Recent energy news reports an end of an era, with the last coal-fired power station now switching off, not only signalling the end of its own power generation, but of all coal-fired power generation in Scotland. Longannet Power Station, the last of its kind in Scotland, has been the third most prominent coal-fired plant in Europe, and has been in operation ever since 1969, yet, in a recent move, Scottish Power has elected to close the plant.
Nodding to the esteemed history and success of the plant, there is a degree of recognition as to the contributions made by the Longannet plant in delivering a substantial amount of electricity to the grid thus far, however, with recent shifts in the coal-power industry, the move comes as no surprise due to the waning popularity and viability of coal as a power source.
Hugh Finley, Generation Director of Scottish Power commented: “Coal has long been the dominant force in Scotland’s electricity generation fleet, but the closure of Longannet signals the end of an era. For the first time in more than a century no power produced in Scotland will come from burning coal.”
Of course, mixed emotions can be expected on the announcement, with one side of the argument considering the loss of a primary power source and commercial success in Scotland, while the other heralding a move away from coal power as a positive move from an environmental perspective. A certain portion of assuredly good news, however, has been Scottish Power’s dedication to ensuring that the change impacts those who have worked at the plant as little as possible.
Of those employed at the plant, Scottish Power has decided to relocate a number of its employees, whilst also offering a combination of early retirement and redundancy packages to others. As for the future of the plant, no considerable plans have been confirmed as of yet, but it is expected that the company will present one over the course of the year.