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Electricity supplies on the Isle of Wight



The first public electricity supply on the Isle of Wight was provided in 1899 by the Ventnor Electric Light and Power Company Ltd which was a subsidiary of the Edmundson Electricity Corporation, a mainland company which would become one of the large organisation behind local power companies across the country.

The Ventnor company was later renamed the Isle of Wight Electric Light and Power Company Ltd shortly after as they expanded.

In 1901, IW Electric Light and Power Company opened works just off the quay in Newport which supplied electricity to Newport, and later also Cowes.

In 1903, IW Electric Light and Power Company opened works in Bennett Street Ryde which supplied electricity to Ryde and Seaview. In 1904 the company was powering electric lights on Seaview Pier from the Ryde works.

The 1911 Kelly's street directory records Isle of Wight Electric Light & Power Co. Limited (Arthur E. Mayes, engineer & manager); reg. & head office, Newport road, Ventnor.

The St Helens Electric Lighting Company was an independent company taken over by the IW Electric Light and Power in 1925.

Isle of Wight Electric Light and Power Ltd built a central power station in 1928 at Kingston, East Cowes to replace the four local Power Station. In a CP article of the time, the power was distributed to local 'sub-stations' where it was converted and distributed locally by overhead cables.

The Isle of Wight Electric Light and Power Company Ltd went on to provide the majority of the electricity supplied on the island until nationalisation in 1947 when it was absorbed into the Southern Electricity Board.

After nationalisation (1949), a cross-Solent connector was laid and normal power generation on the island ceased. The coal fired power station at Kingston was used until 1982 to supplement the cross-Solent connector to meet peak demand and as a standby in case of a failure of the connector.

The Kingston Power Station was rebuilt in 1982 and is owned and operated by RWE Generation UK Ltd.

See also: Electricity Supply

(By Admin: last updated - 2 Oct 2020)

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