Coal closures continue as RWE shutters 1.56GW plant
Image: EDF

RWE is to close its 1.56GW Aberthaw B coal-fired power station in March 2020, taking the UK’s operational coal fleet down to four.

RWE cited ‘challenging’ market conditions as making the closure necessary. Those market conditions were also cited as the reason behind RWE shelving plans for a new coal-fired plant in Germany in April.

The UK hit a record two-weeks without coal in May, with coal continuing to fall off the grid. SSE recently announced the closure of its last remaining coal-fired power station, the 1.51GW Fiddler’s Ferry plant, which is set to be fully shut down by 31 March 2020.

A third coal-fired power station, EDF’s 2GW Cottam plant, is to close in September. Those three closures will leave the UK with four coal-fired power stations, with unabated coal-fired generation to be completely phased out by 2025.

Aberthaw B has Capacity Market agreements for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, which will now be transferred to third parties. A small proportion will go to other units in RWE’s fleet.

The closure is in line with RWE’s ambitions of becoming a renewable powerhouse. The energy giant is currently involved in an asset swap with E.On that will see RWE take over the large-scale renewables operations of E.On.

Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation, said: “I would like to thank all of our staff, past and present, who have contributed to the success of the station for so many years.

“This is a difficult time for everyone at Aberthaw Power Station. However market conditions made this decision necessary.”