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Cockenzie Power Station

Cockenzie Power Station
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Cockenzie Power Station

Cockenzie Power Station dominates the combined towns of Cockenzie and Port Seton, on the shores of the Firth of Forth, a half-mile (1 km) northeast of Prestonpans and 8 miles (13 km) east of Edinburgh. The station is operated by Scottish Power, a privatised utility which now forms part of a multi-national energy group. Operational since 1967, the station was a 1200-megawatt (MW) coal-fired plant, comprising four separate generating units, until 2013 when generation was suspended to meet targets for atmospheric pollution. The intention is to convert the plant to operate on gas, but with the loss of its landmark 152-m (500-foot) pair of chimneys. Designed by Edinburgh architects Robert Matthew and Johnson-Marshall, construction began in 1959 on the site of the former Prestonlinks Colliery, which closed in 1964. It was opened by William Ross MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland, on the 24th May 1968.

Originally coal was obtained directly from the deep mines of the neighbouring Lothian coalfield, but subsequently coal has been conveyed by rail from open cast mines in the Lothians, Fife, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire. Ash remaining after combustion is mixed with water and piped to large lagoons on the seaward side of the Race Course at Musselburgh where it is deposited.


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