14 Jun 22
West Burton A and B

West Burton A closure update

EDF will extend availability of West Burton A’s 2 coal units after Government’s request to help cover any winter power shortage.

EDF has agreed to defer closure of two units at West Burton A power station by a further six months with closure now on 31 March 2023. This is in response to the Government request to keep the units available over the coming winter.

The two 500MW units at West Burton A were due to close at the end of September but will now provide an emergency service to the National Grid ESO in support of the government’s request to reduce reliance on gas and boost energy security. Around 200 EDF staff and contract partners will be required to provide this service.

Two of the four units at the station are already in their decommissioning phase. The agreement with Grid ESO, Ofgem and other stakeholders is to provide 400MW of availability from one unit, as and when needed by the system. A second unit will be available as back-up. West Burton A will not be operating on a commercial basis, it is a standby arrangement to support energy security. As of September this year, the station no longer has any Capacity Market contracts to fulfil and it will move into its full decommissioning phase in April 2023.

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 since the mid-1960s. In April this year EDF was asked by Government to consider a further extension, to support energy security in light of the ongoing energy crisis.

“I want to thank employees and all those connected to West Burton A for their flexibility and commitment to helping in what are extraordinary times for the energy sector.”


West Burton A facts

  • Units: 2 Units and 2 turbines
  • 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 125.
  • Start of construction: 1961
  • Start of generation: 1966