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SSE reducing coal power capacity

sse logoSSE are moving towards lower carbon power generation as they plan to shut its Ferrybridge coal-fired power plant by the end of March next year.

With the expected closure of the Longannet coal-fired power plant in Scotland, concerns have been raised over the UK’s winter supplies before government safeguards take effect.

SSE’s managing director of generation Paul Smith said that running the loss-making plant beyond March next year is not sustainable.

“While this was a difficult decision to take, it was the right one. Financially, the station is currently loss-making and is anticipated to lose another £100 million over the next five years; and environmentally coal is a major emitter of CO2, which means it has a time-limited role in the UK’s electricity mix,” he said.

With rising carbon taxes as well as heavy maintenance costs, the coal-fired plant has become less profitable than a gas-fired option.

Plus, generators are becoming increasingly more regulated with regard to carbon emissions at both UK and EU level.

SSE, however, will continue to generate power from its Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired plant having contracted with National Grid for 2018/19. It also safeguards the UK’s security of supply at a time when low carbon options are not yet deployed.