Spondon H and Derwent Power Stations, Derby, UK

A Combined Heat and Power Plant of varying ages. The power station provided steam and electricity to the neighbouring Celanese Chemical Works.

Spondon H Power Station, Derby
 

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The Spondon Power Stations near Derby were built as Combined Heat and Power Plants to supply both electricity and steam to the neighbouring British Celanese chemical factory. Derwent Gas Power Station was added into the mix later on to make the site more efficient. Upon closure the CHP plant had a capacity of 241 MW, around 50 MW of which was supplied to the National Grid.

History of Spondon and Derwent Power Stations

The original Spondon Power Station with the H station behind

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Spondon Power Station with the H station behind

Derwent Power Station is the third plant to inhabit the site. The original plant, Spondon A Power Station, was built in the 1920s. An additional coal-fired power station, Spondon H was built by the CEGB in 1959 along side the existing plant. The H station had a capacity of 30 MW but was primarily designed to produce steam for the Celanese plant, which made it unique among CEGB built plants. Electricity was generated using three x 10 MW Metropolitan Vickers turbine-generator sets.

The station had two single-flue concrete chimneys, each 315 foot tall. There were also four 150 foot high concrete cooling towers to the east, but were rarely used and were demolished in 1984.

How Spondon H Power Station looked when it opened

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How Spondon H Power Station looked when it opened

Spondon A was closed in the early 1980s and was later demolished. Shortly after, the H station had an overhaul and two of the Metropolitan Vickers generators were replaced with AEG Kanis generators capable of producing 12.5 MW each.

Derwent Power Station opened in 1995 when four General Electric Frame-6 gas turbines were erected on land where the original ‘A’ station once stood. The heat recovered from the gas turbines was used to generate steam. Not only was the steam used to supply the Celanese plant, but also a 59 MW steam turbine that formed part of the Derwent station and two of Spondon H’s turbines. As a result, the coal fired boilers of Spondon H were taken offline and decommissioned, but the existing turbines were retained. The two chimneys were demolished; one in the early 1990s and the other in the early 2000s.

Closure of Celanese and Derwent Power Plant

The closure of the British Celanese factory spelled the end for Derwent Power Station and Spondon H’s turbines. The majority of the power produced by the plant was supplied directly to the factory, along with the steam. High prices for gas at the time meant gas-fired stations supplying the National Grid were being taken offline, so retention as a supplier for residential use was not an option. The station closed in 2012 along with the Celanese plant.

Spondon H Turbine Hall

Although originally built along with the boiler house, the turbines were in use until the power station closed, so are in much better condition than the boiler house.

Spondon H Power Station - Metropolitan Vickers turbine in its original configuration

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Spondon H Power Station – Metropolitan Vickers turbine in its original configuration

Spondon H Power Station - Metropolitan Vickers turbine and generator

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Spondon H Power Station – Metropolitan Vickers turbine and generator

Spondon H Power Station - Original generator

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Spondon H Power Station – Original generator

Spondon H Power Station - Original generator

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Spondon H Power Station – Original generator

Spondon H Power Station - Metro-Vic turbine with upgraded AEG Kanis generator in enclosure

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Spondon H Power Station – Metro-Vic turbine with upgraded AEG Kanis generator in enclosure

Spondon H Power Station - One of the two turbines that were later driven by steam from the neighbouring Derwent gas turbines

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Spondon H Power Station – One of the two turbines that were later driven by steam from the neighbouring Derwent gas turbines

Spondon H Power Station - Metropolitan Vickers Turbine

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Spondon H – Metropolitan Vickers Turbine

Spondon H Power Station - Turbine and generator

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Spondon H Power Station – Turbine and generator

Spondon H Power Station - AEG Kanis enclosures in turbine hall

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Spondon H Power Station – AEG Kanis enclosures in turbine hall

Spondon H Power Station - Gears inside enclosure

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Spondon H Power Station – Gears inside enclosure

Spondon H Power Station - Tanks and pipes in turbine hall

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Spondon H – Tanks and pipes in turbine hall

Spondon H Control Room and Switch Rooms

Spondon H Control Room - Wide view of the power station's nerve centre

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Spondon H Control Room – Wide view of the power station’s nerve centre

Spondon H Control Room - Panels and control desks

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Spondon H Control Room – Panels and control desks

Spondon H Control Room - Panel with gauges

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Spondon H Control Room – Panel with gauges

Spondon H Control Room - Control panels still lit up

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Spondon H Control Room – Panels still lit up

Spondon H Control Room - Some of the control panels still had lights on and warnings they were live

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Spondon H Control Room – Some of the control panels still had lights on and warnings they were live

Spondon H Control Room - The control room was bit messier when we revisited

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Spondon H Control Room – The control room was bit messier when we revisited

Spondon H Control Room - Most of the panels in the switch room were made by South Wales Switchgear

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Spondon H Control Room – Most of the panels in the switch room were made by South Wales Switchgear

Spondon H Control Room - Switch panels

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Spondon H Control Room – Switch panels

Spondon H Control Room - Switch panels

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Spondon H Control Room – Switch panels

Spondon H Control Room - One of the old offices

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Spondon H Control Room – One of the old offices

Spondon H Control Room - Corridor to the offices

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Spondon H Control Room – Corridor to the offices

Old Boiler House

The boiler house of Spondon H was decommissioned when the Derwent gas plant was built. As a result there is quite a bit of decay in here.

Spondon H Boiler House - Lots of decay in here

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Spondon H Boiler House – Lots of decay in here

Spondon H Boiler House - English Electric switchgear

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Spondon H Boiler House – English Electric switchgear

Spondon H Boiler House - Switchgear

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Spondon H Boiler House – Switchgear

Spondon H Boiler House - Below the hoppers

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Spondon H Boiler House – Below the hoppers

Spondon H Boiler House - Coal Hoppers

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Spondon H Boiler House – Coal Hoppers

Spondon H Boiler House - Pipes between coal hoppers

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Spondon H Boiler House – Pipes between coal hoppers

Spondon H Boiler House - Steam main to Celanese

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Spondon H – Steam main to Celanese

Spondon H Boiler House - Looking down

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Spondon H Boiler House – Looking down

Spondon H Boiler House - Coal conveyors above the boilers

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Spondon H Boiler House – Coal conveyors above the boilers

Spondon H Boiler House - Part of the boilers

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Spondon H Boiler House – Part of the boilers

Spondon H Boiler House - Below the boilers

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Spondon H Boiler House – Below the boilers

Spondon H Boiler House - Boiler door with International Combustion wording

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Spondon H Boiler House – Boiler door with International Combustion wording

Derwent Gas Turbine Plant

Derwent Power Station is the newest part of the site – a gas fired plant which supplied steam to Celanese and the turbines of Spondon H.

Derwent Power Station - positioned next to Spondon H

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Derwent Power Station – positioned next to Spondon H

Derwent Power Station - Welcome!

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Derwent Power Station – Welcome!

Derwent Power Station - Pipes

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Derwent Power Station – Pipes

Derwent Power Station - Between gas turbines

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Derwent Power Station – Between gas turbines

Derwent Power Station - Most of the plant was outdoors and had a lot of pipes

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Derwent Power Station – Most of the plant was outdoors and had a lot of pipes

Derwent Power Station - Two of four the gas turbines

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Derwent Power Station – Two of four the gas turbines

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