In May 1988, New Order and Bananarama were in the charts, Celtic beat Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final to take the double and Torness power station first started supplying low carbon electricity to the grid.
On 25th May this year the EDF Energy station, near Dunbar, celebrated its 30th birthday. On that day it passed the milestone of generating 248.5TWh of electricity. That means that over its lifetime it has produced enough electricity to power more than 63.1million homes and has avoided more than 85 million tonnes of CO2 in comparison to the same amount of gas generation. Each year it produces around a quarter of the electricity needs of Scotland.
Workers at the station have been taking part in a range of celebrations and commemorative activities to mark the birthday. The station’s visitor centre held a free exhibition showcasing photos and memorabilia from the last three decades. This included photos and video of construction and the official opening by then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
But the story of Torness is about so much more than the electricity it produces. We are proud to be part of the local community; our operations contribute around £45m a year to the East Lothian area. Most of our workforce lives locally and just as they continue to put money back into the local economy, we continue to invest in our links with small businesses and local charities.
Each year we welcome thousands of people through the doors of our visitor centre, including pupils from many of the area’s schools. We have a committed group of staff who support Edinburgh International Science Festival and SmartSTEMS events and work with pupils at local schools to encourage young people to consider careers in STEM. This work has been recognised by the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce which awarded Torness its Commitment to Youth Development award.
The station has a dedicated workforce of around 550 full time staff and 200 contract partners. We also have 26 apprentices, many of whom grew up nearby, who are building their skills in engineering and can look forward to a brighter future following the announcement in 2016 that the station would be able to safely operate until at least 2030.
Torness station director, Robert Gunn said: “Torness is a very special place. I am extremely proud of everyone who has made this milestone possible. We have a team of people who are totally committed to making the power station safe and successful and who are looking forward to many more years of safe low carbon electricity production.”