- Energy company Drax is delivering laptops with prepaid internet access to schools and colleges local to its operations across Britain, to ensure students can continue with their studies during the Covid-19 crisis.
- Sixteen schools across Scotland and a college will receive 182 of the Drax HP Chromebook laptops with pre-paid dongles.
- The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Scotland says the donation will ‘remove barriers to learning’.
With schools and colleges closed, many children whose families do not own a computer are finding it difficult to access learning resources.
To ensure no child is left behind, Drax has invested £250,000 in 853 new laptops and each one has three months of pre-paid internet access via a 30GB dongle to support learning over the summer term. The laptops are being delivered to Drax’s partner schools, local to its operations across Britain as part of the energy company’s efforts to support its communities during the lockdown.
Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said:
“We’re very happy to help people in our communities by providing our partner schools with the technology they need to get more students connected online so they can keep learning during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.”
Alister Jack, Scottish Secretary, said:
“It is important that children and students can continue learning and stay connected to their friends despite their school or college being closed.
“Home schooling can be challenging for any family, but for children with limited access to a laptop or the internet it is even more difficult. This generous donation by Drax will help remove barriers to learning in Scotland and across the whole of the UK at this vital time.”
Drax owns and operates a diverse portfolio of flexible energy assets in Scotland, including:
- Cruachan Power Station
- Lanark Hydro Scheme
- Galloway Hydro Scheme
- Daldowie Fuel Plant
Billy Currie, head of corporate services at Dumfries & Galloway College, said:
“This donation of laptops from Drax is going to make a huge difference to the lives of students currently without access to online educational resources – as well as our whole college community after the Coronavirus lockdown is over.
“Ensuring no-one gets left behind in their studies during the lockdown is a priority for us, but schools and colleges don’t just provide education – they’re a whole support system. Having computers and internet access means pupils can keep in touch with their teachers and fellow students more easily too – which is also incredibly important at the moment.”
A total of 16 schools in Scotland and a college are receiving laptops from Drax, including:
- Oban High School, Argyll & Bute
- Taynuilt Primary School, Argyll & Bute
- Dalmally Primary School, Argyll & Bute
- Inveraray Primary School, Argyll & Bute
- Dunbeg Primary School, Argyll & Bute
- Lochnell Primary School, Argyll & Bute
- Rockfeild Primary School, Argyll & Bute
- St Columbas Primary School, Argyll & Bute
- Park Primary, Argyll & Bute
- Dumfries & Galloway College, Dumfries & Galloway
- Gelston Primary School, Dumfries & Galloway
- Castle Douglas Primary School, Dumfries & Galloway
- Kirkcudbright Primary School, Dumfries & Galloway
- Dalry & Kells Primary School, Dumfries & Galloway
- Crossmichael Primary School, Dumfries & Galloway
- Heathall Primary School, Dumfries & Galloway
- Caledonia Primary, Glasgow
Top image caption: Dumfries & Galloway College’s Head of Corporate Services, Billy Currie, holding some of the Drax laptops which are going to students.
- Drax is a founding member of the C-19 Business Pledge, a national scheme which encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities to get through the crisis.
- The 853 laptops and dongles will be delivered to Drax’s partner schools and colleges local to its operations. Head teachers will then distribute the technology to pupils identified as requiring support.
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.
Its 2,900-strong employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. 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 two thirds of 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.
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. It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.
Drax owns two B2B energy supply businesses:
- Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity and energy services to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.
- Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity, energy services and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.
Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.
For more information visit www.drax.com/uk