Archives: Press Release

Drax Foundation funds new £150k grant to help schools become more energy efficient

The new funding will enable Bath-based Energy Sparks to ensure that up to 240 schools across the UK have free access to its online energy management tool, education programme and support services. This includes schools in the areas of the country where Drax Group operates: Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, East of England and Scotland.

The charity currently works with more than 1,000 UK schools to help them reduce their energy use and carbon footprint.

Shona King, Head of Community at Drax Group, said:

“We are proud that this new grant will help Energy Sparks engage many more schools and pupils across the UK in reducing their energy use and costs as well as fighting climate change. Alongside our existing grant funding for LED lighting and solar panels, we are excited to bring Energy Sparks’ energy analysis tool and education programme to more schools in and around the communities where we operate.

“It’s important to us to help children start thinking about saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint from a young age as these issues are going to be increasingly important for them in the future.”

Dr Claudia Towner, CEO and Programme Director at Energy Sparks, said:

“We are delighted to receive this funding from the Drax Foundation, it means we can reach even more schools and pupils, and remove financial barriers to ongoing engagement for some of the existing schools using our services.

“Our work equips children and young people with the knowledge, skills, and tools to take measurable action in their school and wider community to reduce carbon emissions. We also enable school leaders, staff and communities to better understand and reduce their school’s energy consumption, save money and introduce wider measures to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Energy Sparks was founded in 2020 and, in the last year, through Energy Sparks’ tools, the average primary school it works with has saved at least £3,000 in energy costs and 12.8 tonnes of CO2, additionally, the average secondary school has saved at least £12,000 and 48 tonnes of CO2.

Energy Sparks’ education activities encourage pupils to learn about climate change and why reducing carbon emissions is important, investigating energy use around the school site, taking action to reduce energy use and spreading the energy saving and carbon reduction message across their wider school community.

Energy Sparks’ online tool presents bespoke analysis of the energy data with suggestions of actions the school community could take to save energy and reduce the school’s carbon emissions.

This new funding is drawn from a pot of £1.5m that Drax Foundation unveiled earlier this year for UK schools to install energy-efficient LED lights and solar panels, and deliver energy saving monitoring and education.

ENDS

 Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

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 19 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 energy.drax.com

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community

‘Renewable energy apprentices’ kickstart their careers at Drax

The apprentice engineers have won places on the technical apprenticeship scheme at Drax Power Station near Selby in North Yorkshire – the UK’s single-largest generator of renewable power, which produces enough renewable electricity for four million homes.

The four-year programme gives new recruits the opportunity to gain expertise working alongside the world-class engineers at the plant. Drax Power Station has been transformed over the last decade as part of Europe’s largest decarbonisation project, swapping coal to generate renewable electricity using sustainable biomass.

Drax has ambitious plans to go even further in the years ahead, aiming to become carbon negative by using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology. Its plans would see the site capture up to 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Sean Barry, Head of Decommissioning and BECCS Operations, said:

“It was fantastic to welcome our new group of apprentices to Drax Power Station. Providing these young people with the skills required for a successful career in engineering is not only essential to the success of our business, but it is also an incredibly rewarding part of what we do.

“Giving our apprentices the opportunity to work on the cutting-edge, environmental technologies of the future will ensure we’re nurturing our in-house talent and creating opportunities for people here in Yorkshire to lead the green energy transition to net zero.”

Thomas Goulden, aged 18, from Brayton said:

“This is such an exciting opportunity to develop my engineering future with Drax. It will give me a real sense of pride and ownership to contribute to Drax’s ambition to become a carbon negative company by the year 2030, and to play a part in this leading-edge sustainable technology.

“The opportunity will allow me to fulfil my engineering motivations and give me valuable hands-on experience. A huge appeal for me is to learn via feedback from experienced engineers, so I can continually develop, gain confidence as I progress.”

Mason Thomas, aged 16, from Thorne, said:

“This apprenticeship means a great deal to me due to the fact the world needs change and Drax are currently driving this. This makes me proud to be a part of the business and motivates me to work towards these amazing standards that the team here at Drax have set.”

The apprentices beginning their careers at Drax Power Station this year are:

  • Sam Howdle – Technical Apprentice – 17
  • Lewis Bennett – Technical Apprentice – 16
  • Harvey Clough – Technical Apprentice – 16
  • Jak Bennett – Technical Apprentice – 16
  • Thomas Goulden – Technical Apprentice – 18
  • Mason Thomas – Technical Apprentice – 16

In addition to engineering roles, Drax also offers apprenticeships in business support areas such as HR, IT, and facilities departments.

ENDS

Photo Caption:

  • Drax apprentice engineers and Sean Barry, Head of Decommissioning and BECCS Operations at Drax Power Station in Selby, North Yorkshire.

Media contacts:

Sloan Woods
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07821665493

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 19 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 acquires leading UK EV charge point installer BMM Energy Solutions

The deal completed on 31 August 2023 and BMM is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Drax Group PLC.

BMM, who specialise in the installation and maintenance of electric vehicle (EV) charge points, have been Drax’s primary installation partner since 2018. Together the companies have electrified the fleets of businesses including FI Real Estate, SES Water and Travis Perkins.

The acquisition of BMM will strengthen Drax’s end-to-end charging proposition to UK businesses as well as demonstrating its commitment to supporting them achieve their Net Zero ambitions.

BMM was founded in 2013 by Terry and Mark Mohammed and has enjoyed significant growth to become one of the UK’s leading EV charge point installation firms. To date, BMM has installed over 13 thousand EV charge points.

Adam Hall, Drax and Terry Mohammed, BMM Energy Solutions

Adam Hall, Director of Energy Services at Drax Group, said:

“Businesses who are serious about sustainability need to electrify their fleet and offer on-site charging for employees. The acquisition of BMM means we now offer a complete end-to-end journey – from vehicle suitability assessments through to charge point installation, operation and maintenance. We’re looking forward to welcoming the BMM team to Drax and working together to grow the combined business.”

Terry Mohammed, CEO at BMM Energy Solutions, said:

“We’re excited about joining Drax, and this deal is the next great step in our growth journey. Integrating our installation and maintenance skills into the business will ensure that Drax’s clients can benefit for years to come.”

BMM’s management and staff will join the Drax team and continue to operate from BMM’s existing sites in the UK – Airdrie, Scotland and Gatwick, South East England. Drax and BMM have plans to look at opening other locations in the future to effectively service the evolving needs of their customers.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

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 19 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 energy.drax.com

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community

Families make a splash at water themed summer events at Drax’s Skylark Centre

The events, occurring every Wednesday and Thursday, have been attend by hundreds of local families. The final sessions will occur on the 23rd and 24th of August and the 30th and 31st.

Parents and children have been able to participate in a variety of fun activities run by Drax’s Skylark Centre visitors team including making bubble art, constructing water runs, making foil boats, bubble wands, woodland walks, water quizzes and ‘sink or float’ experiments with fruits and vegetables.

The Skylark Centre hosts many free events throughout the year for the local community and the annual summer programme is a key part of Drax Power Station’s community calendar.

The nature reserve was 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.

Nick Robinson, Community and Education Team Leader at Drax Power Station, said:

“The summer family events at the Skylark Centre are an annual highlight for our team. It is fantastic to see parents and children of all ages making a splash participating in our water themed activities and enjoying the natural surrounds of the centre. There will be plenty more great events coming up in the next few months, including Halloween and Christmas, and we look forward to seeing everyone again then.”

ENDS

Pic caption 1: Sink or float experiment lead by education officer Leigh Hogan, pictured with Kirsty Swales and son Ted (7).

Pic caption 2: Freyja Waddington (4) makes some blow art.

Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

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 19 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 energy.drax.com

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community

Scottish Energy Minister calls on UK Government to support new pumped storage hydro plants

Mr Gray gave his backing to the industry while visiting Drax’s iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station near Oban in Argyll, where the renewable energy giant is progressing plans to build a new £500m underground pumped storage hydro plant at the site. Expanding the UK’s pumped storage hydro capacity is crucial to integrating more wind and solar power onto the energy grid, enhancing the nation’s energy security while tackling climate change.

Pumped storage plants act like giant water batteries by using reversible turbines to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir which stores excess power from sources such as wind farms when supply outstrips demand. These same turbines are then reversed to bring the stored water back through the plant to generate power when the country needs it.

Despite the critical need for them, no new plants have been commissioned in the UK since 1984, with existing support schemes for other technologies unsuitable for the unique needs of these large-scale infrastructure projects. A report by KPMG found that a cap and floor mechanism, like the regime used to incentivise investment in cross-border interconnectors, could overcome the hurdles currently blocking investment in long duration storage technologies.

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director, said: “To achieve a safe and secure net zero power grid, we need to have a new generation of pumped storage hydro plants to balance our grid.

“As the UK increasingly relies on intermittent renewables to keep our lights on, there is a growing need for flexible power sources to plug the gap when the wind doesn’t blow, or the sun doesn’t shine. With its reversible turbines, Cruachan can also store excess power from Scotland’s wind turbines when they are generating more renewable electricity than we need, helping to stop valuable green power from going to waste.

“With the right support from the UK Government, Drax will invest £500m to more than double Cruachan’s generating capacity and support almost 1,000 jobs across the supply chain during construction.”

Scottish Government Energy Secretary Neil Gray MSP said:

“Scotland is a global leader in the production of renewable energy, which will play an increasingly important role in the transition to a net zero electricity system by 2045.

“However, pumped hydro storage, an important low carbon technology, is currently ineligible for UK Government support. UK Government inaction on this issue represents a significant obstacle to progress and risks failing to secure economic benefits, such as creating thousands of good quality, green jobs.”

Earlier this year, a report commissioned by the influential trade body Scottish Renewables found that a new generation of pumped storage hydro plants in Scotland could create almost 15,000 jobs across the UK, with Drax’s Cruachan expansion generating almost half a billion pounds for the UK economy.

Drax acquired Cruachan alongside the Galloway and Lanark hydro schemes in 2019, helping to make the company a leading provider of flexible, renewable power generation.

ENDS

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes:

  • Drax applied for development consent from the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 in May 2022.
  • The plans received consent through the Section 36 process in July 2023.
  • The UK Government has pledged to introduce a new policy and market support framework to enable private investment in large-scale, long-duration storage projects by 2024.
  • A report by KPMG for Drax found that a Cap & Floor regime was the standout solution to unlock private investment in the technology while incentivising system needs to be met efficiently.
  • No investment decision has yet been taken by Drax and development remains subject to an appropriate regulatory framework among other considerations. 

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 19 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 delivers funding for 25 community projects across the UK

The £35,200 of funding, donated between April and June this year, has gone to projects that provide STEM education and skills development, enhance green spaces or improve communities.

Jane Breach, Drax UK Community Manager, said:

“As part of Drax’s commitment to being a good neighbour in the communities where we operate, we are delighted to announce this quarter’s donations for 25 community-based organisations including Lindsey Lodge Hospice and Brayton Youth Connect. These groups make a tangible difference to people’s lives and help us make a positive impact on people, nature and the climate in our communities.”

In the previous quarter, Drax donated to groups including PlayStillingfleet, who look after the Stillingfleet playground, for new play equipment, and Hensall Village Hall, to help fund a new boiler. Both sites are in the vicinity of North Yorkshire’s Drax Power Station.

Ross Powell, Chair at PlayStillingfleet Community Group, said:

“The funding has allowed us to successfully deliver the final phase of our playground project. The playground has quickly become a focal point for children and parents to come together and build the next generation of friendships in the village.”

David Hardaker, Treasurer at Hensall Village Hall, said:

“The new boiler has been installed thanks to the generosity of the Drax Community Fund plus local support via a concert which raised £490.

“Without Drax’s support the outcome would have been so much different. We are now looking forward to a warm space in the winter that will ensure that all our groups continue and hopefully expand. Until Drax intervened so generously we were looking at closure, without a doubt.”

Drax’s Community Fund provides donations of £500-£2,000 for community-led projects. In addition, the Drax Foundation was launched in March this year to award larger grants of up to £50,000 for established non-profit organisations. In addition to the Drax Community Fund, we also provide larger grants of up to £50,000 through the Drax Foundation.

Organisations and initiatives that meet Drax’s funding and selection criteria are encouraged to visit www.drax.com/community to learn more about the Foundation and submit an initial expression of interest.

ENDS

Pic caption 1: Community event at Hensall Village Hall.

Pic caption 2: New play equipment at PlayStillingfleet.

Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

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 19 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 energy.drax.com

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community

Drax boosts education and skills with work experience placements

The programme gives students the opportunity to work alongside highly trained staff, observe practical tasks and ask questions to improve understanding and help them decide if a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) is right for them. Students who took part could choose from a variety of business areas including engineering, IT, finance, and facilities.

Dylan Baines, who is in Year 10 at school, spent a week at Drax Power Station working with colleagues in the trading department. Dylan was already familiar with Drax having built a car with the Drax Green team in Primary School that won a race in Hull for his school and for Drax.

He said: “I chose to do my work experience at Drax because I was recommended it and I know that it is a very successful company where the staff are very helpful and supportive.”

“I’m very interested in engineering and fixing machines and getting my hands dirty. I know that Drax has a very good engineering department, and they are always looking for new people and always trying to help people as much as they can.”

Polly Whyley chose to work in the logistics team, learning all about the company’s supply chain and how Drax is able to generate enough power for millions of homes and businesses.

She said: “I chose to do my work experience at Drax because it seemed like a very interesting place to work- I thought it was the kind of place that I may not ever get the opportunity to visit again and that I should take the chance to see what it was like.”

“I am planning to study Physics at university and coming to Drax has made me consider a career in the energy sector. I had not previously known the variety of STEM roles required in the area.”

Bobby Rodger, spent a week shadowing engineers in the maintenance team. Bobby, whose dad Mike works in Operations at Drax Power Station, said:

“I have really enjoyed my time at Drax. I feel it has helped me grow in confidence from meeting all the new people and have learned a lot about teamwork and safety. It has really inspired me to push on at school and try to achieve the grades I need to achieve.

“I feel as though I have made friends at Drax and really felt welcomed straight away and felt the team had planned in advance for my arrival with many things to do and see. The team were lovely and involved me in everything all week.”

Oliver McNiff, who also did a week’s work experience with the logistics team, said:

“I personally chose Drax Power Station for my work experience because I am trying to take engineering courses when I am older and hopefully have a career in the design engineering front. I live near drax so I knew a lot about what the company did and thought, There was no better place for engineering than Drax.”

“I found the work experience very informative and fun. My week was very engineering based and we went everywhere from looking at how train companies modify their wagons to eliminate any potential faults to viewing the massive fleets and logistics side of things.”

Prior to attending the in-person work experience, all students completed an induction day, which introduced them to career opportunities at Drax and gave them the opportunity to improve their employability skills, through activities such as CV coaching and interview practice. They were also able to meet and network with potential managers and senior leaders.

Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director, said:

“We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects. It’s important that the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours in new fields like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, also known as BECCS, as we continue to decarbonise.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer in-person work placements at our sites and hope that this will give students a valuable insight into the world of work and spark an interest in STEM subjects.”

Drax is welcoming 45 work experience students across its sites in the UK, including Cruachan Power Station in Scotland. At the end of the week, each student will be presented with a certificate of achievement and a £100 Amazon voucher to spend on books and educational resources.

Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills including offering power station tours and running interactive workshops for students. This includes initiatives supported by the Drax Foundation, launched earlier this year, which funds initiatives that support STEM, as well as those that improve green spaces and enhance biodiversity within local communities.

More information about work experience at Drax is available on the website.

ENDS

Photo caption:

  1. L-R: Polly Whyley, Charlie Haller, Bobby Rodger, Dylan Baines, Edward Heffernan, James Miller, Oliver Hill
  2. Bobby Rodger with sister Erin who is currently is the first year of her apprenticeship in the Human Resources department at Drax Power Station

Media contact:

Sloan Woods  
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07821665493

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 19 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 energy.drax.com

Drax responds to Track 2 CCUS Viking announcement

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said:

“We welcome the Government’s decision to designate Viking as a Track 2 carbon capture utilisation and storage cluster (CCUS). Progressing a CO2 transport and storage network in the Humber represents a significant step toward helping the region meet its Net Zero ambitions and ensuring that it remains a source of high-skilled jobs and energy security for decades to come.

“The announcement shows the importance of CCUS to the Humber and, along with the East Coast Cluster, creates an additional pathway to support our plans for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at Drax Power Station. We are currently engaged in productive discussions with the UK Government on this project and hope to invest billions in its development and deploy this critical, carbon removals technology by 2030.”

Drax given green light for new £500 million underground pumped storage hydro plant

  • Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf called on the UK Government to “provide an appropriate market mechanism” for projects such as Cruachan’s expansion while on a tour of the facility today (Tuesday). 
  • The Scottish Government has formally approved plans to expand the iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station through building a new underground plant at the site. 
  • The new plant would strengthen UK energy security with flexible generation while enabling more wind power to come online. 
  • With the right support from the UK Government, the new plant could be operational as soon as 2030, with almost 1,000 jobs created and supported during development. 

Renewable energy leader Drax Group has secured development consent from the Scottish Government for its ground-breaking plans to build a new c.£500m underground pumped storage hydro plant at its existing Cruachan facility in Argyll. The decision, made through the Section 36 process, is a significant moment in Scotland’s journey to net zero, with new long-duration storage plants critical to enabling more wind and solar power to come online in the next decade. 

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf visited Drax’s iconic power station on the shores of Loch Awe today (Tuesday), where he underlined his call for the UK Government “to provide an appropriate market mechanism for hydro power and other long duration energy storage technologies.” Mr Yousaf recently wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to take action so developers can have the certainty required to build a new generation of pumped storage hydro plants. 

The new 600 MW plant at Cruachan is part of a wider £7 billion strategic investment plan by Drax in clean energy technologies between 2024 and 2030, such as long duration storage and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), which tackle climate change and enhance national energy security. Constructed adjacent to the existing underground facility, the plant would effectively more than double the site’s total generation capacity to over 1 GW. 

Growing the UK’s pumped storage hydro capacity is crucial to integrating more wind and solar power onto the energy grid, enhancing the nation’s energy security while tackling climate change. Pumped storage plants act like giant water batteries by using reversible turbines to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir which stores excess power from sources such as wind farms when supply outstrips demand. These same turbines are then reversed to bring the stored water back through the plant to generate power when the country needs it. 

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “This is a major milestone in Drax’s plans to build Britain’s first new pumped storage hydro plant in a generation.

“These plants play a critical role in stabilising the electricity system, helping to balance supply and demand through storing excess power from the national grid. When Scotland’s wind turbines are generating more power than we need, Cruachan steps in to store the renewable electricity so it doesn’t go to waste.

“With the right support from the UK Government, Drax will invest c.£500m to more than double Cruachan’s generating capacity and support almost 1,000 jobs across the supply chain during construction.”

The expansion of Cruachan requires an updated financial stabilisation mechanism from the UK Government. The current absence of a framework for large-scale, long-duration storage technologies has resulted in no new plants being constructed in the UK since 1984, despite their critical role in the decarbonisation process. 

First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, said: “I’m delighted to visit Cruachan today to hear more about the plans to grow Scotland’s pumped storage hydro capacity through the expansion of the existing facility in Argyll. 

“Hydro power has real potential to play a greater role in our transition to net zero, and to help ensure a resilient and secure electricity supply across the UK. The expansion of Cruachan will help to strengthen our energy security by providing much needed resilience in the system, supporting hundreds of jobs and providing a real boost to the Scottish economy.

 “However, we know that there remain a number of challenges in developing new hydro power projects in Scotland. The Scottish Government will continue to urge the UK government to provide an appropriate market mechanism for hydro power and other long duration energy storage technologies, to ensure that the potential for hydro power is fully realised.”

Drax acquired Cruachan alongside the Galloway and Lanark hydro schemes in 2019, helping to make the company a leading provider of flexible, renewable power generation.

ENDS 

Media contacts: 

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

Editor’s Notes:  

  • Drax applied for development consent from the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 in May 2022. 
  • The UK Government has pledged to introduce a new policy and market support framework to enable private investment in large-scale, long-duration storage projects by 2024. 
  • A report by KPMG for Drax found that a Cap & Floor regime was the standout solution to unlock private investment in the technology while incentivising system needs to be met efficiently. 
  • No investment decision has yet been taken by Drax and development remains subject to an appropriate regulatory framework among other considerations. 

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 19 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