Fiddler’s Ferry captured at ‘unseen angle’ in rare drone footage

With its huge brooding towers, the Fiddler's Ferry power station has been a local landmark for as long as anyone can remember.

But very few will have seen it as up close and personal as in this stunning drone footage.

They were taken by local photographer Luke Baker, who said: "I took them because the towers have been part of Merseyside's skyline for years but not many people have seen them up close.

"I wanted to show people something they've seen day in day out from an unseen angle."

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At its peak, Fiddler's Ferry had a capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW), taking water from the nearby River Mersey and producing enough electricity to power around two million homes.

The coal-fired plant has dominated the skyline between Widnes and Warrington since it was built, so it was the end of an era when it officially closed at the end of March, after nearly 50 years of operation.

It was a bleak day for the power station's 158-strong workforce when the closure was announced by owners SSE in June 2019.

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SSE said it would seek to redeploy its Fiddler's Ferry employees, some working on decommissioning the plant and others given the offer of voluntary redundancy.

Speaking at the time, Stephen Wheeler, managing director of Thermal Energy at SSE, said: "The proposed closure of SSE's coal-fired power station at Fiddler's Ferry is not a decision we are taking lightly.

The giant towers of Fiddler's Ferry power station, overlooking the River Mersey

"We are very aware of the impact on our employees and contractors at the station, their families and the local community.

"Environmentally, coal is a major emitter of CO2, and the UK Government has committed to ending unabated coal-fired electricity generation by 2025 at the latest.

"Financially, Fiddler's Ferry, is loss-making and our projections show that it will continue to be so. These losses are unsustainable beyond the end of the current financial year. "

The giant towers of Fiddler's Ferry power station

According to SSE, in recent years, a number of factors had "weighed heavily" on the viability of the station, including lower-carbon initiatives and the bid to tackle climate change.

That included the Government committing to ending unabated coal-fired electricity generation by 2025, and parliament confirming it hopes to achieve a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

One of the most dramatic episodes the history of the plant came on Friday, January 13, 1984, when strong winds caused cooling tower B2 to collapse.

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SSE said over its lifetime, Fiddler’s Ferry produced around 393TWh (terawatt hours) – enough to power the entire UK for 15 months.

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