UK “Big Six” energy company SSE will shut down its last remaining coal-fired power plant by 31 March 2020.
The Fiddler’s Ferry plant in Warrington, Cheshire has been in operation for 50 years, but SSE’s statement said: “The volume of electricity generated at Fiddler’s Ferry is reducing year on year and the station has had limited success in capacity market auctions.”
That, coupled with reliance on ancillary services for revenue, make continued operations unsustainable. The company said it had mulled over the decision for several years. The closure brings the company more in line with its transition to sustainable energy.
The news comes just days after Prime Minister Theresa May announced the country’s formal commitment to climate neutrality by 2050.
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The UK will have just five coal-fired plants remaining once Fiddler’s Ferry burns out, with all coal-powered generation to cease by 2025.
The site employs 158 staff, which SSE will consult with for possible redeployment.
Stephen Wheeler, managing director of Thermal Energy at SSE, said: “We have a talented and dedicated team at Fiddler’s Ferry and our priority is to support employees and ensure they have a range of options available to them for the future. SSE is proud of the social and economic contributions the station and our employees have made for the local area and wider society.”