Spondon H and Derwent Power Stations, Derby, UK

Spondon H Power Station, Derby

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

Visited October 2014 Spondon, Derby, UK Decommissioned

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
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
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
Spondon H Power Station – Metropolitan Vickers turbine in its original configuration
Spondon H Power Station - Metropolitan Vickers turbine and generator
Spondon H Power Station – Metropolitan Vickers turbine and generator
Spondon H Power Station - Original generator
Spondon H Power Station – Original generator
 
Spondon H Power Station - Original generator
Spondon H Power Station – Original generator
Spondon H Power Station - Metro-Vic turbine with upgraded AEG Kanis generator in enclosure
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
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
Spondon H – Metropolitan Vickers Turbine
 
Spondon H Power Station - Turbine and generator
Spondon H Power Station – Turbine and generator
Spondon H Power Station - AEG Kanis enclosures in turbine hall
Spondon H Power Station – AEG Kanis enclosures in turbine hall
Spondon H Power Station - Gears inside enclosure
Spondon H Power Station – Gears inside enclosure
 
Spondon H Power Station - Tanks and pipes in turbine hall
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
Spondon H Control Room – Wide view of the power station’s nerve centre
Spondon H Control Room - Panels and control desks
Spondon H Control Room – Panels and control desks
Spondon H Control Room - Panel with gauges
Spondon H Control Room – Panel with gauges
 
Spondon H Control Room - Control panels still lit up
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
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
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
Spondon H Control Room – Most of the panels in the switch room were made by South Wales Switchgear
Spondon H Control Room - Switch panels
Spondon H Control Room – Switch panels
 
Spondon H Control Room - Switch panels
Spondon H Control Room – Switch panels

Spondon H Control Room - One of the old offices
Spondon H Control Room – One of the old offices
 
Spondon H Control Room - Corridor to the offices
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
Spondon H Boiler House – Lots of decay in here
Spondon H Boiler House - English Electric switchgear
Spondon H Boiler House – English Electric switchgear
Spondon H Boiler House - Switchgear
Spondon H Boiler House – Switchgear
Spondon H Boiler House - Below the hoppers
Spondon H Boiler House – Below the hoppers
 
Spondon H Boiler House - Coal Hoppers
Spondon H Boiler House – Coal Hoppers
Spondon H Boiler House - Pipes between coal hoppers
Spondon H Boiler House – Pipes between coal hoppers
Spondon H Boiler House - Steam main to Celanese
Spondon H – Steam main to Celanese
 
Spondon H Boiler House - Looking down
Spondon H Boiler House – Looking down
Spondon H Boiler House - Coal conveyors above the boilers
Spondon H Boiler House – Coal conveyors above the boilers
Spondon H Boiler House - Part of the boilers
Spondon H Boiler House – Part of the boilers
Spondon H Boiler House - Below the boilers
Spondon H Boiler House – Below the boilers
Spondon H Boiler House - Boiler door with International Combustion wording
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
Derwent Power Station – positioned next to Spondon H
Derwent Power Station - Welcome!
Derwent Power Station – Welcome!
 
Derwent Power Station - Pipes
Derwent Power Station – Pipes
Derwent Power Station - Between gas turbines
Derwent Power Station – Between gas turbines
Derwent Power Station - Most of the plant was outdoors and had a lot of pipes
Derwent Power Station – Most of the plant was outdoors and had a lot of pipes
Derwent Power Station - Two of four the gas turbines
Derwent Power Station – Two of four the gas turbines

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