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