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Cottam Power Station powers down after half a century

By EDF | Posted September 30, 2019

A beacon on North Nottinghamshire’s skyline for the past 50 years, Cottam power station has switched off its massive generating plant the final time.

Since it started generating in 1968 the station has produced nearly 500 terawatt hours of electricity – enough to single-handedly power the UK for around 18 months. It was originally planned to operate for 30 years.

The power station has been a key part of the local community for more than 50 years and many local and national contract partners have also become an integral part of the Cottam team supporting its operation.

The station’s staff have been preparing for the eventual closure of the site for almost two years. And Cottam’s management team have also worked closely with the site’s unions to ensure the minimum disruption for staff.

Cottam’s plant manager Andy Powell said: “Since the official announcement of the site’s closure earlier in the year we have been working with the Cottam team to ensure they secure the right future for them.”

Taking control of their futures, the Cottam team set up their own People Hub to work with staff to explore new opportunities within EDF Energy and a number have joined the team building and eventually operating the country’s first new nuclear power station in a generation at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Some have stayed closer to home and moved across to West Burton A coal station which currently has capacity market contracts to operate until September 2021 or to the West Burton B Combined Cycle Gas Turbine station which started operating in 2013.

All the apprentices have also secured roles at EDF Energy sites, continuing to build exciting futures with the UK’s largest low carbon generator.

Andy added: “It is a sad day, but I am immensely proud to have been part of the Cottam family since I started as an apprentice here and now as plant manager.

“This place has been a key part of the landscape for the past 50 years supporting the economy and actually has gone far beyond its original projected operational life, and as we have seen the final days of power production the plant has been running better than ever.

“And that is testament to the professionalism of the team here who have maintained and operated this site with skill and care since 1968.”

Cottam facts

Cottam coal-fired power station was commissioned in 1968 by the Central Electricity Generating Board and has a generating capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW).
Coal burn 183,000,000 Te
Number of trains to site – 150,000
Total Hours generation– 1,099,000
Start-ups – 13,145
Cottam is capable of generating enough electricity for approximately 3.7 million UK homes. 
19th June 2019 we welcomed the last train to Cottam
At its peak there would be 750 people employed
Currently 140 people employed on site

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February 07, 2019

Cottam power station to cease generation

EDF Energy has decided to end generation at its Cottam coal-fired power station in North Nottinghamshire and will now start consultation with Trades Union partners.