The power station was constructed on a 23-acre site at the Wilton chemical complex near Middlesbrough. Construction of the station began in December 1990 and took 29 months to complete. The main contracted construction work was undertaken by a largely local workforce of 3,000. The station, commissioned in April 1993, was originally owned and operated by US energy company Enron.
A visitor centre at the power station was opened by MP Mo Mowlam on 6 November 1998.
After Enron's bankruptcy in 2002, the power station was subject to a management buyout establishing Teesside Power Limited (TPL) and operated on behalf of its owners by PX Limited.
In October 2007 it was put up for sale by its private equity owners Cargill and Goldman Sachs, valued between £200 million and £300 million. On 25 February 2008 the station was acquired jointly by Gaz de France and Suez.
On 1 April 2011, GDF surrendered 1,830 MW of transmission entry capacity (TEC) of the station and ceased operations of the CCGT element of the plant leaving the Open Cycle gas turbine as the only available machine, leaving the station with an operating capacity of 45 MW. This was due to the low cost of energy imports and a weak market in the UK, resulting in a need to save on operating costs.
The owners GDF Suez announced the plant's permanent closure and plans for its demolition in 2013.
Through the foresight and generosity of the original developers of the power station, the Tees Power Fund remains the single largest fund in the TVCF portfolio at well over £1 million, funds directly helping the nine wards surrounding the site, now and into the future, a great legacy.