Didcot power station

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(Redirected from Didcot A Power Station)

Didcot power station is an operating power station of at least 1490-megawatts (MW) in Didcot, South Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating. It is also known as Didcot B power station.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Didcot power station Didcot, South Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom 51.6223, -1.2609 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

Loading map...

Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Didcot-A: Unit 3: 51.622252, -1.260853
  • Didcot-A: Unit 4: 51.622252, -1.260853
  • Didcot-A: Unit 1: 51.622252, -1.260853
  • Didcot-A: Unit 2: 51.622252, -1.260853
  • Unit 5: 51.6246, -1.2683
  • Unit 6: 51.6246, -1.2683

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology CHP Start year Retired year
Didcot-A: Unit 3 retired coal - bituminous 543 MW subcritical - - 2013
Didcot-A: Unit 4 retired coal - bituminous 543 MW subcritical - - 2013
Didcot-A: Unit 1 retired coal - bituminous 543 MW subcritical - - 2013
Didcot-A: Unit 2 retired coal - bituminous 543 MW subcritical - - 2013
Unit 5 operating gas[1][2] 780 MW[2] combined cycle[3] no - 2023 (planned)[4]
Unit 6 operating gas[1][2] 710 MW[2] combined cycle[3] no - 2023 (planned)[4]

CHP is an abbreviation for Combined Heat and Power. It is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies. Coal units track this information in the Captive Use section when known.

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner Parent
Didcot-A: Unit 3 RWE Generation SE RWE AG
Didcot-A: Unit 4 RWE Generation SE RWE AG
Didcot-A: Unit 1 RWE Generation SE RWE AG
Didcot-A: Unit 2 RWE Generation SE RWE AG
Unit 5 RWE Generation UK PLC RWE Generation UK Holdings Ltd
Unit 6 RWE Generation UK PLC RWE Generation UK Holdings Ltd



A vote was held in Didcot and surrounding villages on whether Didcot-A should be built. There was strong opposition from Sutton Courtenay but the yes vote was carried, due to the number of jobs that would be created in the area. Building was started during 1964, and was completed in 1970 at a cost of £104m, with up to 2400 workers being employed at peak times.

The 4 x 480 MW power station burns mostly coal, but also co-fires with natural gas. Didcot was the first large power station to be converted to have this function. In addition, a small amount of biomass, such as sawdust, is now burnt at the plant. This was introduced to try to depend more on renewable sources following the introduction of the Kyoto Protocol and, in April 2002, the Renewables Obligation. It is hoped that biomass could replace 2% of coal burnt. Between 2005 and 2007 Didcot installed overfire air systems on the four boilers to reduce emissions of Nitrous Oxide.This ensured compliance with the European Union Large Combustion Plant Directive.

Some ash from Didcot-A is used to manufacture building blocks at a factory on the adjacent Milton Park and transported to Thatcham (near Newbury, Berkshire) for the manufacture of Thermalite aerated breeze blocks using both decarbonized fly and raw ash, but most is mixed with water and pumped via a pipeline to former quarries in Radley.


October 26-29, 2009: Twenty arrested at Didcot-A power station

On October 26, 2009, nine climate change protesters climbed the chimney, and eleven chained themselves to the coal delivery conveyors; the latter group were cut free by police after five hours, but the former waited until October 28 before coming down again — all twenty were arrested, and power supplies continued uninterrupted. The power station was installing improved security fencing at the time.[5] The action was intended to draw attention to the plans of RWE Group to build as many as 30 new coal-fired power stations across Europe, including two in Britain. The group took over a room at the power station and pitched tents on top of a chimney tents. Two specialist climbers entered the chimney flues, intending to remain for a week in order to prevent the plant from restarting; however, after encountering hot conditions, they were unable to stay. At 4 a.m. on October 29, the group voluntarily came down from the chimney and were arrested. The group had met at Climate Camp in London.[6]

November 2, 2006: Greenpeace protest

On the morning of Thursday 2 November 2006, 30 Greenpeace volunteers invaded the power station. One group chained themselves to a broken coal-carrying conveyor belt. A second group scaled the 200 metre high chimney, and set up a 'climate camp'. They proceeded to paint "Blair's Legacy" on the side of the chimney overlooking the town. Greenpeace claims Didcot Power Station is the second most polluting in Britain after Drax in Yorkshire,[7] whilst Friends of the Earth describe it as the ninth worst in the UK.[8]

Retirement scheduled for 2013

In 2012, RWE nPower said it will close two power plants at the end of March 2013 to meet the conditions of the European Union Large Combustion Plant Directive: the Didcot-A Power Station and the 1,000 MW Fawley oil-fired power station, both in the south of England.[9]

On March 22 2013 RWE announced that the plant had been disconnected from the grid after having run for its total entitlement of 20,000 hours after opting out of the EU Large Combustion Directive.[10][11]


Under the EU's Industrial Emissions Directive (still effective after the United Kingdom left the EU[12]), plants not meeting pollution limits would have to perform upgrades or opt-out and retire by 2023. Didcot B opted out and will have to close in 2023.[13]

However, in 2021 the project applied for 1,550 MW existing generation (units 5 and 6) in the T-4 Capacity Market 2024-2025 auction, and they were listed in the final results.[14][15] This would qualify them for government subsidies to guarantee electricity supply.[16]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 https://web.archive.org/web/20220709031814/https://uk-ireland.rwe.com/locations/didcot-b-ccgt-power-plant. Archived from the original on 2022-07-09. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "ENTSO-E Transparency Platform". Archived from the original on January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 https://web.archive.org/web/20221108073105/https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digest-of-uk-energy-statistics-dukes. Archived from the original on 2022-11-08. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20230122201218/https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/462364/LCPD.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2023-01-22. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. Sloan, Liam (29 October 2009). "Didcot tower is 'taken'". The Oxford Times. Oxford: Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd: 3.
  6. David Adam, "Didcot power station protest ends with arrests," The Guardian, October 28, 2009
  7. "Climate campaigners shut down one of UK's biggest power stations". Greenpeace. Retrieved 2006-11-02.
  8. "Carbon Dinosaurs". Friends of the Earth. Archived from the original on 2004-10-19.
  9. "German utility to close 2 highly polluting power plants in U.K.," Reuters, Sep. 18, 2012.
  10. "Powering the nation for 43 years – farewell from Didcot A Power Station", RWE npower, Media Release, March 22, 2013.
  11. Graham Thompson,"Blair's legacy to be demolished", Greenpeace UK, March 22, 2013.
  12. Industrial emissions standards and best available techniques, UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Dec 31, 2020
  13. Energy Trends 2015-2016, United Kingdom, Sep 2015
  14. T4 DY2024-25 Final Results, Electricity Market Reform Delivery Body, Mar 22, 2021
  15. Capacity Market Register 2024-25 (T-4) - 13_04_2021, Electricity Market Reform Delivery Body, Apr 13, 2021
  16. Capacity Market, United Kingdom, Mar 1, 2019

Additional data

To access additional data, including interactive maps of the power stations, downloadable datases, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker and the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.