Little Barford Power Station
Little Barford is a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station located south of St Neots on the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire border on the site of a former coal fired power station.
Little Barford began operation in 1996 and had a generating capacity of 680MW, which isenough to meet the electricity demands of over half a million households.
The power station has one generating module, consisting of two gas turbines and one steam turbine. The station also has an open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) providing black start capability to the site.
£100 million has been invested in Little Barford to upgrade the gas turbines and other areas of the power station. It is envisaged that the upgrade will extend the life of the plant to around 2025. The work included replacing the two gas turbines and the control system alongside a full upgrade of the boilers, steam turbines, generators and other plant components.
The power station has a new capacity of 720MW, which is the equivalent to an additional 30,000 homes that can now be powered by the plant.
Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) have been reduced by 40% which will enable the station to meet the stricter environmental limits being implemented in the UK. The increased fuel efficiency of the plant will save the equivalent of 118,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.
When operating normally the power station can provide all the power it requires to run. However when the power station is shut down it usually requires electricity from National Grid to start up.
In the event of a major failure of the national grid distribution system, the black start turbine will allow the power station to start up without taking electricity from National Grid.
The main fuel used to generate electricity at Little Barford Power Station is natural gas, however the station also has the ability to use gas oil as a back-up fuel.