EDF confirms West Burton A will close in September 2022, two years ahead of Government deadline for coal-fired power
EDF has decided to end generation at West Burton A power station, its sole remaining coal-fired power station, in September 2022.
Over the next 18 months two of the four 500MW coal units will be available purely to meet capacity market commitments, in order to assist with security of supply. The station will move into decommissioning by 30 September 2022.
EDF’s Managing Director for the Generation business, Matt Sykes, said: “West Burton A and its loyal workforce have played a critical role providing power to the UK for 55 years, including during this recent Winter. Since 1966, the station has produced enough electricity to meet the needs of all UK households for more than 4 years, a truly incredible achievement.
“With EDF’s power generation strategy firmly focused on nuclear and renewables - and in this key year for UK leadership on climate change - we now believe it is the right time to provide clarity to our employees and all those connected to the site.”
The station has a highly skilled, flexible and experienced workforce who will be supported throughout the process, with consultation beginning soon. EDF has worked closely with the three unions - GMB, Prospect and Unite - to prepare for the future of West Burton A. This has included discussing individuals’ future aspirations and identifying personal development to help people extend their careers after closure.
The full time Union officers said: “Today’s announcement brings welcome certainty to the dedicated West Burton A workforce about the future of the station. With Government policy to close all UK coal generation by 2024 we knew it had a limited future so we have been working alongside EDF to understand the implications for West Burton A and to prepare colleagues for the future. Knowing the date of closure allows people to make plans. Enabling a ‘Just Transition’ away from coal generation is very important for the Unions.”
Mike Macdonald, of Prospect, said: “We need to be sure that the transition from traditional generation to low carbon energy is fair to individuals who have worked hard and flexibly to keep customers supplied with electricity. I am personally very pleased to be involved in running ‘Just Transition’ workshops for the West Burton A team over coming months as we move towards decommissioning in 2022. This should help highly skilled and valued colleagues to continue to contribute to the industry.”
West Burton A facts
- Units: 4 Units and 4 turbines
- Total supply to the national grid: 2000MW
- West Burton A is capable of generating enough electricity for approximately 3.7 million UK homes and has so far produced enough for all the homes in the UK for 4.5 years
- At its peak there were 750 people employed. Today there are around 170
- Start of construction: 1961
- Start of generation: 1966
- What did 1966 look like? England won the World Cup. The Severn Bridge opened, the Ford Cortina Mark II came to market, becoming Britain’s most popular new car the following year, the first cross-channel hovercraft took to the seas and Barclaycard - the first all-purpose credit card to be issued by a British bank - was launched.
EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. We are Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.
With around 5 million accounts, EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British homes and businesses and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. All of our home customers get energy tariffs backed by zero carbon electricity as standard.
We generate low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operate one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, thousands of EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants. Wind, nuclear and solar all produce electricity that is zero carbon at the point of generation and have similar emissions over the build, run and retire lifecycles.
EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and is leading the development of plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.
EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland which will be ready in 2023.
Our energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.
EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK we employ around 13,000 people.