Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Co
1889 The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Company was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne by John Theodore Merz and Robert Spence Watson (who had married the sister of Merz's wife), supplying the area on the east side of the City.
1890 opened its first power station, Pandon Dene Power Station.
1892 Charles Hesterman Merz, son of John, worked at Pandon Dene
Merz later became the company's Chief Consultant Engineer.
From 1898 Charles Merz undertook much of the company's design work.
1900 the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Co. purchased the entire power plant put down by the Walker and Wallsend Union Gas Co., with the exception of the cables and sub-station machinery installed for the purpose of supplying the works in the area in which the Gas Co. had obtained Parliamentary powers. The Supply Co. further entered into an agreement with the Gas Co., in which the latter undertook to buy electricity in bulk from tire former.
The company also obtained powers to lay high-tension cables from the power station at Wallsend to various sub-stations in Newcastle, and decided to change their entire system of supply, from single- phase alternating current, generated at Pandon Dene Power-Station at 2,000 volts, with house-to-house transformers. The new scheme included the generation of three-phase current at 5,500 volts, 40 cycles per second, transformed to direct current using motor generators in sub-stations.
1901 Implemented the conversion scheme
1901 Opened the Neptune Bank Power Station, the first power station in the UK to generate three-phase electricity, and the first to supply electricity for industrial purposes rather than just lighting.
1903 Carville Power Station was opened to supply power for the electrified railways in the Newcastle area.
1905 Took over the Walker and Wallsend Union Gas Co
1905 Took powers to operate the generating stations at Gateshead of the County of Durham Electric Supply Co, those at Jarrow and Durham City of the County of Durham Electrical Power Distribution Co, the generating stations at Otto Vale and Axwell Park, Blaydon, erected or about to be erected by the Priestman Power Co, other generating stations within or outside the Company's area of supply, as well as further activities
1908 One of 3 companies developing electricity supplies on the North East Coast
1910 Opened Dunston Power Station to supply the area south of the River Tyne.
By 1914 had absorbed the County of Durham Electrical Power Distribution Company, the County of Durham Power Supply Company and the Houghton-le-Spring and District Electric Lighting Company.
Merz recognized that in Britain, with industries concentrated in certain areas, public electricity supply could be cheaper and more reliable than private electricity supplies. To capture this market Merz conceived the idea of interconnecting several power stations by high voltage. However, this needed to be protected against faults causing major system damage. His solution, with Bernard Price, was the invention of balanced protection. This enabled Merz to develop a new transmission system for the company to supply electricity cheaper than any other British undertaking.
1917 Opened Carville B Power Station
Postwar: took over the Cleveland and Durham Electric Power Company, the Northern Counties Electricity Supply Company, Durham County Electric Power Company, and Tees Power Station Company.
Took over the assets of the Durham Collieries Electric Power Company and the Hexham and District Supply Company following their liquidation.
1921 Opened North Tees Power Station.
1932 Absorbed eight other companies including:
- County of Durham Electric Supply Co
- County of Durham Electrical Power Distribution Co
- Cleveland and Durham County Electric Power Co
- Cleveland and Durham Electric Power (Distribution Co)
- Northern Counties Electricity Supply Co
- Houghton-le-Spring and District Electric Lighting Co
- Carville Site and Power Co
- Tees Power Station Co
The company name then became North-Eastern Electric Supply Co
1933 Opened Dunston B Power Station.
Sources of Information
- The London Gazette 24 November 1905
- Report of visit by I Mech E
- The Engineer 1926/01/08
- The Times, Oct 01, 1932