Originally planned in 1967, with construction starting in 1969, the station started generating electricity in 1983, and was completed in 1985, initially being operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board. With privatisation of the UK's electric supply industry in 1990, the station has been owned by Nuclear Electric and British Energy, but is now owned and operated by EDF Energy.
In 1999 British Energy made a commitment to support their local community by the establishment of the Hartlepool Power Station Fund. Keen to act as a good and responsible member of the local area, the fund specifies that support should concentrate on the Hartlepool and Seaton Carew communities with emphasis on education, wellbeing and young people. The fund enjoys the full support of the current owners of the plant, EDF Energy and forms a key part of their community engagement strategy.