More than a century of coal-fired power in Scotland has come to an end, with generators at Longannet power station in Fife switched off for the last time.

Scotland's only remaining coal-fired plant has shut after 46 years of production, with operators ScottishPower citing high carbon taxes and transmission charges.

Coal helped fuel the industrial revolution but has been phased out over decades due to costs and environmental concerns.

Green campaigners welcomed the closure, describing it as the "single biggest reduction in Scotland's climate change emissions ever".

Longannet was the largest power station in Europe when it went online, capable of producing 2,400MW of electricity for the national grid and powering over two million homes each year.

It was only meant to be operational for 25 years but even through its last winter Longannet remained a key energy provider, operators said.

During its lifetime, more than 177 million tonnes of coal was used along with 2.7 million tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 2.4 million cubic metres of natural gas.

Over 60 billion cubic metres of cooling water from the Forth Estuary has also passed through the station.

Hugh Finlay, generation director at ScottishPower, said: "Coal has long been the dominant force in Scotland's electricity generation fleet but the closure of Longannet signals the end of an era.

"For the first time in more than a century no power produced in Scotland will come from burning coal.

"The highly-skilled team at Longannet have worked hard in difficult circumstances over the last six months to ensure that the station continued to operate at a high level over the winter.

"Originally designed to run for 25 years, the success of Longannet has been driven by substantial investment over the years and by the dedication of the men and women overseeing the station's operations."

The 236 staff were due to leave the plant for the final time on Thursday, with many moving to work elsewhere for ScottishPower or taking retirement. The company said it is still working to help about 5% of workers find alternative employment.

Friends of the Earth Scotland said it will be an emotional day for workers at the site but believe the closure is necessary.

"For the first time in at least 115 years there will be no coal being burned to make electricity anywhere in Scotland," director Dr Richard Dixon said.

"For a country which virtually invented the industrial revolution, this is a hugely significant step, marking the end of coal and the beginning of the end for fossil fuels in Scotland."

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "The closure of Longannet marks an historic and inevitable step in our energy transition as Scotland becomes one of the first nations to end its use of coal for power.

"While the power station has served the nation for many years, the world is moving forward to cleaner, cheaper forms of renewable energy generation."