The Ferrybridge coal-fired power station in West Yorkshire is to close by March of next year.
Operator SSE has blamed rising costs and the impact of environmental legislation, claiming that the plant is forecast to lose £100m over the next five years.
Paul Smith, SSE Managing Director, and Generation, 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."
He said that SSE was keen to ensure that Ferrybridge's 172 staff would be redeployed.
The station has been operational since 1966 and has two units, which are nearly 50 years old.
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The Government has been ordered by the UK's highest court to take immediate action over its obligations under European law on air pollution limits.
Judges at the Supreme Court ruled that the "Government must prepare and consult on new air quality plans for submission to the European Commission ... no later than December 31 2015".
It comes after environmental campaigners ClientEarth launched a case against the government over its "ongoing breach" of European Union law on limits of nitrogen dioxide in the air.
Announcing the decision, Lord Carnwath said: "The new government, whatever its political complexion, should be left in no doubt as to the need for immediate action to address this issue."
A Defra spokesperson said that “air quality has improved significantly in recent years".
They added: "As this judgement recognises, work is already underway on revised plans (since February 2014) to meet EU targets on NO2 as soon as possible.”