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No plans to switch on Sutton Bridge Power Station despite energy shortage fears

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There’s still no plan to switch on Sutton Bridge Power Station - despite fears of a national winter energy shortage.

The power station was placed in a dormant state last year after its owners Calon Energy went into administration.

In March this year, the company exited administration via a Company Voluntary Agreement and control was handed back to its directors - listed on Companies House as Jeffrey Holder and Scott Magie.

Sutton Bridge Power Station.
Sutton Bridge Power Station.

The Spalding Guardian understands there are no plans to return the natural gas-fired station to use at the moment - with the facility described as ‘unoperational indefinitely’.

That’s in spite of the fact that the National Grid has warned that the risk of winter blackouts has increased - with supply only due to outstrip demand by as little as 4.2%.

That’s lower than 2015/16, when businesses were asked to reduce their power use.

The lack of power from Sutton Bridge - once thought to have provided 2% of all electricity for England and Wales - is thought to have been part of the Grid’s calculations.

Sutton Bridge councillor Michael Booth said he would like to see the power station, which opened in 1999, come back in to use.

He said residents are now facing all the negatives of having a huge power station on the landscape without any of the benefits.

He said: “I believe that it should be producing power.

“I know there’s an issue with gas prices and it’s probably not cost effective but we definitely do need electricity.

“In terms of age, it’s not that old. To stand there and not do anything when everyone needs energy is disappointing.

“I don’t know if it will ever come back into use.”

Coun Booth said, however, that he is aware of a couple of parties who have shown an interest in buying the power station.

Calon’s creditor had provided a £4.8 million loan to fund the operating costs and expenses of the preservation process for the power station.

A redundancy process began on September 4 last year. As part of that, 21 employees resigned or were made redundant, with 18 transferring over to a new operation and maintenance provider NAES.

A KPMG administrators’ report, written in March, explained: “The company will continue to operate and maintain the power station under the control of its directors.

“We understand the directors plan to continue to hold the power station assets in a dormant state, under a preservation plan until such a point where market conditions are such that the decision is made to return the power station to an operational state.”

A planned solar farm on land around the power station has been delayed - with work now not due to start until next year.

Coun Booth said a working power station and solar farm in tandem have the potential to provide a lot of energy for the county.

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