The East Perth Power Station stands majestically along the banks of the Swan River, near the Windan Bridge, in East Perth . The Power Station was established during World War I and was the only power station supplying the metropolitan area of Perth from 1916-1951. In 1968 the power station converted to oil (from coal) but by 1974 it returned to coal firing. By 1981 the power station had become redundant as more advanced and cheaper methods of electricity generation became available.
The Power Station consists of two buildings containing three power stations. The second building still embellishes the art deco style of the times. The A Station commenced generation in 1916 and was expanded in 1922 and 1928. It is believed that the building was designed in England by engineering consultants Merz & McLellan and contractor Babcock & Wilcox. Most of the building materials were imported including the cement. The B station was commissioned in 1938 followed by C station in 1956. The A station had a total capacity of 32megawatts while B and C stations had of a capacity of 25mw and 30mw respectively. The first building of the power station housed A station and was designed prior to World War I and construction commenced in 1913. It later housed C station. The B station was designed c.1934 with Art Deco features and is the most recognised of the buildings. The central power station building was used to house plant and equipment and contained the boiler house, turbine room, switch house and pump house. Jetty #1 and Jetty #2 were constructed along the Swan River in the 1920’s. Water was pumped from the river, filtered through screens to remove jellyfish & other river debris before being circulated through a condensing plant (located in the power station) where it cooled steam in the condensers. Jetty #1 no longer exists.
During the 1930’s fly-ash from the station was bagged for use in gardens. The fly-ash was a fine grey/orange powder that was produced by coal fired power stations. The fly-ash was added to manure to improve the quality of compost and soil for use on mainly vegetable gardens. The East Perth rubbish tip was used as a fly-ash disposal site until the power station was closed in 1981.
East Perth Power Station Today
The buildings had been vacant since 1981 and sat quietly with all its equipment and fittings slowly deteriorating however after a long delay they are currently being refurbished by the East Perth Redevelopment Authority.