Longannet closure marks end of coal generation in Scotland

Scottish Power’s Longannet power station in Fife will switch off the last of its four generating units today for the final time, ending coal-fired electricity production in Scotland.

Longannet is the third largest coal-fired power plant in Europe and came online in 1969. It is capable of producing 2400MW and, through its final winter, has provided enough electricity for more than 25 per cent of homes in Scotland.

Scottish Power generation director Hugh Finlay said: “Longannet has contributed more electricity for the National Grid than any other power station in Scotland’s history, and it is a sad day for everyone at Scottish Power.

“Coal has long been the dominant force in Scotland’s electricity generation fleet, but the closure of Longannet signals the end of an era.

“For the first time in more than a century no power produced in Scotland will come from burning coal.”

Scottish power has been working with the trade unions, councils and Scottish government to manage the impact on employees at Longannet.

Some employees will be redeployed within Scottish Power, while others have been offered early retirement and redundancy packages. 45 staff members will remain at the power station until December as the deployment team.

No decisions have been taken on the future of the site, but Scottish Power expects to outline its plans before the end of 2016.

Scottish Power announced last year that it would be forced to close Longannet after National Grid opted to award a crucial contract to rival energy generator SSE, making it “uneconomic” to run a thermal power plant in Scotland where transmission charges reach as high as £40 million per year.