Our businesses - Drax

Our businesses

Our businesses are dedicated to enabling a zero carbon, lower cost energy future.

We operate in three core areas:

Power generation and system services

Drax Power Station

Drax Power Station is the biggest renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. Located near Selby, North Yorkshire, it is connected directly to the national electricity transmission grid, for which it provides a host of system support services.

It has a capacity of 3,906 megawatts (MW) and produces around 18 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power a year, 75% using compressed wood pellets, a form of sustainably sourced biomass. The remainder is produced using coal, a fossil fuel being phased out by 2025, if not before.

Drax Power Station supplies 12% of the UK’s renewable power. Four of its six power generation units have been upgraded from burning coal to use biomass.


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As well as being an important strategic asset nationally, able to keep the lights on in more than 6 million homes, Drax Power Station is also vital to the regional economy. Whereas 700+ people are employed at the plant throughout the year, 3,200 jobs depend on Drax in Yorkshire and the Humber. The economic impact of Drax in that region was £431 million in 2017.

Drax Power Station and its nature reserve are open to visitors – find out more.

Cruachan Power Station

Cruachan Power Station is located on the shores of Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. It is one of only four pumped hydro storage stations in the UK and has a capacity of 440 MW – enough to power more than 90,000 homes. Cruachan became part of the Drax Group through an acquisition that completed on 31 December 2018.

The turbine hall is located 1 km within the hollowed-out mountain of Ben Cruachan and houses four generators. The plant has four primary modes of operation and can deliver a range of balancing and ancillary services.

 

Cruachan acts responsively by generating electricity to meet peak-time demand. It can achieve full load in 30 seconds and can maintain its maximum power production for more than 16 hours if necessary.

Cruachan Power Station is also a popular tourist destination. Guided tours are available through the Cruachan website with visitors and school groups welcomed between March and November.

Hydro-electric power stations

Drax Group acquired the Lanark and Galloway run-of-river hydro schemes, located in southwest Scotland, on 31 December 2018.

Lanark is made up of two hydropower stations – one at Bonnington and one at Stonebyres – and has a total capacity of 17 MW. It is one of the oldest hydro schemes in the UK and was commissioned in 1926.

Galloway is made up of six power stations (Drumjohn, Kendoon, Carsfad, Earlstoun, Glenlee and Tongland), eight dams and a series of tunnels, aqueducts and pipelines that help to control the flow of the water. It was opened in 1935.

The Drax hydro schemes have a combined capacity of 126 MW – enough to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes.

Combined cycle gas turbines

Drax Group operates four combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) power stations across England and provide flexible and efficient electricity generation to populated areas where there is often high demand. The power stations became part of the Group’s portfolio following an acquisition which completed on 31 December 2018.

Three of the sites – Damhead Creek (805 MW), Rye House (715 MW) and Shoreham (420 MW) – are strategically located to deliver power to homes, businesses and infrastructure around London, the East and South East England. The fourth is located in Blackburn, Lancashire (60 MW), and was originally built to provide steam to a local paper mill before it closed in 2008.

Biomass production

Daldowie Fuel Plant

Situated in Uddingston, near Glasgow, Daldowie Fuel Plant processes sludge from a wastewater treatment plant and converts it into dry, low-odour fuel pellets. The plant became part of Drax’s portfolio in January 2019.

Daldowie Fuel Plant can convert 1,000 tonnes of sludge into 23.5 tonnes of biomass pellets that can be used as a sustainable fuel source. This also creates safe disposal for large volumes of sludge that might otherwise end up in landfill.

Drax Biomass

Drax Biomass manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests located in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, supplying fuel to Drax Power Station to generate flexible, renewable power for UK homes and businesses.

The company is headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana and owns and operates three wood pellet manufacturing plants: Amite BioEnergy in Gloster, Mississippi; Morehouse BioEnergy near Bastrop, Louisiana; and LaSalle BioEnergy, near Urania, Louisiana. A port facility managing the shipping of compressed wood pellets to Great Britain is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

B2B Energy supply and solutions

Haven Power

Business electricity specialist Haven Power is based in Ipswich, Suffolk. It supplies and manages electricity for large industrial and commercial sector customers, as well as small businesses. Haven Power can supply 100% renewable electricity, sourced from Drax Power Station.

Haven Power’s first-class customer service was recognised when it was named ‘Supplier of the Year’ at the 2016 Energy Awards.

Opus Energy

Opus Energy is based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff. It supplies electricity and gas to businesses. Opus Energy has partnerships with over 2,300 independent UK renewable energy generators, providing a market for excess power from energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro and anaerobic digestion.

It was awarded Utilities Provider of the Year 2017 at the British Small Business Awards.