ⓘ Rye House power station. The current station was built on the site of an earlier 128 MW coal-fired power station built in 1951, and an open cycle gas turbine pl ..


ⓘ Rye House power station

The current station was built on the site of an earlier 128 MW coal-fired power station built in 1951, and an open cycle gas turbine plant commissioned in 1965 see below. Both these stations were closed on 1 November 1982 and were subsequently demolished.

The gas-fired station, near Hoddesdon, is about eighteen miles north of London, was built in the early 1990s and fully commissioned in November 1993 and officially opened in April 1994. Output from the station is enough to meet the daily power needs of nearly a million people - almost the population of Hertfordshire.

Rye House operates as part of Drax Group.


1. Specification

CCGT stations use a gas turbine along with a steam turbine connected to a heat recovery steam generator to provide the most efficient form of thermal electricity generation. Rye House has three Siemens V94.2 gas turbines generating 150 MW each rotating at 3000rpm and three Babcock Energy steam generators receiving exhaust gas at 540C connected to one Siemens 250 MW HP/LP steam turbine. The plant was built by Siemens. The gas turbines have a terminal voltage of 11 kV and the steam turbine 15.75 kV, connecting to the National Grid at 400 kV. It has the largest air-cooled condenser in Europe. The chimneys are 58 m high. It employs thirty seven people.


2. Supplemental Balancing Reserve

In October 2014, The station was successful in winning a new contract with the National Grid as a back up energy supply for when there is a shortfall and potential risk of a Nationwide Blackout of Electricity. The contract requires the already successful Two Shifting CCGT to be fully available and fully manned between the months 1 November and 31 March. After that it would be shut down to rest for the other months of the year.


3. Coal-fired and gas turbine plant

The 128 MW coal-fired Rye House power station was built by the British Electricity Authority later the Central Electricity Generating Board and was commissioned in 1951. The station was located between the London to Cambridge railway line and the Lee Navigation, providing access for the delivery of coal and a water supply for condensing steam in the plant. The building was designed by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in a steel-framed, brick-clad cathedral of power’ style exemplified by Scotts Battersea and Bankside power stations.

The station had single chimney and three reinforced concrete cooling towers. Each tower had a capacity of 1.3 million gallons per hour 1.64 m 3 /s. A dock was built on the Lee Navigation adjacent to the power station for unloading coal in addition to the railway sidings.

The station comprised four 30 MW Richardsons Westgarth-Parsons turbo-alternators, generating at 33 kV. These were supplied with steam from the Babcock pulverised coal boilers which produced a total of 1.4 million pounds per hour 176.4 kg/s of steam at 600 psi 41.4 bar and 454°C.

In 1965, an open cycle gas turbine power station was built adjacent to the steam station. This comprised two 70 MW oil-fired gas turbine/generator sets. This was a peak shaving plant designed to operate at times of maximum demand.

The output from the steam plant and the gas turbine plant are shown in the following charts.

Rye House steam power station output 1954–1982 in GWh.

Rye House gas turbine power station output 1965–1982 in GWh.

Rye House power station was decommissioned on 1 November 1982. It was subsequently demolished and then replaced by the CCGT station.

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