth B power station (or Uskmouth Power as it is now known) was built in 1959. It has a generating capacity of 363 MW, which is enough to power 360,000 homes, or the surrounding area of Newport. The electricity is provided by three generating sets. It is situated in an essential position for the National Grid, as there are very few power stations situated in the south of Wales. Initially operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board, the station's operations were handed over to National Power with privatisation in 1990. The station was then closed in 1995. But in 1998, it was purchased by AES. The station was given a £120 million refurbishment to bring it up to date with legislative requirements. New environmental equipment was installed and it was given a refurbishment which is thought to have extended the station's life by 25 years. The station's generating capacity was also increased to 393 MW. In 2001 the work was completed and the station was reopened. However, only a year later the plant passed into receivership, but had a brief period of operating in the winter between 2003 and 2004. In June 2004 the station was put back into full operation, when it was bought by Welsh Power, who were then known as Carron Energy. Welsh Power sold it to SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy plc) in 2009 for £27m. In April 2013 one of the three remaining blocks was closed, so the power station has now a remaining generation capacity of 260 MW.
The station was one of the cleanest coal-fired power stations in the United Kingdom, and was fitted with Flue Gas Desulphurisation equipment and low NOx burners. It also burns biomass, as well as coal, for its emissions to be considered closer to being carbon neutral. The station does not take water from or dump waste water into the River Usk. It instead uses secondary treated sewage water in its cooling system.
The station employed 90 people. It has been awarded RoSPA Gold Award for Occupational Health and Safety for its efforts to ensure station safety. The station's owners have participated in many local community projects – they donated land to the Newport Wetlands Reserve, and sponsor Welsh swimmer David Davies and the Newport Gwent Dragons.
The station was earmarked for closure in 2014 and subsequently mothballed. However, in 2015, plans were announced to instead convert the station to run fully on biomass, as part of a scheme to regenerate the area and create hundreds of jobs. These plans have since taken priority and as a result, Uskmouth has seen very infrequent use as a coal plant; with April 2017 being the last occasion.
An 832 megawatt (MW) Combined Cycle Power Plant gas-fired power station has been built on the site of the A station by Siemens for Severn Power, a subsidiary of DONG Energy. It was initially reported that it would cost £400 million to build and create 650 construction jobs.
Severn Power Station comprises two gas turbines and two steam turbines each operating on a single shaft. The power station entered commercial operations in November 2010.
Originally owned and operated by the Danish company, Dong Energy, the station was acquired by MPF Holdings Limited in December 2013, which changed its name to Calon Energy in summer 2015.
Uses in culture
In 2006, the station was used as a location for two episodes of Doctor Who. In the episodes "Rise of the Cybermen" and "The Age of Steel", the station was used as the setting for the Cybermen Factory. It was then used again for the 2011 Christmas special "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" as spaceship corridors, filmed on 20 September 2011. In 2014, the station was once again used for two episodes, respectively "Into the Dalek" and "Time Heist".
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