Aberthaw Power Station
Aberthaw is a coal-fired power station. The station began full operation in 1971 and is located 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 1.5 million households - equivalent to the total population of five cities the size 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 completed a £230 million environmental upgrade in recent years.
Aberthaw operates as an opted in station under the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). We are investing in new technologies to reduce emissions at Aberthaw, such as the FGD technology already in operation, that reduces sulphur emissions by up to 95%.
Aberthaw Power Station was designed to burn semi-anthracitic, low-volatile coal. A high percentage of this coal is locally sourced coal, mined in Wales and is transported to the power station by rail.
RWE has recently completed construction of a 3MWe carbon capture pilot plant at our coal-fired power station in Aberthaw. This will test technology to capture the carbon dioxide from the flue gases and will form a vital part of RWE's research programme into carbon capture and storage technology.
In January 2013, the Aberthaw Carbon Capture Pilot plant captured its first tonne of CO2. This milestone marked the commencement of the final commissioning phases for the pilot plant. When commissioning is complete, we will commence an R&D programme to help us better understand how this technology could be used to reduce carbon emissions at coal-fired power stations. More information on the carbon capture plant is available here.
As part of our commitment to investing in lower carbon technologies we've also invested over £9.5 million at Aberthaw to enable the co-firing of carbon neutral biomass fuels such as sawdust and wood chips in a processing facility. This facility can supply up to 55MW into the existing generating plant, replacing some of the coal burned.
Aberthaw Centre for Energy and the Environment (ACE2)
The Aberthaw Centre for Energy and Environment (ACE2) provides an important new facility for schools, colleges and community groups throughout South Wales. ACE2 will deliver interactive educational programmes, building on the work of npower’s Climate Cops programme.
Aberthaw Power Station has formed a partnership with Keep Wales Tidy, which runs the Eco-Schools programme in the region, to design and deliver stimulating sessions at the centre 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: sustainable and recycled materials, such as ash from the power station, were used in construction of the centre. It is heated and powered using on-site renewable energy sources and uses recovered rain water.