Drax and Selby College aim to spark students’ imaginations

Renewable energy company Drax has partnered with Selby College to help inspire students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

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


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.


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