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King George V opened the coal-fired Barking Power Station in 1925, although it had
been running for some months before this official ceremony. It was built to provide
electricity for a large part of Essex as well as for part of Kent and, by the time its four
separate sections were completed, it was the largest steam powered station in Europe
with a total output of some 100 megawatts of electricity. This electricity was fed into the
National Grid for general consumption.
At its height, Barking Power Station ran its own football and cricket clubs and had a
darts team but with the decline in coal-produced electricity, the Station started a
redundancy programme in the 1970s and finally closed in November 1981. Some of the
buildings were then demolished.