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Report - - Willington - June 2022 (Derby) | UK Power Stations | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Willington - June 2022 (Derby)


CantClimbTom

Enthusiastic Idiot
28DL Full Member
Willington Power Stations A and B were coal fired and operated from 1959 until final closure in 1999. 5 cooling towers remain and are a smidgen over 300ft high and are a landmark.
It is customary to include a history but I am feeling lazy and this is already covered by many better reports than mine, please see one such example including excellent drone pics, please read MrBudge's excellent report https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/willington-cooling-towers-derby-september-2021.131887/

Instead - I'd like to wonder about the future of the site, in particular the 5 cooling towers


Calon Energy owned the site after decommissioning of the A and B stations. They had hoped to build a gas-fired power station similar to Didcott B and they obtained financial backing from Australian investment company Macquarie but things fell flat and ownership of the site was sold on to RWE nPower

"...In 2005, RWE nPower filed a planning application to build 1,000 houses (200 affordable), 10,000 sq m of space for new businesses, a food store, shops, community hall, health facilities, family restaurant, extension to Findern County School and a vast amount of community open space including a public park and nature reserves..." But this was opposed Source: https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/burton/two-decades-what-happening-willington-3141094

RWE nPower filed an application 2010 to build a gas fired power station. The format is 400 magawatt open cycle (pretty much like a gas powered aircraft jet-engine spinning generators for electricity rather than a plane) Not very efficient as the heat of the exhaust is lost as turbine exhaust is direct to the air but they are fast response and used to balance peaks in grid demand. I have some familiarity of these from Didcot B where the turbine hall is a big shed but not of the scale of traditional power stations, the cooling required are a bank of fans more like giant sized air-conditioning and not the old cooling towers. In addition to the rapid generation capability a more standard 2,000 megawatt gas-fired closed cycle gas-turbine power station is also planned on site.

Plans were approved 2011 (including permission to demolish the 5 cooling towers) but demolition and construction is on hold until RWE nPower have gained contracts for electricity supply. You don't spend millions building a power station and then hope someone will buy the electricity and for a reasonable price. Supply contracts have not been agreed and with the rising cost of gas due to Russia's war in Europe it looks unlikely in the immediate future, so demolition plans are approved... but on hold as at June 2022, pending supply contracts at favourable rates.

The future is uncertain!
 
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CantClimbTom

Enthusiastic Idiot
28DL Full Member
The explore - this was a quick trip on my own to take a quick look around as I'd not been there before. I was surprised by how much effort they've made renewing the fencing and the local farmer dumping stuff to block entrances and access from the East (Frizam's Lane) which is more recent than the streetview pics but how recent I'm not sure.
I was impressed by my look round and intend to return to explore a bit more thoroughly, one thing that I think would merit a return is to get some throwline and a throwbag and get access up inside the cooling towers that still have the inside/base in place, might make an interesting view? I'll be back!!!

View from the main road reception gate
FrontGate_Smallpic.jpg



Keep Out!
Rear_Smallpic.jpg


Oh... beware of this stuff, it likes to grow and it is starting to take over some areas of the site. It looks at first like a bigger version of cow's parley (harmless) but at this time of year you can see purple patches on the stems, it is Hemlock try to avoid contact https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/hemlock. It was used in ancient Greek times as the death sentence and Socrates was convicted in 399BC and forced to drink some of the plants juice, didn't work out so well for him. Hemlock seems to be thriving at Willington.

hemlock2_smallpic.jpg


Hemlock1_smallpic.jpg



Hello_Smallpic.jpg



Some nice Graffiti, can anyone identify more examples, I like it
Graff_smallpic.jpg




Tekonta Secta Graffiti there too, starting to look faded, they need to come back and go over it please. http://globalstreetart.com/tekontasecta
Tekontasecta_smallpic.jpg



This one looks interesting, caught my eye, maybe a project for someone to go up and walk about the "Via Feratta" side to side up there
ClimbingWall_smallpic.jpg



I tried to chat to one of the locals but he was staying quiet
LocalPeople_smallpic.jpg



Inlet control valve gear
ValveA_smallpic.jpg


More Inlet controls on another tower
Valveb_smallpic.jpg


Cooling towers... that's what we come for
Towers_smallpic.jpg


One of the ones that has had the bottom cooling concrete removed - just left empty
BaseInside_smallpic.jpg



And lastly... WOOOHHOOO they're BIG!
Inside_smallpic.jpg


Thanks for reading
 
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CantClimbTom

Enthusiastic Idiot
28DL Full Member
I haven't seen in other reports shots of the inside when standing in that strange oval shaped door near the base, there are probably interesting angles for photos that are yet to be tried, despite the fairly high-traffic nature of the place. I think the site will just keep giving, until demolished one day.

Keep away from the Hemlock though people!
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice angles there. Gives an idea of the size. Lovely images. Not sure on your mate though, dont think he would have your back lol.
 

CantClimbTom

Enthusiastic Idiot
28DL Full Member
Nice angles there. Gives an idea of the size. Lovely images. Not sure on your mate though, dont think he would have your back lol.
What you mean "Skelly"?? Nah he's a local, he lives under that cooling tower, but he's a good guy even if quiet, he'd make no bones about watching your back if you asked him
 

Down and beyond

The true source of englands wealth is coal
Regular User
I am surprised you haven’t bolted up it ! :cool;)
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Really nice set and that last shot is a belter, love the lighting it. I love standing under these.
 

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
I haven't seen in other reports shots of the inside when standing in that strange oval shaped door near the base, there are probably interesting angles for photos that are yet to be tried, despite the fairly high-traffic nature of the place. I think the site will just keep giving, until demolished one day.

Keep away from the Hemlock though people!
The ones 'near the base' are still a fair way up the outside of the towers, otherwise that would have been done :rofl
 

CantClimbTom

Enthusiastic Idiot
28DL Full Member
The ones 'near the base' are still a fair way up the outside of the towers, otherwise that would have been done :rofl
I guestimated 7-9m from ground level on the outside or 9-10m from ground on inside. Looks plausible to me?
 

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
Nice take on it, someone has climbed these I believe
Yeah there's a report in the notable section from some mentalists who climbed to the top of them.

It must be about time for my yearly visit to Willington, somehow I've found myself there every year for the past few.
 

tweek

SNC/SWC
Regular User
This one looks interesting, caught my eye, maybe a project for someone to go up and walk about the "Via Feratta" side to side up there
Yeah there's a report in the notable section from some mentalists who climbed to the top of them.

It must be about time for my yearly visit to Willington, somehow I've found myself there every year for the past few.
Bigjobs and m9

 

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