Aberthaw is a coal-fired power station, owned and operated by RWE npower. The station began full operation in 1971 and is located to the west of Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan on the north bank of the Bristol Channel. The station can generate 1560MW of electricity for the National Grid system. This is enough power to meet the needs of some 1.5 million people - equivalent to the total population of five cities the size of Cardiff.
In 2012, the station achieved a record generation level, firing in excess of 3MTe of coal, of which approximately 1.8Mte was sourced from local welsh mines. In order to meet the ever changing demands of the energy industry, the station has recently invested over £300m in upgraded steam turbines; an ash recycling plant; biomass firing; a coal blending operation and major environmental abatement equipment such flue gas desulphurisation (FGD).