Ironbridge B Power Station, Shropshire

Iironbridge Power Station, Shropshire

The Ironbridge Power Stations, sometimes referred to as the Buildwas Power Stations were a series of two power stations which have occupied a site on the banks of the River Severn at Buildwas in Shropshire, England.

The first power station, later to become known as Ironbridge ‘A’ officially opened on 13th October 1932. Extra boilers were commissioned and by 1939 the station had a capacity of 200MW. In 1980 100MW of capacity was taken offline, and the remainder in 1981 when the station was closed.

Ironbridge Power Station behind one of the cooling towers
Ironbridge Power Station behind one of the cooling towers

Construction of the Ironbridge ‘B’ station began in 1963 to meet the rising demand for electricity after World War II. The 1,000MW power station was built alongside the existing ‘A’ station and began generating electricity on 11th June 1969 after delays in construction owing to industrial action and implementation of improvements that had been pioneered during the construction of similar stations using the new 500 MW generating units.

Ironbridge in the landscape
Ironbridge in the landscape

Project architect Alan Clark worked closely with landscape architect Kenneth Booth, to ensure that the station merged as seamlessly as possible into its natural surroundings. When viewed from Ironbridge, the surroundings of the station are hidden by wooded hills. The cooling towers were constructed using concrete to which a red pigment had been added, to blend with the colour of the local soil. So impressive were the measures taken to ensure that the power station was an asset to the gorge and not an eyesore, that it was short listed for a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors/The Times conservation award in 1973.

The original control room in 1993. Note the illuminated ceiling
The original control room in 1993. Note the illuminated ceiling

In 2012 Ironbridge underwent modification to allow both generating units to run on 100% biomass. This reduced the generating capacity from 500MW per unit to approximately 370MW per unit.

In February 2014 a serious fire damaged unit 1’s turbine and generator. It was later announced that the damage would not be repaired, reducing the plant’s generation capacity to just 370MW in total.

Ironbridge ‘B’ stopped generating electricity on 20 November 2015 when the power station was closed.

Buildings and Plant Detail

Ironbridge Turbine HallTurbine Hall

The turbine hall at Ironbridge housed 2 sets of 500MW AEI generating units.

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Ironbridge Boiler HouseBoiler House and Mills

The boiler house contains two Forster Wheeler boilers.

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Ironbridge Control RoomControl Room

The control room was upgraded to APMS computerised system.

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Ironbridge AdminAdmin Block

The admin block contains the medical centre, bathhouse and various other staff facilities.

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Ironbridge Cooling TowersCooling Towers

The cooling towers have a pink hue to help them blend into the landscape.

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Ironbridge Power Station Image Gallery

Visit the plant detail pages above to view more images from each area of the power plant

Fires at Ironbridge

The fire damaged Unit One
The fire damaged Unit One

Two major incidents have occurred at Ironbridge involving fire. The first took place in 1998 and resulted in the entire turbine hall requiring reconstruction. The second incident in 2014 when unit 1 caught fire. The fire caused extensive damage to the turbine and generator set of unit 1, which was never returned to service.

Read more about the fires

Documents and Schematics

Plan of the site
Plan of the site

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