Aberthaw Power Station
Aberthaw is a coal-fired power station. The station began full operation in 1971 and is located in Wales to the west of Cardiff, in the Vale of Glamorgan, on the north bank of the Bristol Channel
Aberthaw can generate around 1555MW of electricity for the National Grid System. This is enough power to meet the needs of some three million households. This is the equivalent of ten times the total population of Cardiff.
We aim to maintain Aberthaw Power Station as one of the most efficient coal-fired power stations in the UK and we have spent £230 million on environmental technology in recent years.
Aberthaw operated as an ‘opted-in’ station under the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). We have invested in technologies to reduce emissions at Aberthaw, such as the Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) technology already in operation, that reduces sulphur emissions by up to 95%. More recently we are working towards compliance with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and have installed low NOx boiler technology to Unit 9 reducing emissions by over 90%.
In early 2016 we announced further investments in NOx emissions improvements to all units. This will enable the station to be compliant with the IED through its ability to use a wider range of coals including high volatile. In addition, we have announced a change to our operating regime, which will focus on ensuring secure capacity is available when needed but with lower energy generation operations.
Coal supply and transportation
Aberthaw Power Station was designed to burn semi-anthracitic, low-volatile coal.A percentage of this coal is locally sourced. and all fuel is transported to the power station by rail.
In 2013, as part of RWE’s group wide Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) strategy, a pilot carbon capture facility was constructed and operated at Aberthaw Power Station in South Wales. More information on the carbon capture pilot plant is available here.
As part of our commitment to investing in lower carbon technologies, we invested over £9.5 million in Aberthaw enabling the co-firing of carbon neutral biomass fuels such as sawdust and wood chips in the processing facility. This facility can supply up to 55MW into the existing generating plant, replacing some of the coal burned and has been very successful. However the station currently has no plans to use biomass as a fuel from mid-2017.
Aberthaw Centre for Energy and the Environment (ACE2)
The Aberthaw Centre for Energy and Environment (ACE2) provides an important facility for schools, colleges and community groups throughout South Wales.
Aberthaw Power Station deliver stimulating sessions at ACE2 which are linked to the National Curriculum science and geography schemes for 7 to 18-year-olds.
The centre was designed to be as eco-friendly as possible and sustainable and recycled materials, such as ash from the power station, were used in its construction. It is heated and powered using on-site renewable energy sources and uses recovered rain water.