Ferrybridge Power Station will close within a year, with the loss of at least 172 jobs.
Site operators SSE has confirmed the plant will close by the end of March 2016 due to rising costs and new environmental legislation.
Paul Smith, the company’s managing director, said its closure will lead to 172 of the company’s staff losing their jobs. An unspecified number of contractors working at the site will also be out of work when the site closes.
Mr Smith said: “This was a very difficult decision to take because of the impact on our Ferrybridge employees, their families and the community.
“It’s been known for many years that the UK would have to phase out coal as it moves towards a more sustainable energy mix. We’ve sought to protect jobs and invest in the site to keep it running for as long as we possibly could but ultimately we’ve had to make this regrettable decision today.
“Our team at Ferrybridge is highly skilled, dedicated, and with a strong track record of performance –and we’re keen to ensure, where possible, that staff are redeployed across other parts of the SSE group, for example the nearby Keadby power station; or across the wider business.
“We appreciate it is a concerning time for our employees and our priority is to support them over the coming weeks and months.”
Mr Smith said the company would work to employ the site’s workers at other plants across the county including at Keadby, near Scunthorpe.
One of the units at Ferrybridge was hit by a huge fire last July and has not returned to operation since.
The new £300m multifuel site at Ferrybridge is due to be complete by the end of this year and SSE has also submitted a planning application for a second plant.