After the cooling towers: Rugeley begins journey from coal to low carbon community

Michael Holder
clock • 1 min read

VIDEO: After 50 years Rugeley coal plant's cooling towers were demolished in 2021 - BusinessGreen went to see how future plans for the site are progressing

Rugeley coal station generated electricity for over 50 years until it finally closed for good in 2016, since which time site operator Engie - now known as EQUANS - has started writing another, greener chapter for the Staffordshire town.

The company has opted to turn the former coal station site into a new low carbon community, with plans for hundreds of homes, businesses and a school all powered by green energy, in a bid to turn the town's carbon intensive past into a greener future.

After paying our first visit to learn about EQUANS' plans for the site last year, the coal plant's iconic cooling towers - which had dominated the local skyline for more than half a century - were demolished in June 2021, in a symbolic moment for the UK's accelerating shift to a net zero economy.

With the towers having come down, BusinessGreen went to pay another visit to Rugeley, to see first hand how remediation, construction work and detailed plans are progressing rapidly on the site, with a joint primary and secondary earmarked for opening in September 2023 alongside a new riverside park and wetlands. 

The second episode in our series of films about Rugeley's path from coal power to net zero community can be watched in full above.

EQUANS is a partner of the Net Zero Festival.

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