Wylfa is seeking a new home for 5 ageing back-up generators whose illustrious cousin, the Rolls-Royce Proteus Gas Turbine Generator, famously powered Donald Campbell’s Bluebird CN7 as it smashed the world land speed record in 1964.
The first 4 generators, each capable of 3MW output, provided essential standby electricity in the event that normal supplies were lost.
In 1983, a fifth Proteus turbine was installed to provide additional power to Wylfa’s Secondary Dry Store Cells, used to hold spent nuclear fuel after being removed from the reactors.
They were believed to be the last remaining Proteus Gas Turbines in use anywhere in the world but, after 47 years of faithful service, they were stood down on 20 January 2018.
When electricity generation at Wylfa ended in 2015 the site’s Electrical Overlay System was capable of providing back-up electricity supplies and there was no further need for the gas turbines.
The Proteus engine has a distinguished history: having seen naval service in fast torpedo boats, powered the Bluebird CN7 car used by Donald Campbell to break the world land speed record in 1964, powered cross-channel hovercraft until 2000 and provided essential supplies to Magnox’s Oldbury Power Station in Gloucestershire.
The gas turbines will be disconnected and all potential hazards removed, such as oils and batteries, before the asset disposals team sets about finding them a new home.