Landmark moments for SSE and the UK energy industry


This weekend marks a poignant moment in the history of SSE, and the UK energy industry, with demolition beginning at the iconic Ferrybridge Power Station in West Yorkshire, before the official opening of Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm in the Moray Firth.

The world’s fourth-largest offshore wind farm will be officially opened by HRH The Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, on Monday July 29. Situated 13km off the Caithness coast, the 84 turbines will generate 588MW of renewable energy – enough to power 450,000 homes every year.

The day before, on Sunday July 28, demolition work will begin at one of the UK’s best-known power stations, as one of the eight cooling towers at the coal-fired Ferrybridge Power Station comes down.

The 2,000MW Ferrybridge ‘C’ plant was built in 1961 and served the country for more than 50 years until its closure in March 2016, providing enough power annually to meet the energy needs of nearly two million people.

Today Martin Pibworth, SSE’s Energy Director, discussed how the two events illustrate how SSE, and the energy industry, is transforming in line with the UK’s ambition of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Martin Pibworth, SSE’s Energy Director, said:

“The demolition works at Ferrybridge and the official opening of Beatrice are landmark moments for SSE and the UK energy industry.  The two events taking place on consecutive days show the profound change that is taking place in the UK’s energy sector.

“At its peak, Ferrybridge Power Station was capable of providing energy for nearly two million people. Now, offshore wind projects like Beatrice will deliver the clean, large-scale, reliable power the UK needs, while boosting jobs and economic growth.

“Crucially, as the fourth largest offshore wind farm in the world, Beatrice will make a major contribution towards combating climate change and meeting the UK’s ambitions for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“SSE advocated the adoption by the UK of a net zero emissions target by 2050 and we have set ambitious goals to help ensure we play our part in achieving it.”



  • 188m – the height of each of the 84 turbines from sea level to blade tip
  • £2.4bn – the economic boost Beatrice has brought to the UK, of which £1bn went directly to Scotland
  • £200m investment to Wick’s harbour area, including the renovation of two, 200-year-old buildings originally designed by renowned Scottish architect Thomas Telford.
  • 90 long-term jobs will be supported by the project – with the majority based in the rural community of Wick
  • £34m community benefit Beatrice will bring to the local area over the lifetime of the wind farm
  • Beatrice’s 84 turbines will generate 588MW of energy – enough to power 450,000 homes every year – and save around 8m tonnes of harmful carbon emissions over its expected 25-year lifetime operation


Ferrybridge ‘C’:

  • 114m: the height of each of the eight iconic cooling towers
  • 500MW: Ferrybridge ‘C’ was the first power station in Europe to succeed in generating electricity from a 500-megawatt machine.
  • 900: the number of people the power station employed at its peak
  • £600m: The amount invested by SSE and Wheelabrator Technologies in Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 and 2, two waste-to-energy facilities at the site.

Ferrybridge Power Station