Drax Foundation pledges £1.5m to help UK schools save energy and reduce their carbon footprint

The Drax Foundation, which is the corporate foundation of the renewable energy company Drax Group, has committed £1.5 million this year to help schools install energy-efficient LED lights and solar panels, and deliver energy saving monitoring and education.

The firm, which owns Drax Power Station near Selby, established the Drax Foundation earlier this year to provide grant funding to non-profit organisations in the regions where it operates.  

The installation of energy-efficient LED lighting initiative is currently being piloted at the following five schools local to Drax’s operations in England:  

  • Barwic Parade Community Primary School in Selby 
  • Kirk Sandall Junior School in Doncaster  
  • Selby Abbey Primary School 
  • Triangle Primary School in Sowerby Bridge 
  • Great Clacton Junior School in Clacton-on-Sea 

It is estimated that these schools will save on average £8,600 per year from reduced energy bills, which can then be reinvested back into the school and children’s education.  

The full rollout of the LED lighting and solar panel schemes and energy saving and education programme is planned for later this year, with a focus on rural communities and areas of low social mobility, particularly in and around the communities where Drax operates. Schools wishing to submit an expression of interest should contact [email protected]  

Will Gardiner, CEO Drax Group, said: “The Drax Foundation is committed to giving back to the communities where we operate, and the new initiative will provide schools with practical, tangible ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. It’s important that children start thinking about these issues from a young age as energy usage and its impact is set to become an increasingly relevant topic in their future.” 

Kathy Thompson, Executive Headteacher at Kirk Sandall Junior School, said: “It’s so important that businesses support their communities and this initiative by the Drax Foundation is a really great way to help us save money, especially at the moment when energy costs and prices in general are so high. It also teaches pupils about the impact we have on our environment and how we can act responsibly to save energy.” 

The Drax Foundation was launched in March this year to award  grants of up to £50,000 for established non-profit organizations. 

Organisations and initiatives that meet Drax’s funding and selection criteria are encouraged to visit www.drax.com/community to learn more about the Foundation and submit an initial expression of interest. 


Pic caption 1: Pupils at Kirk Sandall Junior School with Drax Head of Community Shona King, Executive Headteacher Kathy Thompson and Head of School Ash Eastwood  

Pic caption 2: Pupils at Barwic Parade Community Primary School, Headteacher XX and Drax UK Community & Education Manager Jane Breach 

Media contacts: 

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

About Drax  

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com 

Power generation:  

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.   

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.  

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.   

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets. 

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year. 

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 


Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.  

To find out more go to the website energy.drax.com 

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community