SSE’s announcement to close a unit at its Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power station has come as little surprise as challenging market conditions continue for the technology, and the government remains committed to phasing out coal-fired generation by 2025.
The Fiddler’s Ferry plant in Warrington, Cheshire, has a capacity of almost 2GW – the unit to be closed has a capacity of 485MW. The remaining three units at the plant will continue to operate as normal.
This is the second coal closure announcement this year, following EDF’s decision in February to close its 2GW Cottam plant from September 2019. Once both Cottam and the unit at Fiddler’s Ferry are closed, GB will have approximately 8.4GW of remaining coal capacity, significantly below the 23GW on the system as recently as 2012. Remaining coal plants will include RWE’s Aberthaw (1.6GW), Drax Units 5 and 6 (each 645MW), Uniper’s Ratcliffe (2.0GW), EDF’s West Burton 2.0GW, and the remaining Fiddler’s Ferry units (1.5GW).