Archives: Press Release

Drax breaks ground on exploratory works for historic energy storage expansion project

Exploratory ground investigations are now underway at its existing Cruachan facility in Scotland, where the company plans to build a new 600 MW underground plant. A 70m deep borehole is being drilled to recover rock core which will be analysed in a lab to determine structural and geological stability for elements of the new plant.

The preliminary works are being carried out whilst the project awaits consent from the Scottish Government alongside an updated policy and market support mechanism from the UK Government.

A worker inspects rock core samples scaled

Increasing the UK’s pumped storage hydro capacity is critical to enabling more renewable power to come online, strengthening the country’s energy security whilst helping Britain decarbonise.

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director, said:

“This is a significant moment in the expansion of Cruachan. The project team has been working extremely hard to move the development forward, and the start of ground investigation works is the next phase in delivering this vitally important new plant.

“The scale of the proposed development matches Drax’s ambitions when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. More than 2 million tonnes of rock will be excavated to create a new cavern inside the mountain which will be big enough to house Big Ben on its side.

“Expanding Cruachan will strengthen the UK’s energy security by enabling more homegrown renewable electricity to come online to power homes and businesses across the country. This major infrastructure project will support hundreds of jobs and provide a real boost to the Scottish economy.”

The new underground 600 MW plant would be one of the largest infrastructure projects carried out in Scotland for many years, with Drax expecting the plant to come online in 2030 following a six-year period of construction and an investment of around £500m.

The works are a major step forward for the development

Pumped storage hydro plants act like giant water batteries, using reversible turbines to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir which stores excess power from wind farms and other low carbon technologies when supply outstrips demand. These same turbines are then reversed to bring the stored water back through the plant to generate power when it is needed.

In order to deploy this critical technology, Drax must secure consent from the Scottish Government alongside an updated policy and market support mechanism from the UK Government.

The existing lack of an appropriate framework for new long-duration, large-scale electricity storage technologies means that private investment cannot currently be secured in new pumped storage hydro projects, with no new plants built anywhere in the UK since 1984 despite their critical role in decarbonisation.

ENDS

Picture captions:

Top image caption: A 70m-deep bore hole is being drilled at the site

Media contacts:

Aidan Kerr
Media Manager
E: [email protected] 
T: 07849090368

Ali Lewis
Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07712 670 888

Editor’s Notes

  • Drax applied for development consent from the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 in May 2022.
  • We expect a response to the application to be received in Q2 2023.
  • BEIS has pledged to introduce a new policy and market support framework to enable private investment in large-scale, long-duration storage projects by 2024.
  • No investment decision has yet been taken by Drax and development remains subject to both development consent and an appropriate regulatory framework.

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 supports UK energy security by helping businesses use less power

Close up of electricity pylon tower

National Grid ESO is running its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) to financially incentivise businesses to reduce electricity consumption when national demand is at its highest, typically on weekdays between 4pm and 7pm. Between November 2022 and March 2023, the ESO has announced that it will operate a maximum of 12 tests for participants.

Drax Energy Solutions has worked with its customers, including vehicle manufacturer Ford, to reduce their power demand by 30MW during these test periods  – the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 60,000 UK homes. This additional flexibility helps National Grid ESO balance supply and demand amid the ongoing energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Drax’s customers are paid £3,000 per MWh to reduce their power consumption and with a reduction in demand of 30MW observed during the  test on 22 November , a revenue of £90,000 was achieved for participating customers.

Adam Hall, Drax’s Director of Energy Services said:

“This scheme provides a real opportunity for our supply customers with flexibility in their operations to play their part in strengthening Britain’s energy security this winter whilst cutting their electricity bills. We’re delighted that Drax Energy Solutions has become one of the very first approved providers, enabling our customers to benefit directly from participating in the scheme.

“We’ve been speaking with customers about the benefits the scheme offers their organisations and these conversations have been really positive. We’re delighted that customers including Ford have agreed to be part of the scheme, adjusting their manufacturing processes and offering more flexibility and stability to the grid whilst cutting their energy usage and contributing to their own net zero goals.”

The scheme was recently approved by Ofgem, and Drax is one of the first approved providers for DFS this winter.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Aidan Kerr
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07849090368

Notes to editors:

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

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

Demand Flexibility Scheme

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) has been developed to allow the ESO to access additional flexibility when the national demand is at its highest – during peak winter days – which is not currently accessible to the ESO in real time. This new innovative service will allow consumers, as well as some industrial and commercial users (through suppliers/aggregators), to be incentivised for voluntarily flexing the time when they use their electricity.

As part of a range of tools designed to help manage the electricity system this winter, National Grid are collaborating with energy suppliers/aggregators to allow participating consumers and businesses to reduce their bills this winter.

How the service works

  • DFS began on 1 November 2022.
  • ESO will run a maximum of 12 tests for participants entering from 1 November 2022, where participants will receive dispatch instructions with the opportunity to receive a Guaranteed Acceptance Price for tests.
  • Four tests will take place in the first full month parties are signed up, followed by two tests in each subsequent month.
  • During a DFS tender, once bids from participants are accepted, participants will contact end consumers/asset owners and request that they deliver demand turn down for the specified bid window.
  • Parties can continue to sign up to the service after 1 November 2022.
  • Response is required for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Tender submissions are Pay as Bid.
  • The service will run until March 2023.

For more information on the scheme visit https://www.nationalgrideso.com/industry-information/balancing-services/demand-flexibility

Glasgow apprentices win top prizes and Drax awards

Paul Firth and Ian Kinnaird

Paul Firth, age 21 from Motherwell, has won Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) after being commended for the excellent quality of his work. Paul received outstanding feedback from his colleagues who said that he tackles any task that comes his way and always has a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.

Paul, who is now entering the third year of his apprenticeship, said: “It’s been a great night at the awards and I’m really proud to have won two years in a row. I’ve enjoyed working with the team at Daldowie and getting hands on skills, it’s a great place to do an apprenticeship. I’m looking forward to progressing and learning even more next year.”

Gregor Fraser and Ian Kinnaird

Gregor Fraser, age 23 from Lenzie, was awarded Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) for being proactive and taking the lead on a number of projects.

Gregor said,

“I’m really happy about winning an award, it feels great to be recognised for my work this year. It’s also been good to meet people from other sites and get to know them.

“The best bit about doing an apprenticeship is how much you can learn from the engineers that work there. I’m looking forward to completing my apprenticeship and hopefully getting a permanent job on site.”

The 55 apprentices from across the group gathered at the Drax Sports and Social Club, near to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, for the celebration which also included a day of team building activities. This is the first time since before the Covid pandemic that the event has been able to be held in person.

Ian Kinnaird, Director of Drax’s Scottish Generation Assets, who co-hosted the event, said:

“Drax is committed to championing and supporting people in their early careers. Hiring and developing a talented workforce of the future is essential for a business like Drax.

“Apprentices all have unique talents and bring a new perspective, that we can learn from. It’s been fantastic to be able to hand out the awards to this year’s winners and celebrate their achievements in person after having held the awards virtually the last couple of years due to Covid. All the apprentices should be extremely proud of themselves, they have a bright future ahead of them.”

This year’s winners were:

  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 1) and winner of the HETA Mechanical Apprentice of the Year and Award for Excellence – Patrick Harpham, age 20 from Selby
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) – Declan Farmer, age 19 from Gilberdyke near Brough
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) – James Taylor, age 20 from Thorne and Simran Ley, age 24 from Selby
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 4) and the Paul Chambers Outstanding Achievement Award – Sam Plumb, age 23 from Kirton in Lindsey, near Gainsborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Scotland, Year 2) – Paul Firth, age 21 from Motherwell near Glasgow
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Scotland, Year 3) – Gregor Fraser, age 23 from Lenzie near Glasgow
  • Business Apprentice of the Year – Luke Crossland, age 23 from Wrenthorpe near Wakefield
  • HETA Electrical Apprentice of the Year – Sam Easthill, age 23 from Cliffe near Selby

Drax’s long-running apprenticeship scheme is part of its commitment to developing new talent as well as upskilling the workforce across the region. Drax has 55 apprentices as well as 57 existing employees working towards apprenticeship qualifications at other career levels within the business.

The craft apprenticeship scheme gives new recruits the opportunity to gain skills and expertise by working alongside highly qualified engineers. It is a four-year programme, and specialises in three engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical and Control & Instrumentation. In addition to engineering disciplines, Drax also offers apprenticeship qualifications in business support areas such as HR, cyber security and administration.

Earlier this year, Drax submitted an application for its exciting plans to more than double the generating capacity of its iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station in Argyll and Bute.

Under the plans, a second underground power station will be built adjacent to the existing one to enable Cruachan to play an even bigger role in supporting the expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind power and provide lifeline stability services to the national grid.

Around 900 jobs will be created and indirectly supported during the new power station’s construction, providing a huge boost to communities around Loch Awe and across Argyll, with the project supporting UK energy security and climate targets.

ENDS

Main photo caption: Gregor Fraser, Ian Kinnaird Director of Drax’s Scottish Generation Assets and Paul Firth

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes

Drax has been running an apprenticeship scheme for almost two decades at its eponymous power station in North Yorkshire and also offers internships and graduate schemes as part of its dedication to improving skills and increasing opportunities for young people across the region. In 2020, Drax extended its apprenticeship scheme to its sites in Scotland, including Cruachan Hydroelectric Power Station in Argyll and Bute and Daldowie Fuel Plant near Glasgow which produces sustainable biofuel from waste.

Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills in Scotland including offering power station toursinteractive workshops and work experience opportunities.

Applications are opening soon for Drax’s next work experience for students in Y10-Y12 or S4-S6 in Scotland. For more details go to www.drax.com/careers.

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

Third generation Drax technician wins hat trick of awards

Patrick Harpham, whose Grandad and Great-Grandad spent much of their careers working at Drax Power Station, was not only named Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 1) by his colleagues at Drax Power Station but has also received the Mechanical Apprentice of the Year and the Award for Excellence from HETA (Humberside Engineering Training Academy) where the apprentices start their training.

Patrick Harpham

Patrick, age 20, said:

“I’m really grateful for winning three awards. I’d like to thank everyone at HETA and in the Drax technical training team who supported me through my first year. I’ve enjoyed coming onto site at Drax, learning about how the plant works and getting to know the business and what it stands for.

“My great-Grandad helped to build Drax, and my Grandad worked in the turbine team. This is what really inspired me to go for the job and got me where I am today. My Grandad has talked to me a lot about what he did at Drax, and it makes me really excited about what my career could be like in the future.”

Several other young apprentices from across the group also won top prizes at the UK’s biggest renewable power station’s annual apprentice awards event in recognition of their achievements over the past year.

Sam Plumb and Drax Plant Director, Bruce Heppenstall

Sam Plumb, age 23 from Gainsborough, was awarded both Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 4) and the Paul Chambers Outstanding Achievement Award.

Sam, who has helped to lead the BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) apprentice project, including forming and managing an apprentice rota, said:

“It’s great to be recognised for my hard work and to celebrate with the other apprentices I’ve worked with over the last few years.

“I enjoyed taking the lead on the apprentice BECCS project this year which included doing regular checks, taking readings and diagnosing faults. I’m looking forward to putting into practice what I’ve learnt at Drax, settling into my permanent role and hopefully at some point completing further qualifications such as a HNC and HND.”

The 55 apprentices from across the group gathered at the Drax Sports and Social Club for the celebration which also included a day of team building activities. This is the first time since before the Covid pandemic that the event has been able to be held in person.

Bruce Heppenstall, Drax Plant Director, who hosted the event, said:

“Drax is committed to championing and supporting people in their early careers. Hiring and developing a talented workforce of the future is essential for a business like Drax, as we strive to deliver cutting edge climate-saving technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

“Apprentices all have unique talents and bring a new perspective, that we can learn from. It’s been fantastic to be able to hand out the awards to this year’s winners and celebrate their achievements in person after having held the awards virtually the last couple of years due to Covid. All the apprentices should be extremely proud of themselves, they have a bright future ahead of them.”

Sam Easthill, Sam Plumb, James Taylor, Simran Ley, Bruce Heppenstall, Patrick Harpham, Declan Farmer and Luke Crossland

This year’s winners were:

  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 1) and winner of the HETA Mechanical Apprentice of the Year and Award for Excellence – Patrick Harpham, age 20 from Selby
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) – Declan Farmer, age 19 from Gilberdyke near Brough
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) – James Taylor, age 20 from Thorne and Simran Ley, age 24 from Selby
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 4) and the Paul Chambers Outstanding Achievement Award – Sam Plumb, age 23 from Kirton in Lindsey, near Gainsborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Scotland, Year 2) – Paul Firth, age 21 from Motherwell near Glasgow
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Scotland, Year 3) – Gregor Fraser, age 23 from Lenzie near Glasgow
  • Business Apprentice of the Year – Luke Crossland, age 23 from Wrenthorpe near Wakefield
  • HETA Electrical Apprentice of the Year – Sam Easthill, age 23 from Cliffe near Selby

Drax’s long-running apprenticeship scheme is part of its commitment to developing new talent as well as upskilling the workforce across the region. Drax has 55 apprentices as well as 57 existing employees working towards apprenticeship qualifications at other career levels within the business.

The craft and technical apprenticeship scheme gives new recruits the opportunity to gain skills and expertise by working alongside highly qualified engineers. It is a four-year programme, and specialises in three engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical and Control & Instrumentation. In addition to engineering disciplines, Drax also offers apprenticeship qualifications in business support areas such as HR, cyber security, IT, facilities and network security.

Earlier this year, Drax launched a major public consultation at its North Yorkshire power station to advance its plans to deploy the pioneering negative emissions technology, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). If successful, Drax could develop two BECCS units by 2030, capturing and storing at least 8 million tonnes of CO a year.

Scaling up BECCS at Drax would support over 10,000 jobs at its peak which is why it is vital that the region’s workforce has the skills needed to implement this green energy technology, enabling the UK to meet its 2050 net zero target whilst generating the renewable electricity the country needs.

ENDS

Main photo caption: Helen Larkin, HETA Training & Development Advisor, Patrick Harpham and Bruce Heppenstall, Drax Plant Director

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes

Drax has been running an apprenticeship scheme for almost two decades at its eponymous power station in North Yorkshire and also offers internships and graduate schemes as part of its dedication to improving skills and increasing opportunities for young people across the region.

Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills including offering power station tours, interactive workshops and work experience opportunities.

Applications will be opening soon for Drax’s next work experience for students in Y10-Y12 or S4-S6 in Scotland. For more details go to www.drax.com/careers.

In 2020, Drax launched a £180,000 five-year partnership with Selby College, with the aim of supporting education and skills. Last year, Selby College and Drax recently secured over £270,000 of government funding to develop the UK’s first educational programme in carbon capture. The training will equip Drax’s employees with the knowledge and practical experience needed to operate the vital climate saving negative emissions technology bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

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 invests in 30 new rail wagons supporting energy security and jobs whilst cutting supply chain emissions

Drax, the UK’s biggest generator of renewable electricity, is expanding its rail fleet by investing in 30 new rail wagons to deliver the biomass it needs to generate enough renewable power for four million UK homes at its North Yorkshire power station.

The upgraded high-capacity wagons manufactured by British firm WH Davis will help to further reduce Drax’s carbon emissions and make its biomass supply chain more resilient and efficient.

Drax’s fleet of 225 rail wagons, the first of their kind in the world, were designed and developed by Lloyd’s Register Rail (now Ricardo Rail) and WH Davis based in Mansfield – the UK’s last independent freight wagon manufacturer.

The innovative design of these new wagons has increased the amount of biomass able to be transported in each wagon by 30 per cent, allowing them to carry 71.6 tonnes of biomass each, reducing the number of rail journeys required and reducing supply chain emissions.

The first of 30 new wagons are expected to come off the production line early next year and go into operation delivering biomass from the Port of Tyne to Drax, reducing emissions on this route by over 25%.

Bruce Heppenstall, Drax Plant Director, said: “Our biomass trains deliver up to 30,000 tonnes of biomass to the power station each day, enabling Drax to power millions of homes and businesses across the UK with reliable, renewable electricity and support energy security.

“It’s therefore vital that we have a robust supply chain and investing in these new wagons will further increase our resilience and cut carbon emissions on our Tyne to Drax rail route by more than a quarter, whilst continuing to support thousands of jobs across the North, including at WH Davis and Davis Wagon Services’ facilities.”

Since it converted two thirds of its power station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, Drax has transformed its business to become Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project and the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator, playing a critical role in energy security.

This transformation has also preserved and supported jobs – with Drax’s operations supporting almost 6,000 jobs across the North at a time when other power stations have closed.

Each train is able to carry sufficient biomass for Drax to generate enough reliable renewable electricity to supply around 800 UK homes for a year.

Jonathan Hamer, Managing Director of WH Davis, said: “These additional 30 new biomass wagons reflect the strength and depth of the Davis Group, including Davis Wagon Services, to provide a full turnkey solution for customers from manufacture to maintenance. This contract builds on the previous supply to Drax for its unique biomass wagon fleet requirements and shows their confidence in the quality and reliability of the WH Davis product.

“As the only rail freight manufacturer in the UK it is important for us to win such contracts to ensure the continuity of skills within our locally based work force. Drax’s confidence in us allows this to continue and develop.”

Mark Fletcher, Member of Parliament for Bolsover, said: “This is a fantastic investment which will strengthen the UK’s energy security whilst supporting local skilled manufacturing jobs.

“These new wagons will help keep the lights on for many years to come, and they are a real example of how British companies can lead the world in innovation and engineering; I am proud to have such a great company based in the Bolsover Constituency.”

Drax’s biomass comes into the ports on the east and west coasts from North America and Europe, and is brought to the power station by rail, because it is more efficient than road transportation.

Drax is committed to boosting the region’s economy by investing in skills, innovation, transport, and culture. A recent study found that Drax contributes over £700 million to the North’s economy and supports close to 6,000 jobs.

ENDS

Photo caption: A biomass train arriving at Drax Power Station

Media contacts:

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

Notes to editors:

  • By using biomass, Drax has delivered carbon savings of almost 100 per cent compared to when the power station only used coal to generate electricity.
  • More than 95% of the electricity Drax Group produced in 2021 was renewable from its biomass and hydro operations – enough to power five million households.
  • The majority of the biomass Drax uses comes from North America and Europe on ships to ports on the east and west coasts of the UK (Immingham, Hull, Port of Tyne and Liverpool). It is then taken to the power station from the ports by rail.
  • Drax has an average of 17 biomass trains arriving at the power station per day (over a six-day working week) in order to supply the pellets needed to generate and supply 11 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity.
  • The fuel is transported to Drax via rail rather than road, to further reduce carbon emissions, as it is more efficient than road transportation.
  • Independent research by Oxford Economics using 2021 data showed that Drax supported over 17,800 jobs across the country – almost 6,000 of which were across the North of England (Yorkshire and Humber, North West and North East). In addition Drax generated £749m for the Northern regional economy and £1.8 billion for the whole of the UK.
  • Drax continues to progress its plans to deliver a green jobs boom in the UK in the years ahead by becoming a world leader in negative emissions technology BECCS and investing billions of pounds in renewable energy projects.
  • Drax aims to source 80% of the services and materials for BECCS from British businesses, and it recently signed an agreement with British Steel to explore opportunities to source steel for the construction from the firm’s Scunthorpe and Teesside plants.
  • Thousands of jobs could start being created at Drax in just a couple of years’ time, with work to deploy BECCS at Drax Power Station set to get underway as soon as 2024, with around 10,000 jobs being created and supported during the project’s peak.

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 18 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

UK’s largest power station lights up for Poppy Appeal

The projection at the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator should be visible from miles around to commemorate those involved in the two world wars and other conflicts.

Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director at Drax, said:

“Drax has a proud history of supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. By projecting the symbol of remembrance on to one of our cooling towers we are aiming to show armed forces personnel throughout the generations the gratitude we feel for the sacrifices they’ve made.

“This year we’re pleased to be able to gather in person with our colleagues who have served in the military, to pay our respects and support the Royal British Legion, which provides lifelong support to our armed forces community.”

Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, will project the image onto one of the power station’s 114m tall cooling towers between 5pm and 12am from Armistice Day, Friday November 11 to Remembrance Sunday, November 13.

This is the third year that Drax has marked the occasion with a projection. Members of the public are welcome to view the projection safely from the Drax Sports and Social Club car park opposite the power station where they will also have the opportunity to donate to the Poppy Appeal via QR code.

L-R: Steve Chamberlain, Andy Lewis, Jenny Twentyman, Christian Reeve, Bruce Heppenstall, Richard Hudson, Gordon Banks, Holly Clough, Gavin Kirk and Dominic Box

Gavin Kirk is a Technical Training Co-ordinator at Drax and an ex-Army Warrant Officer who served with both the Parachute Regiment and Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) and completed 22 Years’ service finishing his Military career in 2018.

Gavin helped to organise the Poppy Appeal at the power station this year. He said:

“I’m proud to work for an organisation that supports the Royal British Legion having witnessed first-hand their support to some of my Military Comrades post serving in the Military. There are at least 20 ex-Armed Forces personnel working at Drax, as well as several Army Reserves. The help the Legion provides for veterans like me is fantastic, with many of us relying on this support to help transition to civilian lives.”

As well as the projection, Drax is also donating £3,000 to the Poppy Appeal and will be laying wreaths at war memorials local to its operations across the UK.

Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations through various initiatives including fundraising for local charities and supporting education and skills.

ENDS

Media contacts:

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

Notes to editors:

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 white rose onto the cooling towers to mark Yorkshire Day on 1st August.

Earlier this year, the cooling towers were lit up in red and blue to celebrate the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and in September a tribute to the Queen was projected during the period of mourning.

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 18 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 raises £9,000 for Humber charity CatZero

From unemployed people struggling to find work to young people seeking direction, CatZero’s unique approach allows the charity to meet specific needs. Tailored plans encourage participants to break down barriers while building trust and confidence, using self-analysis, development, and challenges as tools for lasting personal change.

CatZero is named after the charity’s round the world, 72-foot Challenge yacht, which is used by groups of young people and adults as a tool to build self-confidence, teamwork skills and co-operation.

Drax employees took part in a charity golf day and the funds raised were then matched by the company’s Charity Committee. The donation will go towards CatZero programmes supporting Forces’ veterans.

Jane Breach, Drax Community Engagement & Visitor Centre Team Leader, said: “The charity golf day was a great opportunity to combine team building with raising money for a cause close to the hearts of our colleagues. We’re proud to support the positive work CatZero does for so many people across the region and we hope this donation will help to make a difference in the lives of the those who take part in the programme.”

Catzero Operations Manager, Pete Tighe, said: “Donations such as these are vital to helping us continue to deliver projects to young people, families, single parents, and adults across the whole Humber region.  To date, we have helped more than 2,000 people, including individuals who are recovering from mental health issues, long term unemployed, service veterans, ex-drug users and ex-offenders.

“Thank you to all the Drax employees who took part in the charity golf day and raised such a significant amount.”

Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations through various initiatives including fundraising for local charities and supporting education and skills.

ENDS

Photo caption: Jane Breach, Drax Community Engagement & Visitor Centre Team Leader and Pete Tighe, CatZero Operations and Partnership Manager

Media contacts:

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

Notes to editors:

  • Drax’s Charity Committee has a dedicated fund for supporting good causes local to its operations, which include Drax Power Station near Selby and its hydro power plants in Scotland.
  • It accepts funding requests that will have a positive impact on the local community by supporting the company’s STEM (Science Engineering Technology and Maths) education outreach work and improving skills and employability.
  • 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 small grants from Drax.
  • To request an application form, email [email protected] or fill out an enquiry form on the Drax website.

About CatZero

CatZero is named after the 72-foot Challenge Round the World Racing Yacht which is used with groups of young people and adults as a tool to build self-confidence, teamwork skills and co-operation. CatZero have also developed a number of exciting and challenging racing events and adventures for people to take part in throughout the year.

From unemployed people struggling to find work to families reaching crisis point and troubled young people, CatZero’s unique approach allows them to meet specific needs. through breaking barriers and building trust and confidence in participants using self-analysis, development, and challenge.

Living and working with others in challenging conditions helps young people to overcome their fears and insecurities, create new friendships and visualise new futures. Isolated from peer pressure and home life distraction, they are given the time and space needed to truly break free and see their need to make a change.

The success of CatZero’s programmes is evident, with more than 60 per cent of participants having moved into employment, education or training.

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 18 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

Families enjoy spooktacular fun at Drax’s Skylark Centre

The two days of events during the October half-term holidays also featured spine-tingling STEM (science technology engineering and maths) themed activities to suit children of all ages including exploring magic potions for wannabe wizards and witches and a creepy ‘Make Your Own Blood’ session for budding vampires.

Isis Breach-Birchall, aged 11 from Goole

A ‘dead famous gravestones walk’ and ‘scattered skeletons’ game run by the Drax visitor centre team rounded off the family day out at the 350-acre nature reserve at Barlow, near Selby, which forms part of the power station site.

The drop-in event saw almost 500 children and adults join the ghoulishly good fun at the nature reserve. Developed by Drax in the early 1970s, it is now home to a variety of wildlife and is also a valuable educational resource for schools, colleges and local nature groups.

Jane Breach, Community Engagement & Visitor Centre Team Leader at Drax, said: “We’ve not been able to run Halloween events at the Skylark Centre for the last two years due to Covid restrictions, so it was fantastic to see families and visitors of all ages enjoying the half-term STEM activities with us this year. There will be plenty more great events coming up next year and we look forward to seeing everyone again then.”

Amber Kilmartin, aged 8 from Selby

Alexa Kilmartin from Selby, who attended the event with her two daughters, said: “This was our first time visiting the Skylark Centre. It was recommended to us by a friend and I’m really glad we know about it now. We’ve had a great day, the girls have loved the activities especially making their own blood. We’ll definitely look out for what events are running here in the future.”

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Drax Power Station welcomed more than 12,000 visitors each year. The power station reopened earlier this year to welcome schools and colleges for educational tours.

For information on future events at Drax and the Skylark nature reserve, visit Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DraxGroup/ or the Drax website at https://www.drax.com/visit-us/#events.

ENDS

Main photo caption: Paisley Jackson, aged 6 from Selby and Lottie Swift, aged 3 from Goole

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 18 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 career opportunities with graduate scheme

The graduates have secured places on the scheme at Drax Group which owns Drax Power Station near Selby in North Yorkshire – the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator, which produces enough renewable electricity for four million homes.

Karen McKeever, Drax Chief People Officer, said:

“As our business expands, it’s vital that we nurture new talent to support our decarbonisation plans as well as offering career development opportunities. Providing these graduates with the tools needed to become the skilled workforce of the future is not only essential to the success of our business, it’s also an incredibly rewarding part of what we do.”

Alycia Booth, aged 21, who has joined Drax’s trading team, said:

“I applied for a job at Drax because I was looking for a company that had a graduate scheme where I would have the best opportunity to grow and experience different areas of the company. I felt like Drax was the perfect place to start my career as a graduate, because they offer so much support. I am really looking forward to meeting my team and getting to learn all about how Drax works to provide power to our country renewably.”

Hakeem Hussain, aged 23, who has joined Drax as a finance graduate, said:

“Applying to Drax meant the opportunity to work for a company that is forward thinking with goals and values which I believe in. I am looking forward to gaining valuable knowledge and learning from the excellent finance teams within Drax, which in time will enable me to develop and excel in my career here.”

The graduates beginning their careers at Drax Group this year are:

  • Connor Houghton, 21, Group Market Analysis
  • Hakeem Hussain, 23, Financial Planning & Analysis
  • Mark Swift, 22, Financial Reporting
  • Obinna Iwuagwu, 27, Tax and Treasury
  • Mohamed Salem, 22, Procurement/Financial Operations
  • Alycia Booth, 21, Trading and Optimisation
  • Bethany Moss, 22, Renewables and Sustainable Commodities

Five of the graduates will be based at Drax Power Station near Selby, one will be based in Drax’s London office and one in Northampton.

Drax is committed to supporting education and skills and runs a number of initiatives including work experience, tours of the power station and a long running apprenticeship scheme.

Drax already supports 17,800 jobs across the UK, 6,000 of which are in the North. The development of BECCS at Drax Power Station would see an additional 10,000 jobs created and supported during construction which is set to get underway as soon as 2024.

ENDS

Photo caption: L-R: Mark Swift, Mohamed Salem, Hakeem Hussain, Obinna Iwuagwu, Alycia Booth, Connor Houghton, Bethany Moss

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 18 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