Archives: Press Release

Drax Power Station shines a White Rose across Yorkshire

The white rose of York will appear on one of Drax Power Station’s cooling towers on Monday August 1 as the renewable energy company joins with other businesses and organisations across the county in marking the annual event, which promotes the historic county.

Drax Power Station near Selby in North Yorkshire, is the UK’s largest renewable power generator, producing enough renewable electricity for four million UK homes. It also now aims to deliver the world’s biggest carbon capture in power project using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Bruce Heppenstall, Drax Power Station Plant Director said:

“We’re proud to be part of the local community and wanted to do something special to celebrate Yorkshire Day.

“This is a county with a rich heritage in delivering innovative, first of a kind, projects, which have had a lasting impact here in Yorkshire and around the world. At Drax we hope to build on this tradition of innovation by developing the world’s biggest carbon capture in power project and becoming a global leader in the vital green energy technology BECCS.

“By delivering this critical negative emissions technology at this power station here in the heart of Yorkshire, Drax will support UK energy security as well as net zero, whilst creating thousands of jobs and exciting global export opportunities.”

Drax has submitted plans to build two BECCS units, creating and supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the North.

Work to build BECCS at Drax could start as soon as 2024 and once operational the two units combined will capture at least 8 million tonnes of CO2 per year, making it the largest carbon capture and storage project in power in the world.

The White Rose will be projected onto the 114m tall cooling tower at Drax Power Station from 9:00pm until 12:00am on Monday 1st August.

ENDS

Photo caption: The White Rose projection on Drax’s 350ft cooling tower will be visible for miles around.

Notes to editors:

Electricity has been generated at Drax since 1974 when it was developed by the Central Electricity Generating Board, in an area of Yorkshire known as Megawatt Valley due to a fleet of coal-fired power stations built there in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Drax was the biggest and one of the most advanced and efficient coal-fired power stations ever built in the UK. Nearly five decades on, Drax has become the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe by using sustainable biomass.

From Yorkshire to the world – some of the county’s best loved innovations:

  • Sheffield opened the world’s first football club in 1857
  • The first commercially viable steam locomotive, called Salamanca, was designed and built by manufacturer Matthew Murray in 1812 – in Holbeck, West Yorkshire.
  • Some say that cinema was invented in Leeds with the first piece of true film ever recorded there in 1888.
  • In 1913 stainless steel was invented in Sheffield
  • Catseyes, the road markings, were invented in 1934 by Percy Shaw in Halifax
  • George Cayley, a Scarborough-born engineer, built the world’s first full-sized glider and in 1853, beat the Wright brothers to the sky by 50 years.
  • Yorkshire puddings – the eponymous accompaniment to Sunday lunch, first appeared in a recipe book in 1737.
  • Fizzy drinks were invented in Leeds in 1767
  • Wensleydale Cheese made infamous by Wallace and Gromit, was first made in North Yorkshire by monks in the 1100s.
  • Liquorice Allsorts, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Jelly Babies, Fruit Pastilles, Jelly Tots, Polo Mints and Kit-Kats are more recent 20th century delicacies which hail from Yorkshire.

Drax illuminated one of its cooling towers in blue lights in 2020 in recognition of the work of the NHS during the pandemic, and also projected a poppy onto the cooling towers to raise money for the Royal British Legion on Armistice Day.

Most recently, the cooling towers were lit up in red and blue to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936 350 175

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 17 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.

Customers: 

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 www.energy.drax.com

University of Oxford sustainability students visit Britain’s biggest renewable power station

The group of students were taken on a full tour of the site, which included seeing Drax’s Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) pilot project. BECCS is a vital negative emissions technology which Drax plans to use to permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, whilst also generating the reliable, renewable electricity the country needs.

They also met two of Drax’s leading experts, Dr Cat Reynolds, BECCS Strategy & Engagement Senior Manager and Michael Goldsworthy, Head of Climate Change & Carbon Strategy, on how the company has transformed to become the UK’s biggest producer of renewable electricity and plans to go even further by deploying BECCS.

Dr Cat Reynolds said:

“It was great to have the students from the University of Oxford here at Drax. The subject matter of their course is extremely relevant to us and reflects what Drax is trying to achieve in moving towards becoming a carbon negative company and developing an environmentally and economically sustainable business model for BECCS.

“I hope the tour helped them get a better understanding of the cutting edge technologies we’re pioneering at Drax and the decision-making challenges that businesses at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis face. The students asked some fantastic questions which show they are ready to put their studies into practice as they move on from academia and into business roles.”

During the tour, the group were shown how renewable electricity is generated and how sustainable, wood pellets have enabled Drax to reduce its carbon emissions by 95% in a decade, making it Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project.

They saw the 427-metre turbine hall that houses the huge turbines which power the generators to produce electricity, as well as the wood pellet storage domes – each large enough to fit The Royal Albert Hall inside, and the 115m high cooling towers, which are taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Dr Laurence Wainwright, Course Director MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment, said:

“The inaugural cohort of the MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford were thrilled to visit the Drax Biomass power station in Selby. The new course addresses two pervasive and unmet challenges of our time: making the transition to a zero-carbon and environmentally sustainable economic model, whilst simultaneously enabling sustainable development for all.

“Touring the power station and hearing from their top scientists enabled students to better understand the challenges and opportunities involved in the transition to net zero. Particularly in terms of understanding the nuances and operational realities that often aren’t visible from a lecture theatre. The students greatly enjoyed and benefitted from the visit.”

ENDS

Photo caption: University of Oxford students in front of Drax’s biomass domes.

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected] 
T: 07936 350 175

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 17 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.

Customers: 

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 www.energy.drax.com

Drax and Selby College aim to spark students’ imaginations

At an event attended by over 170 Year 9 pupils from four different local schools, the teenagers had the opportunity to participate in a range of fun, informative and challenging activities provided by Drax, including an Electrical Circuit Problem Solving session.

Bruce Heppenstall, Drax Plant Director said:

“Through events like these we can engage young people in fun STEM activities, introducing them to future skills, training, and employment opportunities. It’s important for innovative companies like Drax to work with schools and colleges to engage with and inspire the next generation, because they will eventually become our workforce of the future.”

A group of Drax’s graduate engineers and analysts delivered an ‘It’s All About Energy’ session where students explored and debated the pros and cons of new energy technologies.

Jane Breach, Drax Visitor Centre and Community Engagement team Leader, who organised the activities, said:

“It was great to see everyone enjoying the activities and using their problem-solving and analytical thinking skills. It builds on what they’ve already learnt in their school curriculum and gives them an insight in the wide range of applications for STEM subjects.”

Students also had the opportunity to try out virtual reality headsets, use electromagnetics and have a go at coding in sessions run by Selby College tutors.

They also spent time in the College’s state-of-the-art Institute of Technology laboratory where they were able to see first-hand how an automated manufacturing line works.

Lorraine Cross, Group Executive Director of External Relations & Development at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, said:

“Encouraging young people to excel in STEM subjects is high on our agenda, so it’s fantastic that we are able to work with leading employers like Drax to facilitate events such as this.

“They give students a unique opportunity to further explore STEM subjects and the career options and opportunities which they can open doors too, at a crucial stage in their learning. We hope the students enjoyed the event and left feeling inspired to pursue their progression in STEM areas.”

In March 2022, Selby College officially merged with Wakefield College to form the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group. As part of its School Partnership programme, the Group works with local schools, employers and learning providers to transform learning, raise attainment and achievement and encourage progression across the region.

In 2020, Drax announced a £180,000 five-year partnership with Selby College, aimed at supporting education and skills. Last year, Selby College and Drax secured more than £270,000 of funding from the government to develop the UK’s first educational programmes in carbon capture, enabling the renewable energy company to develop a workforce fit for the future.

Photo caption: Year 9 students taking part in the Electrical Circuit Problem Solving session run by Drax’s technical apprentices

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936 350 175

Editor’s Notes

Drax runs a number of initiatives to support STEM education and skills, including:

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 17 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.

Customers: 

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 www.energy.drax.com

Drax submits plans to build world’s largest carbon capture and storage project

  • Drax has submitted plans to build its multi-billion-pound bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project at its North Yorkshire power station.
  • Work to build BECCS could start as soon as 2024 with the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across the North
  • Submission incorporates feedback obtained during two major public consultations
  • Once operational Drax’s two BECCS units will permanently remove at least 8 million tonnes of CO2 each year from the atmosphere.

The company plans to invest £2bn in the 2020s in its plans to develop two bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) units, creating and supporting thousands of jobs in the North and enabling the UK to lead the world in a vital new technology needed to address the climate crisis.

Work to build BECCS at Drax could start as soon as 2024 and once operational the two units combined will capture at least 8 million tonnes of CO2 per year, making it the largest carbon capture and storage project in power in the world.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO said:

Drax CEO, Will Gardiner

“Drax’s BECCS project provides the UK with a once in a generation opportunity to kickstart a whole new sector of the economy and lead the world in a vital green technology needed to address the climate crisis.

“Drax aims to invest billions of pounds and create thousands of jobs developing BECCS in the UK, provided that the UK Government has in place policies to support the feasibility and delivery of negative emissions technologies.

“BECCS at Drax will not only permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, but it will also generate the reliable, renewable power this country needs. No other technology can do both.”

The submission of its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Planning Inspectorate marks a major milestone in the project and follows two major consultations carried out by Drax, which sought to gain views from the public and key stakeholders on its BECCS plans.

Deploying BECCS on two of its generating units will support Drax’s plans to become a carbon negative company by 2030 – permanently removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than is produced right across its operations.

Drax plans to source up to 80% of the materials and services it needs to build its BECCS project from British businesses. It recently announced a partnership with British Steel to identify opportunities to source the steel to build BECCS from its Scunthorpe and Teesside steelworks.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Ben Wicks
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07761 525 662

Editor’s Notes

  • The Planning Inspectorate accepted Drax’s application for a Development Consent Order for its UK BECCS project in June and will examine the plans before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State with a final decision expected next year.
  • The world leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC say BECCS is a vital negative emissions technology required globally to reach the climate targets set out in the Parish Climate Accord in 2015.
  • Negative emissions technologies are essential because they can permanently remove the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere, which is causing temperatures to rise.
  • Once up and running, Drax’s CO2 from Drax’s BECCS units would be transported via pipeline to the Endurance storage site, under the North Sea. This part of the process is being developed and by The Northern Endurance Partnership.
  • Drax is part of the East Coast Cluster, a partnership between Zero Carbon Humber and Net Zero Teesside. The East Coast Cluster was selected by the UK government to be one of two priority industrial clusters to progress plans for carbon capture in the 2020s.
  • The Humber and Teesside account for more than half the UK’s industrial emissions, so decarbonising these regions would have a major impact on the UK’s target to reach net zero by 2050.

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 17 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.

Customers: 

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 www.energy.drax.com

 

Drax donates £2,500 to set up new community space in Oban

Renewable energy company Drax, which owns Cruachan Power Station, has donated £2,500 to The Rockfield Centre in Oban to help fund a new community canteen.

Drax’s Charity Committee has a dedicated fund for supporting good causes local to its operations in Scotland, which include Cruachan Power Station, Daldowie Fuel Plant and the Lanark and Galloway Hydro Schemes.

The Rockfield Centre is a community owned and run cultural hub in the town of Oban, which delivers activities for people of all ages, including art workshops, knitting groups and volunteering opportunities.

The donation from Drax will go towards opening a new community canteen within The Rockfield Centre known as the Rowan Canteen, which will be the social hub of the centre and a place for people to meet with friends and get involved with activities the centre has to offer.

The Rockfield Centre is also working with Argyll College, Oban High School and other local schools to provide employment and training opportunities for young people who experience challenges accessing the work environment. The Rowan Canteen will be a supportive environment where individuals can improve their confidence and gain new skills.

The Rockfield Centre Manager, Carol Devine, said:

“The Rowan Canteen will be an inclusive space for individuals to feel comfortable, socialise, learn new skills and be active members of the community. We are grateful to Drax for their help in providing this social space that our community have told us they would benefit from, and which is even more important following the isolation people have experienced during the lockdowns of the last two years.”

Cruachan Visitor Centre Manager Sarah Cameron and Rockfield Centre Manager Carol Devine

Sarah Cameron, Cruachan Visitor Centre Manager, said:

“We are proud to support The Rockfield Centre in this initiative, which is a really positive development for the local community and will help support education and skills. We hope members of the community will come together to enjoy the new space and benefit from the opportunities it provides.”

Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations in Scotland through a variety of measures including educational programs and supporting local charities.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936 350 175

Editor’s Notes

Charities and community organisations local to Drax’s operations which support STEM and education outreach, skills and employability, or which work to improve local communities, can apply for grants of up to £500 per year from Drax.

To request an application form, email [email protected] or fill out an enquiry form on the Drax website.

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 17 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.

Customers: 

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 www.energy.drax.com

Drax boosts education and skills with work experience placements

Drax is offering young people a valuable insight into the world of work at its sites in Scotland, including Cruachan Power Station near Oban, as part of the renewable energy company’s commitment to supporting education and skills.

This is the first time Drax has run its in-person work experience programme since before March 2020 when the company had to stop educational visits due to Covid restrictions.

The programme gives students the opportunity to work alongside highly trained staff, observe practical tasks and ask questions to improve understanding and help them decide if a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) career is right for them.

Owen Moran, aged 16, spent a week at Cruachan Power Station shadowing engineers and getting an insight into what work on the plant is like.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience at Cruachan. It was great to develop a further understanding of the inner workings of the station and work alongside great people. I look forward to hopefully applying for one of next year’s apprenticeship roles.”

The on-site work experience week builds on what the students learned during an online programme earlier this year during the Easter holidays.

Ian Kinnaird in the Cruachan machine hall

Drax’s Scottish Assets & Generation Engineering Director Ian Kinnaird, said: “We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects, so the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours as we continue to develop and grow.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer in-person work placements at our sites again and hope that this will give students a valuable insight into the world of work and spark an interest in STEM subjects.”

Drax welcomed 12 work experience students across its sites in Scotland, including Daldowie Fuel Plant near Glasgow. At the end of the week, each student was presented with a certificate of achievement and a £100 Amazon voucher to spend on books and educational resources.

Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife and the SNP’s Westminster Spokesperson for Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation, met some of Cruachan’s work placement students during a recent visit to the power station. He said, “It’s great to see businesses like Drax offering opportunities for young people to learn about and prepare for the world of work.

“If we are to reach our goal of net zero, we need to ensure that the next generation has the skills needed to fill green energy roles. Offering young people the chance the explore these careers is vital to get them interested in STEM subjects and help them discover the wide range of choices available for their future.”

More information about work experience at Drax is available on the website.

Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills in Scotland including virtual workshops in schools and providing laptops for students.

ENDS

Photo caption: Owen Moran, with Douglas Chapman MP for Dunfermline and West Fife at Cruachan Power Station

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected] 
T: 07936 350 175

Notes to editors:

Drax first introduced virtual work experience in June 2020 as a result of not being able to run its usual on-site work experience programmes due to Covid restrictions and decided to continue the programme after receiving a positive response from those who took part.

Students who took part in Drax’s virtual work experience programme aged 14-18 could then choose from a variety of different business areas and sites to do the in-person week of their placement. The programme provides an opportunity to learn about the renewable energy company, focusing on developing employability skills and learning about their business area through practical experience and conversations with employees.

Offering work experience virtually also enables more students to participate from across England and Scotland, who may previously have found it difficult to take part, due to barriers preventing their attendance, such as geography, opportunity, and economic factors.

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 17 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.

Customers: 

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 www.energy.drax.com

Oban High School students visit iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station

Students from Oban High School have visited Drax Group’s iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station to understand the critical role the facility plays in supporting Scotland’s power system.

Cruachan is an underground pumped hydro storage power station built in a hollowed-out cavern 1km inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain. Constructed in 1965, its reversible turbines are still at the cutting edge of energy storage technology, enabling the plant to act like a giant water battery.

Its turbines pump water from Loch Awe to an upper reservoir on the mountainside to store excess power from the grid. The stored water is then released back through the turbines to generate power quickly and reliably when demand increases. This process helps stop wind farms being paid to turn off when they are generating excess power, helping Scotland to be greener whilst cutting household energy bills.

Oban High School was one of the first schools to visit the power station since it reopened following the lifting of Covid restrictions. They took part in a tour which supported the work the students are doing to understand how renewable electricity is generated.

Ian Kinnaird in the Cruachan machine hall

Drax’s Scottish Assets & Generation Engineering Director Ian Kinnaird, said: “We work closely with schools to inspire the next generation to study STEM subjects, and these tours are important in firing up students’ imaginations by showing them how renewable electricity is generated.

“Cruachan plays a critical role in stabilising the electricity system, balancing supply and demand by storing excess power from the national grid. When Scotland’s wind turbines are generating more power than we need, Cruachan steps in to store the renewable electricity so it doesn’t go to waste.

“Drax has exciting plans to more than double Cruachan’s generating capacity, a project that will support new green jobs and help bring more renewable power onto the grid.”

The group of 25 students aged between 16 and 18, were taken on a full tour of the site, which included travelling by bus 1km underground to the viewing gallery that looks out onto the huge machine hall which houses the four turbines.

When all four of its generating units are operating at maximum capacity, the plant can supply enough flexible, renewable power for around 800,000 homes.

Peter Bain, Head Teacher at Oban High School, said: “The students had a great day at Cruachan, learning about how important this unique power station is in supporting the Scottish energy system and the critical role it plays in keeping the power grid safe and stable.

“Visits like this are so valuable because seeing the power station and the scale of the operations is impossible to replicate in a classroom – it really brings the subject to life.”

Prior to the pandemic, Cruachan Power Station near Oban, welcomed more than 50,000 visitors every year, many of whom were students, visiting as part of the renewable energy company’s initiatives to encourage young people to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, boosting skills across the region.

In line with lockdown rules, Cruachan suspended its public tours in March 2020 to protect its key workers, who worked around the clock throughout the pandemic to ensure the country had the renewable electricity it needed.

Tours at Cruachan are free to all primary and secondary schools and can be tailored to suit the area of the curriculum teachers are interested in.

Schools interested in organising a tour, should go to [email protected].

Photo caption: The Cruachan Hollow Mountain Visitor Centre

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected] 
T: 07936 350 175

 

Editor’s Notes

Drax runs a number of other initiatives to support STEM education and skills in Scotland, including:

 

  • Pumped hydro storage power stations act like giant water batteries, storing excess energy when there is an oversupply of power and then releasing when the country needs it most.
  • This is especially useful in supporting wind and solar generation, storing excess renewable power to be used later instead of going to waste.
  • A recent report by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) highlighted the policy barriers to deploying long-duration energy storage and suggested ways to address these barriers such as through the introduction of an income floor.
  • Despite being a key supporting pillar for intermittent generation from wind and solar power, no new pumped storage plants have been built in Britain since 1984.
  • Enough renewable power to supply 800,000 UK homes went to waste in 2020 and 2021 as wind farms were routinely asked to switch off by the Electricity System Operator and there wasn’t enough capacity to ensure this excess renewable power was stored and made available when it was needed.
  • Drax recently submitted the planning application to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station at Cruachan which will more than double the site’s electricity generating capacity.
  • The new 600-megawatt (MW) power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1 gigawatt (GW).

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 4Mt 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 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt 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 mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

Customers:  

Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.

It offers 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 www.energy.drax.com

Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club visits Britain’s biggest renewable power station

Members of the Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club have visited Drax Power Station to see first-hand how renewable electricity is generated by Britain’s biggest power station.

The group of 40 classic car enthusiasts were taken on a full tour of the site, which included seeing Drax’s bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project. BECCS is a vital negative emissions technology which Drax plans to use to permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, whilst also generating the reliable, renewable electricity the country needs.

Plant Director Bruce Heppenstall said: “We welcome thousands of visitors to our site every year. These tours give people the opportunity to see some of the cutting-edge green technologies we’re pioneering, such as BECCS which could play a vital role in addressing the climate crisis as well as delivering jobs and clean growth here in the North.

“It was great to have the Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club here and to see all the fantastic cars together. I hope they enjoyed their tour and will visit again in the future.”

During the tour, the group were shown how renewable electricity is generated and discovered how sustainable, wood pellets have enabled Drax to reduce its carbon emissions by 95% in a decade, making it Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project.

They saw the 427-metre turbine hall that houses the huge turbines which power the generators to produce electricity, as well as the wood pellet storage domes – each large enough to fit The Royal Albert Hall inside, and the 115m high cooling towers, which are taller than the Statue of Liberty.

The group, which travelled from all over the North to come together at Drax, said that they thoroughly enjoyed the visit and particularly enjoyed seeing the huge infrastructure up close and learning about the innovative green technologies being developed at Drax.

Ken Cowdell from the Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club, who organised the visit, said: “Engineering excellence is the core interest of our club which is why I arranged the trip to Drax. It was fantastic to see the scale of the operations and fascinating to hear about their plans for carbon capture going forward. The tour guides were first class and feedback from members of the club was excellent, on the whole it was an absolutely brilliant trip and very worthwhile.”

Groups interested in organising a tour, should contact [email protected]

ENDS

Photo caption: The Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club in front of Drax’s cooling towers, taken from the Drax Social Club field

 

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected] 
T: 07936 350 175

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 4Mt 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 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt 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 mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

Customers:  

Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.

It offers 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 www.energy.drax.com

British Steel forges new partnership to support Drax’s world leading carbon capture project

  • Renewable energy company Drax is exploring opportunities with British Steel for it to supply around 13,000 tonnes of steel for the energy company’s multi-billion-pound UK bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project.
  • Partnership will also support the development of skills in the steel supply chain required to develop UK CCUS expertise, enabling the country to lead the world in the vital green industries needed to address the climate crisis.
  • Drax’s ambition is  to source up to 80% of the materials and services it needs to develop BECCS in the UK from British businesses, protecting and creating thousands of jobs, helping to level up the North.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) brings together two major British industries to support the development  of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), a technology which could kickstart a whole new sector of the economy and create opportunities for the UK to lead the world in a vital technology required to address global warming.

Through the partnership, Drax and British Steel aim to support efforts to meet the UK’s climate targets and level up the North, whilst supporting skills within the steel sector.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO said:

Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group

“We are excited to be partnering with British Steel as we continue to progress our world-leading UK BECCS project. This country has a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead the world in vital new green technologies like BECCS, which will not only support thousands of UK jobs, but could also create new export opportunities, whilst helping to tackle the climate crisis.

“We aim to invest billions of pounds, create tens of thousands of jobs and have BECCS operational in the UK by 2030, provided that the UK Government has in place policies to support the feasibility and delivery of negative emissions technologies. BECCS will permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year from as soon as 2027, whilst continuing to generate the reliable, renewable power this country needs.”

BECCS is a critical technology needed to combat global warming because it permanently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere whilst also generating reliable, renewable electricity.

Drax is ready to invest around £2bn in its plans to build BECCS in the UK. Work could get underway as soon as 2024, with the energy company planning to source up to 80% of the materials and services it needs for the project from British businesses.

Graham Backhouse, Commercial Director at Drax, Lisa Coulson, Marketing & Strategy Director at British Steel.

Around 13,000 tonnes of steel will be required for the major infrastructure project, including beams produced at British Steel’s Scunthorpe and Teesside steel works.

Allan Bell, British Steel’s Chief Commercial and Procurement Officer, said:

“We are proud to be working with Drax to explore the opportunities this major infrastructure project creates both in terms of the use of our steel products but also in developing skills in the steel supply chain required to support the development of CCUS expertise within the UK.

“We’re already making progress in our own decarbonisation journey, with our plans to use green hydrogen and our commitment to be net zero by 2050. There are real synergies between what we’re trying to achieve and Drax’s ambitions with BECCS, which we hope to build on through this partnership, putting the UK and the North of England on the world map.”

Esa Heiskanen, Chief Officer Capital Projects at Drax, Xifeng Han CEO British Steel.

Holly Mumby-Croft MP, Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, said:

“I was delighted to hear that Drax and British Steel had reached this agreement, it’s some really positive news for Scunthorpe.

“I’ve long said that we should be using British steel in British infrastructure projects not only because we should be supporting our local businesses, but because it’s also the best. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this partnership and the benefits it will bring to Scunthorpe, protecting jobs and supporting energy security.”

If the UK government gives more clarity this summer on the process for BECCS power projects to move forward within its CCS cluster programme, Drax’s BECCS project could capture 8 million tonnes of CO2 a year from 2030, making it the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world.

It will also act as an anchor project for the East Coast Cluster, a consortium of Zero Carbon Humber and Net Zero Teesside, which combined account for more than half of the UK’s industrial emissions.

The UK steel industry has played a pivotal role in the northern communities in which it operates, supporting thousands of jobs in both Scunthorpe and Teesside. Large infrastructure projects like Drax’s BECCS plans will support and help protect jobs in the steel sector.

ENDS

Main image caption:

(From L – R) Ben Cunliffe, Commercial Director (Constuction), British Steel, Graham Backhouse, Commercial Director at Drax, Chris Vaughan Technical Director at British Steel, Allan Bell, Chief Commercial Officer at British Steel, Lisa Coulson, Marketing & Strategy Director at British Steel, Esa Heiskanen, Chief Officer Capital Projects at Drax.

Media contacts: 

Ben Wicks
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07761 525 662

Ali Lewis
Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07849090368

Editor’s Notes

  • The East Coast Cluster was selected by the UK government to be one of two priority industrial clusters to progress plans for carbon capture in the 2020s.
  • More than 600 businesses from across the North recently attended supplier events Drax organised, where companies were able to find out more about how they could benefit from contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds associated with its BECCS plans.
  • More than 1,800 people have signed up to pledge their support for Drax’s plans for BECCS at the power station in North Yorkshire.
  • The world leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC say BECCS is a vital negative emissions technology required globally to reach the climate targets set out in the Parish Climate Accord in 2015.
  • Negative emissions technologies are essential because they can permanently remove the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere, which is causing temperatures to rise.
  • Once up and running, Drax’s CO2 from Drax’s BECCS units would be transported via pipeline to the Endurance storage site, under the North Sea. This part of the process is being developed and by The Northern Endurance Partnership.

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 4Mt 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 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt 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 mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

Customers: 

Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.

It offers 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 www.energy.drax.com