Ferrybridge Coal Power Plant refers to a series of three coal-fired power stations situated on the River Aire in West Yorkshire, England. The first station on the site (Ferrybridge A) was constructed in the mid-1920s, and was closed as the second, B station was brought into operation in the 1950s. The A station has been retained since it closed. In the 1960s, Ferrybridge C was opened with a generating capacity of 2000 megawatts, which at the time was the largest of any power station in the UK. The B and C stations operated together until the B station's closure in the 1990s. The B station has since been demolished.

Ferrybridge C Coal Power Plant is currently the only power station operating on the site. Since 2004 it has been operated by Scottish and Southern Energy plc. It is capable of co-firing biomass and is currently being fitted with Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) plant. There are plans to build a fourth, D station on the site.

Specification of Ferrybridge Coal Power Plant

Ferrybridge C Coal Power Plant comprises four 500 MW generating sets, using 800 tonnes of coal and 218 million litres of coolant water per hour. As well as the four main units, the station has two gas turbines which produce an extra 34 MW combined. These are used for extra generating capacity and in black starts, as large power stations often need external electricity to start up if the main units are off line. Coal is delivered to the station by railway and road transport and until the late 1990s, by barge. The station has two 198 m (650 ft) high chimneys and eight 115 m (377 ft) high cooling towers, which are the largest of their kind in Europe.

Environmental impact of Ferrybridge Coal Power Plant

Ferrybridge C has now had an operating life of over 40 years. Since 2003, the station has established itself as a market leader in the effective co-firing of biomass. In the 2002-2003 tax year, the station was responsible for 80% of all co-fired renewable energy in the UK, resulting in a 3.5% net reduction of the plant's greenhouse gas emissions.

Work is currently being completed on a new Flue Gas Desulphurisation plant, servicing units 3 and 4. In 2007, Scottish and Southern Energy announced plans to conduct a feasibility study to retrofit unit 1 with a 'supercritical' boiler. According to the 2007 Annual Report, the decision was taken to discontinue this scheme. As of June 2007 however, a separate study assessed the feasibility of building a new 800 MW supercritical coal-fired station at Ferrybridge, potentially with carbon capture technology. These developments could ensure that a power station will exist at Ferrybridge well into the 21st Century.

Ferrybridge power station
Country England
Locale West Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber
Commission date 1927 (1927)
  • West Yorkshire Power Company (1927-1948)
  • British Electricity Authority (1948-1954)
  • Central Electricity Authority (1954-1957)
  • Central Electricity Generating Board (1957-1990)
  • Powergen (1990-1999)
  • Edison Mission Energy (1999-2001)
  • AEP Energy Services Ltd (2001-2004)
  • Scottish and Southern Energy plc (2004-present)

Power station information
Primary fuel Coal-fired
Secondary fuel Biofuel