The Berliner Elektricitäts-Werke bought an old petroleum warehouse directly on the Berlin-Spandau shipping canal. This location on the water was ideal, as coal could be provided via the river and also cool the three-phase power plant, which was built from 1899 to 1901 according to plans by Franz Schwechten. The Central Moabit power plant mainly supplied Reinickendorf, Pankow, and Spandau in the north of Berlin. In 1905, the old piston steam engines were replaced by steam turbines, with constant changes and improvements to the project in the early 20th century.
In 1929/1930 the power plant was extended and modernised under the direction of Walter Klingenberg and Werner Issel, who also planned the power plant Klingenberg. In 1987, a large part of the old power plant was demolished for further modernisation work (including flue gas desulphurisation and denitrification). In the process, some of the old buildings were preserved. These buildings are protected under a preservation order and can thus be visited.