Archives: Press Release

Drax partners with local businesses to increase career opportunities for young people

Renewable energy company Drax has partnered with businesses local to its operations to help them hire new talent as part of the company’s commitment to supporting education and upskilling.

To help smaller businesses take on apprentices and increase opportunities for young people, Drax has transferred a proportion of its apprenticeship levy to two smaller businesses, construction and equipment company The Bennie Group, based in Northampton, and Hull based EN: Able Futures CIC, which connects young people with apprenticeship opportunities in the construction sector.

Karen McKeever, Drax’s Chief HR Officer, 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 businesses like ours and we’re pleased to be able to support companies with similar values to us, as well as helping young people in the areas local to our operations to kickstart their careers. We hope this will be a great opportunity for both the company and the apprentices starting out in the industry.”

Matthew Ayres, Group MD of The Bennie Group said: “We are thrilled to have partnered with Drax to deliver two new apprenticeship roles within our equipment solutions business, Bennie Equipment. We would like to thank Drax for their support, which has enabled us to take on additional apprentices and further spread the net of opportunity for these young people.

“We are proud to share the same passion in supporting the next young generation of UK workers in learning a trade, developing practical skills, and kick-starting a career. We are both focused on boosting highly skilled workers across the UK and inspiring the next generation of the UK workforce.”

Keith Holiday, age 19 and Harvey Dobson, age 16 from Hull have started Civil Engineering apprenticeships at Alan Wood & Partners, facilitated by EN: Able Futures as a result of the levy transfer.

Keith said: “My apprenticeship is going really well. At Alan Wood & Partners I’ve been involved in a variety of projects already and I’m learning something new every day. I’ve always been interested in design and I think this apprenticeship will open up a lot of different options for me.”

Julie Deeley, Director of Operations at EN:Able Futures said: “It’s fantastic that Drax has shared its apprenticeship levy with EN:Able Futures, without it Keith and Harvey would not have been able to start their apprenticeships which could have meant them following a completely different career path, one which they may not have enjoyed as much as they are enjoying working at Alan Wood & Partners.

“Nationally the number of apprenticeship starts are falling and EN:Able Futures is working hard to create as many new apprenticeships in construction, housing and civil engineering as possible, helping to generate new career opportunities that help people achieve their aspirations.”

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 52 apprentices as well as 50 existing employees working towards apprenticeship qualifications within the business.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936350175

Editor’s notes

Drax has been running an apprenticeship scheme for almost two decades at its eponymous power station in North Yorkshire and in recent years has extended this across the whole business as well as offering internships and graduate schemes as part of its dedication to improving skills and increasing opportunities for young people across the region.

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

Applications are now open for Drax’s next work experience for students in Y10-Y12 or S4-S6 in Scotland. For more details go to www.drax.com/uk/careers. The closing date is 23rd January 2022.

Drax recently 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.

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.

Its 3,400 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/uk

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 13 operational pellet plants with nameplate capacity of c.4Mt, plus a further two plants currently commissioning and other developments/expansions which will increase this to c.5Mt once 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

Drax donates £10,000 to Shelter

Employees at Britain’s biggest renewable power station have donated over £10,000 to the charity Shelter, which aims to end homelessness and poor housing in Britain.

Drax’s Christmas parties did not go ahead this year, in order to reduce Covid risks, and instead employees were offered a festive hamper or to donate the equivalent value to the charity Shelter.

As a result of the generosity of employees, Drax raised more than £10,000 for the charity, which provides support to thousands of people in the UK who face homelessness and unsafe housing.

Alan Knight, Drax’s Director of Sustainability, said: “I hope the generosity of Drax’s employees will help Shelter to deliver the vital services to those most in need of safe housing this winter.

“Drax has a long history of supporting charities and it is important that we continue to do so especially at the moment, as their ability to fundraise and provide services to vulnerable people has been impacted by the pandemic.”

Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations. It has invested more than £840,000 to support its customers and local communities since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936350175

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.    

Its 3,400 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/uk 

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 13 operational pellet plants with nameplate capacity of c.4Mt, plus a further two plants currently commissioning and other developments/expansions which will increase this to c.5Mt once 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 

Potential solution to unlock investment in climate-critical storage technologies

  • With no new long-duration energy storage projects built in the UK since the 1980s, enough wind power to supply more than a million homes was wasted in 2020 as excess renewable power could not be stored anywhere.
  • New report identifies suitable revenue stabilisation mechanism to help unlock private investment in new generation of storage technologies to help stabilise the power grid and enable more renewables to come online – cutting costs and reducing emissions.
  • Drax plans to build UK’s first new pumped storage hydro plant in a generation at its iconic Cruachan facility in Scotland, helping the country meet its climate targets whilst supporting hundreds of jobs.

A new report by KPMG, commissioned by Drax Group, has looked at different revenue stabilisation mechanisms which could be deployed to unlock private investment in these vital storage technologies.

No new long duration storage infrastructure, such as pumped hydro storage power stations, have been built in the UK for more than 30 years. However, KPMG’s analysis has found that an existing mechanism could be part of the solution to attract a wave of new investment in large-scale electricity storage infrastructure projects.

Possible solutions were assessed through a rigorous framework to find which stabilisation regime would not only incentivise investment but would also address system needs and provide best value for money for consumers.

The report found that a cap and floor mechanism, like the regime used to incentivise investment in cross-border interconnectors, is the standout solution to overcome the hurdles currently blocking investment in long duration storage technologies.

This model would reduce risks for investors while at the same time encouraging operators of the new storage facilities to respond to system needs, helping the Electricity System Operator to maintain secure supplies on an increasingly volatile grid.

Penny Small, Drax Group Generation Director, said:

“The UK has decarbonised its electricity system at a faster rate than any other country as a result of the successful deployment of renewables including wind, solar, hydro and sustainable biomass.

“With more long-duration storage, the system would operate more effectively in terms of reducing emissions, cutting costs and maintaining secure supplies. This report sets out a clear pathway to unlock private investment in a new generation of pumped hydro power stations in the UK, and which also gives value for money for consumers.

“Innovative technologies like pumped storage hydro are key to achieving the UK’s net zero target, because they help stop excess renewable power from wind farms going to waste by storing it and making it available at lightning speed when the country needs it.”

Cruachan Power Station

Drax is moving forward with ambitious plans to build a new underground pumped storage hydro plant at its existing Cruachan facility in Argyll, Scotland. The new 600MW station would be built within a new, hollowed-out cavern that would be large enough to fit Big Ben on its side.

Supporting around 900 jobs during its construction, the new facility would bring the site’s total generating capacity to 1.04GW – enough to power more than a million homes – capacity which could be available by 2030 with a suitable investment framework.

Developments such as Cruachan 2 are critical to realising the UK’s climate targets. In 2020 enough wind power to supply a million homes went to waste in the UK because there wasn’t enough capacity to store this excess renewable power.

There are many prospective long duration energy storage projects in the UK, but none have shovels in the ground as businesses require more certainty from the government before giving the green light to development.

ENDS

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes

  • An executive summary of the KPMG report can be found here on the Drax website.
  • The report considered external factors such as the UK’s target to significantly expand offshore wind power to 40GW by 2030 and the rise in power demand from electric vehicles and heat pumps through to 2050.
  • Four investment mechanisms were examined: Contracts for Difference, Regulated Asset Base model, Cap and Floor regime and a reformed Capacity Market.
  • A Cap and Floor regime was found to be the optimal solution against an 11-area assessment framework.
  • The same support regime has been transformational in unlocking private investment in cross-border interconnectors since its launch in 2014. This is because investors can see the project’s annual maximum and minimum revenues over a 25-year period, which reduces risks.
  • Nine interconnector projects with a combined flow capacity of 10.5GW have been awarded agreements during the first two application windows, securing enough capacity to keep the lights on for around 29 million homes if all projects are developed.
  • Separate independent analysis by Lane, Clark and Peacock (LCP) found the UK curtailed 3.6TWh of wind power in 2020, enough renewable electricity to supply around a million homes.
  • Despite their benefits to the grid, attracting private investment in long duration storage technologies has been difficult due to their build times often being longer than the timeframes offered by existing mechanisms designed to incentivise investment in energy infrastructure projects, such as the Capacity Market.
  • You can read more about Drax’s plans to build a new 660MW pumped storage hydro power station at Cruachan here.

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.

Its 3,400 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/uk

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 13 operational pellet plants with nameplate capacity of c.4Mt, plus a further two plants currently commissioning and other developments/expansions which will increase this to c.5Mt once 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.

 

Greenest Christmas: fossil fuels fall to all-time low on Britain’s power grid

Just before midnight yesterday (Wednesday), fossil fuels generated 1.7 GW of electricity – just 6% of the power on Britain’s electricity grid at the time.

Instead of coal and gas supplying most of the country’s electricity like in years gone by, renewable sources such as biomass, wind and hydro were keeping Britain’s lights on.

Renewables generated 24.19 GW – 65% of the country’s entire electricity needs – while fossil fuels were at a new record low.

Power from renewables at 23:45, 29 December 2021:

  • Biomass – 2.34 GW (8.27%)
  • Hydro – 0.3 GW (1.05%)
  • Solar – 0 GW (0%)
  • Wind – 15.62 GW (55.32%)

The new record is a further example of the renewables revolution that has transformed Britain’s power grid in recent years.  A decade ago, at the same time on 30 December 2011, fossil fuels generated 18.78 GW, totalling 58.79% of the country’s power needs.

The carbon intensity of the power system fell to just 125g/KWh during the seven days from Christmas Eve – almost 75% lower than a decade earlier when in 2012 the carbon intensity over the same period was 464g/KWh.

A report by Drax Electric Insights last year found that the UK had decarbonised its power grid over the previous decade faster than any other major economy.

ENDS

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes

  • The new all-time low record can be viewed on the Drax Electric Insights dashboard by clicking here.
  • Data from a decade ago can also be accessed from the Drax Electric Insights dashboard.

Carbon intensity of the power system over seven days from December 24:

Carbon intensity g/KWhYear
1252021
1562020
1532019
2142018
1882017
2292016
2292015
4322014
4132013
4642012

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.

Its 3,400 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.

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.

Pellet production and supply:

Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. 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: 

Through its two B2B energy supply brands, Haven Power and Opus Energy, Drax supplies energy to 250,000 businesses across Britain.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Powering a greener 2022: Happy New Year from Drax

Drax has transformed the power station to become the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe having converted four of its generating units to use sustainable biomass instead of coal. Drax now produces 12% of Britain’s renewable electricity – enough for four million homes.

Drax Plant Director, Bruce Heppenstall, said:

“On behalf of Drax, I’d like to wish everyone a healthy, happy new year. Drax is already the country’s biggest renewable power generator, and we’re looking forward to an even greener future with our two remaining coal units scheduled to close completely in September 2022 – the end of an era and a major milestone in Drax’s journey to becoming a carbon negative business.”

Drax is developing the vital negative emissions technology bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and plans to invest £40m in the project in 2022.

Work to build BECCS at Drax could get underway as soon as 2024 with the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.

Its first BECCS unit could be operational in 2027, with a second in 2030, creating the world’s biggest carbon capture in power project, permanently removing 8million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, making a significant contribution to the UK’s net zero targets.

The New Year’s message will be visible from 5pm – 3am on New Year’s Eve and 5pm – Midnight on New Year’s Day.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Ben Wicks
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07765 525662 

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.

Its 3,400 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/uk

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.

Pellet production and supply:

Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. 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

Yorkshire apprentices win top prizes at Drax awards

Cameron Shipstone, age 21 from Hemingborough near Selby, has won Craft Apprentice of the Year after being commended for his excellent communication skills and proactive approach to learning. Cameron received outstanding feedback from his colleagues who said that he has become a valued member of the plant maintenance team.

Cameron, who is now entering the fourth year of his apprenticeship, said:

“I’m very grateful to have won this award since I really enjoyed the past year of my apprenticeship at Drax. I’m most proud of how I’ve been able to contribute to the safe day-to-day running of the power station as well as helping to complete the Unit 1 outage in line with its target date. I’m hoping to further increase my knowledge and skills so I can continue to work on the safe and reliable operation of the power station.”

Cameron Shipstone

The awards also included business apprentices, who have faced the challenge of having to do all their learning virtually this year.

Ben Senior, age 22 from York, was awarded Business Apprentice of the Year for always maintaining a positive attitude and showing great problem-solving skills. Ben’s manager said that he nominated Ben for this award as he consistently works to a high standard and goes out of his way to help the wider team.

Ben said,

“I know how high the standard of the other apprentices across the business is, so this is a real achievement for me. I’m looking forward to my future at Drax and the many career pathways it presents.”

Ben Senior

Covid restrictions meant that this year’s awards event was held virtually, but none of the glamour and excitement was missing as apprentices from across the Drax Group were recognised for their efforts overcoming the unprecedented challenges that Covid-19 brought.

Karen McKeever, Drax Chief HR Officer, 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 inspiring to meet them all and celebrate their achievements. The last couple of years have been challenging for us all due to Covid, but our apprentices have shown great flexibility, resilience and patience in continuing to approach their learning with enthusiasm and dedication.”

This year’s winners were:

  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 1) – Callum O’Grady, age 22 from Gainsborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 1, Scotland) – Paul Firth, age 19 from Motherwell
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) – James Barratt, age 20 from Wakefield
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2, Scotland) and the Paul Chambers Overall Apprentice of the Year – Iain MacPherson, age 19 from Oban
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) – Cameron Shipstone, age 21 from Hemingborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 4) – Ben Scott, age 21 from Brough
  • Business Apprentice of the Year – Ben Senior, age 22 from York
  • Uniper Engineering Academy Award – Declan Farmer, age 18 from Brough

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 52 apprentices as well as 50 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.

Drax recently 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 CO2  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.

Top image caption: Drax apprentice award winners Cameron Shipstone, Ben Senior and Callum O’Grady

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936350175

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 number of other initiatives to support STEM education and skills, including:

Applications are now open for Drax’s next work experience for students in Y10-Y12 or S4-S6 in Scotland. For more details go to www.drax.com/uk/careers. The closing date is 16th January 2022.

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.

Its 3,400 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/uk

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.

Pellet production and supply:

Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. 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

Gainsborough apprentice wins top prizes at Drax awards

View of Drax Power Station

Callum O’Grady, age 22 from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, has won Craft Apprentice of the Year after being commended for showing great dedication to his training and consistently working to a high standard. Cameron received outstanding feedback from his colleagues who said that despite having limited time on site due to covid restrictions, he remained fully committed and maintained a positive attitude throughout.

Callum, who is now entering the second year of his apprenticeship, said:

“I’m very grateful to have won this award and to be recognised for the work I’ve put in this past year. It wouldn’t have been possible without all the support and help I’ve had from the people around me on site and the training staff at Uniper. I feel like everyone in my group is deserving of this award because of all the hard work they’ve put in and how we’ve adapted to learning during the Covid pandemic.”

Covid restrictions meant that this year’s awards event was held virtually, but none of the glamour and excitement was missing as apprentices from across the Drax Group were recognised for their efforts overcoming the unprecedented challenges that Covid-19 brought.

Karen McKeever, Drax Chief HR Officer, 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 inspiring to meet them all and celebrate their achievements. The last couple of years have been challenging for us all due to Covid, but our apprentices have shown great flexibility, resilience and patience in continuing to approach their learning with enthusiasm and dedication.”

This year’s winners were:

  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 1) – Callum O’Grady, age 22 from Gainsborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 1, Scotland) – Paul Firth, age 19 from Motherwell
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) – James Barratt, age 20 from Wakefield
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2, Scotland) and the Paul Chambers Overall Apprentice of the Year – Iain MacPherson, age 19 from Oban
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) – Cameron Shipstone, age 21 from Hemingborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 4) – Ben Scott, age 21 from Brough
  • Business Apprentice of the Year – Ben Senior, age 22 from York
  • Uniper Engineering Academy Award – Declan Farmer, age 18 from Brough

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 52 apprentices as well as 50 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.

Drax recently 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 CO2  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

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936350175

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 number of other initiatives to support STEM education and skills, including:

Applications are now open for Drax’s next work experience for students in Y10-Y12 or S4-S6 in Scotland. For more details go to www.drax.com/uk/careers. The closing date is 16th January 2022.

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.

Its 3,400 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/uk

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.

Pellet production and supply:

Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. 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

Oban engineering apprentice wins top prizes at Drax awards

Cruachan Power Station Dam

Iain MacPherson, age 19 from Oban, has won Craft Apprentice of the Year as well as the Paul Chambers Overall Apprentice of the Year Award after being commended for his enthusiasm and work ethic in his role at Cruachan Power Station. Iain received outstanding feedback from his colleagues who speak highly of his commitment, potential and ability and say that he has become a valuable member of the team at Cruachan.

Iain, who is now entering the third year of his apprenticeship, said:

“I’m extremely grateful to have received these awards and be recognised for the work I’ve put in over the past year. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me throughout. I’m looking forward to the next year of my apprenticeship and the new challenges it brings.”

Covid restrictions meant that this year’s awards event was held virtually, but none of the glamour and excitement was missing as apprentices from across the Drax Group were recognised for their efforts overcoming the unprecedented challenges that Covid-19 brought.

Karen McKeever, Drax Chief HR Officer, 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 an innovative business like Drax.

“Apprentices all have unique talents and bring a new perspective, that we can learn from. It’s been inspiring to meet them all and celebrate their achievements. The last couple of years have been challenging for us all due to Covid, but our apprentices have shown great flexibility, resilience and patience in continuing to approach their learning with enthusiasm and dedication.”

This year’s winners were:

  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 1) – Callum O’Grady, age 22 from Gainsborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 1, Scotland) – Paul Firth, age 19 from Motherwell
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) – James Barratt, age 20 from Wakefield
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2, Scotland) and the Paul Chambers Overall Apprentice of the Year – Iain MacPherson, age 19 from Oban
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) – Cameron Shipstone, age 21 from Hemingborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 4) – Ben Scott, age 21 from Brough
  • Business Apprentice of the Year – Ben Senior, age 22 from York
  • Uniper Engineering Academy Award – Declan Farmer, age 18 from Brough

Drax’s long-running apprenticeship scheme is part of its commitment to developing new talent as well as upskilling the workforce across the communities where it operates. Drax has 52 apprentices as well as 50 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.

Drax recently launched the next stage in its public consultation on 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.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936350175

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 number of other initiatives to support STEM education and skills, including:

Applications are now open for Drax’s next work experience for students in Y10-Y12 or S4-S6 in Scotland. For more details go to www.drax.com/uk/careers. The closing date is 16th January 2022.

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.

Its 3,400 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/uk

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.

Pellet production and supply:

Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. 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