Drax holds final community events on Cruachan expansion plans

Renewable power leader Drax is holding the final round of its public consultation on its exciting plans to more than double the generating capacity of the iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station.

Cruachan Power Station Dam

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 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 economic boost to communities around Loch Awe and across Argyll.

The previous round of public exhibitions revealed overwhelming support for the development. Since then, the project team has worked to refine the proposals and is pleased to be able to share details of this at the events:

  • Dalmally Community Centre – Tuesday 15 March 2022, 1.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Taynuilt Village Hall – Wednesday 16 March 2022, 1.30pm to 7.30pm

Steve Marshall, Drax’s Development Manager, said:

“More than a hundred people attended the last round of public exhibitions, underlining the level of public interest in Drax’s exciting plans to expand Cruachan. This power station has been at the heart of the community for more than half a century and with this proposed investment from Drax, it will continue to be so for many more decades to come.

“Our development will support around 900 jobs during construction, a huge investment in the local area. By expanding Cruachan we will ensure more renewable power is available to Scotland’s homes and businesses, helping to reduce energy costs and emissions.”

Following the public consultation, Drax will submit a Section 36 application to the Scottish Government for their consideration. A decision from the government is expected to be received in 2023.

The project requires a new financial stability support mechanism from the UK government to secure private investment in long-duration storage sites such as Cruachan. If this is developed and the planning application is approved, then work to build the new capacity at Cruachan could get underway in 2024, with the facility operational in 2030.


Editor’s Notes

  • Copies of the exhibition boards and other materials will be available for viewing and download via the website at www.cruachanexpansion.com from 14 March or they can be viewed at Cruachan Visitor Centre from 17 March.
  • No investment decision has yet been taken by Drax and development remains subject to the right regulatory framework from the UK government.

Media contacts:

Aidan Kerr
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07849 090 368

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

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.   


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