Coal-fired Longannet loses National Grid contract and is set to close early next year
Environmentalists are celebrating after it was announced the huge Longannet power station in Fife is to close early next year.
Scottish Power made the move after it failed to win a contract from National Grid.
A gas-fired power station at Peterhead won the contract at the expense of Scottish Power and a third bidder.
Scottish Power employs 270 people at Longannet, with more jobs in the supply chain relying on the site.
The site is under pressure from EU environmental legislation and carbon taxation as well as higher transmission charges to connect to the grid due to its location.
Gina Hanrahan, climate and energy policy officer at WWF Scotland, said the announcement is another important step in Scotland’s energy transition.
Longannet is Scotland’s single biggest source of climate emissions - Gina Hanrahan
“While Longannet has served Scotland well for over 40 years, it is Scotland’s single biggest source of climate emissions and a combination of EU air pollution rules, carbon pricing and factors such as transmission charging have made the aging plant’s closure inevitable," she said.
“However, National Grid have made clear that this does not pose problems for security of supply in Scotland and has taken very prudent steps to ensure grid stability with this short-term voltage control contract for Peterhead."
The group said that independent research for WWF shows that Scotland can have almost entirely renewable, secure electricity by 2030.
Hanrahan added: “With our amazing renewables resource, it makes sense to embrace Scotland’s natural strengths as part of Britain’s shared grid.
“The Scottish Government and others now need to focus on attracting new low-carbon employment to the area so that we can secure a just transition to a clean energy future.”
Scottish Power retail and generation chief executive Neil Clitheroe said: "We are extremely disappointed with National Grid's decision as Scottish Power submitted a competitive bid that reflected our commitment to protecting the immediate future of Longannet Power Station.
"As we have said previously, today's decision by National Grid means that, in all likelihood, we will be forced to announce the closure of Longannet by March 2016.
"Everyone will appreciate that it is a concerning time for all our people and we will do everything in our power to manage the outcome of this process as best we can.”