UK’s last coal-fired power plant to close in September 2024

4th August 2021 | Commercial Energy

Uniper has announced plans to end generation at its coal-fired Ratcliffe-on-Soar power plant in September 2024, a month before the UK Government’s legal requirement to do so. The Nottinghamshire-based plant has four 500MW units. Under Uniper’s plans, one will come offline in September 2022 and the remaining three will be taken offline two years later.

Ratcliffe-on-Soar will be the UK’s last coal-fired power plant. EDF, which owns and operates the West Burton A plant in Nottinghamshire, is planning to close the facility by September 2022, while coal generation at Drax’s facility in Selby, North Yorkshire, will be closed by the same date but sooner if possible. These, at present, are the UK’s last three coal plants. Generation is legally required to cease by the end of October 2024.

Uniper said in a statement that it has briefed employees and the energy sector’s trade unions on the decision. The statement thanked staff past and present for “making a critical contribution to power generation in the UK”, adding that the company will seek out the “best opportunity to retrain and reskill the workforce”. The future of the site, Uniper has stated, is to be decided following discussions with local and regional stakeholders. The business has stated that its intention for the site is the development of a “zero-carbon technology and energy hub for the East Midlands”. Such a hub could feature industrial businesses and manufacturing facilities, co-located with low-carbon energy generation capacity.

Uniper has already had planning permission approved to develop an energy-from-waste (EfW) facility, called the East Midlands Energy Re-Generation (EMERGE) Centre, on part of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station land. Construction on the EMERGE Centre is expected to commence in late 2022. If progress it made to time, it will be fully operational by 2025. The facility will have a 49.9MW generation capacity and process up to 500,000 tonnes of waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill annually.

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