Archives: Press Release

Application for £80-90m gas fired power station accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate

The examination of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application should get under way in the autumn, with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy expected to make a decision on the proposals next year.

Prior to submitting its application for the DCO to build a 299MW rapid response gas power station, APL consulted widely with local people to ensure their views were taken into consideration.

If approved, up to 150 jobs will be supported during the construction of the plant and once built, it will produce enough electricity to power 150,000 homes – equivalent to a city around the size of Cardiff.

David Ball, Project Director, from Drax, said:

“We’re very pleased that our application for this rapid response gas power station is progressing through the planning process.

“This type of power station is designed to be able to be up and running quickly – in as little as 20 minutes – helping to keep the lights on when the system needs support.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Local people can have their say on the proposals during the examination of the application by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • APL will now formally notify City & County of Swansea Council, the community councils in the near vicinity of the site, local landowners and other statutory consultees of its proposals.
  • They will receive a copy of the accepted application documents. In addition, a notice will be published around the site and in local and national media to publicise the accepted application. The notice will provide information to local people on where they can review the application and how and when they can make representations to the Planning Inspectorate.
  • The Planning Inspectorate will appoint an independent inspector known as an Examining Authority to oversee the examination of the application, a process that is likely to start in the autumn. Anyone who makes a representation can register to become an Interested Party once the examination starts.
  • A preliminary meeting with Interested Parties, APL and the Examining Authority will be held to coincide with the start of the examination process. This meeting will be held locally and interested parties will be given at least 21 days’ notice of the meeting. At this meeting, the Examining Authority will inform APL and Interested Parties of the examination procedure and schedule going forward.
  • The post-application and examination processes, including the formal notification of the accepted application and the consultation on the Application documents (undertaken in accordance with Section 56 of the Planning Act 2008), are defined by relevant regulations and the Planning Inspectorate.
  • More information is available on the Abergelli Power page.

Drax moves closer to coal-free future with unit four conversion

Once the upgrade is complete, two-thirds of the power station’s capacity will produce renewable power.

Drax has already invested around £700 million in upgrading half the power station and associated supply chain infrastructure to use sustainable biomass instead of coal – transforming the business to become Europe’s largest decarbonisation project.

The conversion of the fourth unit is expected to be complete over the summer, returning to service in the second half of 2018. The cost of conversion is significantly below the level of previous conversions, at around £30 million.

Drax’s engineers will upgrade the unit by re-using some redundant infrastructure left from when the company was first co-firing biomass with coal on a large scale, around eight years ago.

A trial last year confirmed that by modifying the old co-firing delivery system, compressed wood pellets can be delivered in the quantities required to fully convert the fourth generating unit.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said:

“Switching the fourth unit from coal to biomass is another milestone in the transformation of the power station. It will extend the life of the plant, protecting jobs both here at Drax and in the supply chain, whilst delivering cleaner, reliable power for millions of homes and businesses.

“The conversion that’s underway is testament to the engineering expertise, skill and ingenuity we have at Drax. The team has developed some very innovative solutions for this upgrade, using all the knowledge we’ve gained throughout the work we have done so far to transform the business using sustainable biomass.”

Once it comes back online, the fourth unit will help the power station, at Selby in North Yorkshire, to deliver vital reliable and flexible power needed by the grid to maintain secure supplies as more renewables come online and the sector continues to decarbonise.

Once the conversion is complete Drax will turn its attention to its remaining two coal units, which it plans to replace with gas-fired power generating units. The Closed Cycle Gas Turbines it is looking to develop could deliver up to 3.6GW of capacity, as well as up to 200MW of battery storage.

Drax’s plans for the gas project have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, which has 28 days to determine if it will accept the application. If accepted, the proposals will be examined by the Planning Inspectorate and then considered by the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy with a decision expected in 2019.

In the UK there has been an 84 per cent reduction in coal-fired power generation in the last five years as low carbon generation has increased.

ENDS

Media contacts

Jessica Gorton

Drax Group Press Officer

E: [email protected]

T: 07712 677177

Editor’s Notes

  • Drax welcomed the UK Government’s response to the consultation on cost control for further biomass conversions under the Renewable Obligation scheme, published in January.
  • It proposed that, rather than imposing a cap on Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) support for any future biomass unit conversions, a cap would be applied at the power station level across all units receiving ROCs.
  • This will protect existing converted generating units and limit the amount of incremental ROCs attributable to additional unit conversions to 125,000 per annum.
  • As a result, once the unit is converted this summer, Drax expects to optimise its power generation from biomass across its three ROC units under the cap, whilst supporting the Government’s objective of controlling costs under the Renewable Obligation scheme.
  • Drax also has a biomass generating unit which receives support under the Contract for Difference (CfD) scheme. This unit is unaffected by the government consultation on cost control for further biomass conversions under the RO scheme.
  • The fourth generating unit at Drax was switched on in 1986 when the second half of the power station known as ‘Drax B’ began generating power from coal. This was 12 years after the first half of the power station began generating power in 1974
  • Drax converted its first three coal units to use biomass between 2013 and 2016.
  • 65% of the electricity Drax produced in 2017 was renewable – enough to power four million households.
  • Drax signed up to the Powering Past Coal Alliance in April. The UK-Canadian initiative seeks to end the use of coal by 2030 in developed countries.
  • Drax is the most efficient power station in the UK’s coal fleet and Drax’s fourth unit would have been one of the last to close under the Government’s coal phase out plans. This means Drax is closing a coal unit nearly seven years earlier than anticipated.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production. The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Drax submits application to develop Repower project

Drax Power Station has submitted an application to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for its Repower gas generation and battery storage project.

Plans to replace Drax’s two remaining coal generating units with up to 3.6 gigawatts (GW) of high efficiency gas-fired power generation and up to 200 megawatts (MW) of battery storage were first set out in September 2017.

Since then the company has been developing engineering and environmental reports for the application, as well as carrying out an extensive consultation programme with local people, landowners and councils.

The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to determine if it will accept the application. If accepted, the proposals will be examined by the Planning Inspectorate and then considered by the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with a decision expected in 2019.

By upgrading its existing infrastructure to use gas Drax will be able to provide more capacity, stability and essential grid services keeping costs low and delivering the government’s commitment to end power generation with unabated coal by 2025.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said:

“With our gas Repower plans and the conversion of a fourth generating unit this summer to use biomass instead of coal, we intend to extend the life of the plant, protect jobs and deliver the flexible and reliable power millions of households and businesses need.

“Working with the communities local to the power station has been an integral part of the process. The Repower project could secure the future of the power station beyond 2025 when the government says coal must come off the system.”

Drax is already the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator having converted three coal generating units to use sustainable wood pellets, with the fourth set for this summer. More than two thirds of the power produced is now renewable, providing 15% of the UK’s renewable electricity – enough for four million homes.

ENDS

 

Media contacts

Ali Lewis

Drax Group Head of News

E: [email protected]

T: 07712670888

 

Jessica Gorton

Drax Group Press Officer

E: [email protected]

T: 0203 9434305

 

Editor’s Notes

The planning process for the DCO is as follows:

  • The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to decide whether to accept Drax’s application for examination.
  • If it is accepted for examination, Drax will notify local authorities, landowners and other statutory consultees and they will receive a copy of the accepted application documents.
  • In addition, a notice will be published at or near the Repower site and in relevant newspapers to publicise the accepted application. This notice will provide information to local people on where they can review the application and how and when they can make representations to the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Anyone who makes a representation can register to become an ‘Interested Party’ once the examination process starts.
  • If the application is accepted, the Planning Inspectorate will appoint an independent inspector known as an ‘Examining Authority’ to oversee the examination of the application, a process that is likely to start in the autumn.
  • A preliminary meeting with Interested Parties, Drax and the Examining Authority will be held to coincide with the start of the examination process. Interested parties will be given at least 21 days’ notice of the meeting. At this meeting, the Examining Authority will inform Drax and Interested Parties of the examination procedure and schedule going forward.
  • The post-application and examination processes, including the formal notification of the accepted application and the consultation on the Application documents (undertaken in accordance with Section 56 of the Planning Act 2008), are defined by relevant regulations and the Planning Inspectorate.

Anyone with questions about the process can contact Drax Repower team via email at [email protected] or by calling the Freephone number: 0800 731 8250 or by writing to them at FREEPOST DRAX REPOWER.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Application for Development Consent Order submitted to the Planning Inspectorate

Upon receipt of APL’s application, the Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to decide whether to accept it for examination.

If the application is accepted for examination, APL will formally notify City & County of Swansea Council, the community councils in the near vicinity of the site south of Felindre, local landowners and other statutory consultees. These stakeholders will receive a copy of the accepted application documents.

In addition, a notice will be published at or near the site and in local newspapers to publicise the accepted application and to provide information to local people on where they can review the application and how and when they can make representations to the Planning Inspectorate.

If the application is accepted, the Planning Inspectorate will appoint an independent inspector known as an Examining Authority to oversee the examination of the application, a process that is likely to start in the autumn. Anyone who makes a representation can register to become an Interested Party once the examination starts.

A “preliminary” meeting with Interested Parties, Drax and the Examining Authority will be held to coincide with the start of the examination process; this meeting will be held locally and interested parties will be given at least 21 days’ notice of the meeting. At this meeting, the Examining Authority will inform Drax and Interested Parties of the examination procedure and schedule going forward.

The post-application and examination processes, including the formal notification of the accepted application and the consultation on the Application documents (undertaken in accordance with Section 56 of the Planning Act 2008), are defined by relevant regulations and the Planning Inspectorate.

Government Carbon Capture and Storage Team visits Drax Power Station

A group of senior policymakers and government officials has visited Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, to learn more about the UK’s largest power station and its plans to pilot new carbon capture technology.

The delegation from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spent the day with the Research and Innovation Team at Drax and also met with Drax Power CEO Andy Koss, to learn more about its Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) pilot – the first of its kind in Europe.

If successful, the project could make the renewable electricity produced at Drax Power Station carbon negative.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said:

“This project is the next step in our journey to extend the future of the plant, protect jobs and deliver clean, reliable power for millions of households and businesses.

“With our extensive engineering skill and expertise, we have already upgraded half of the power station from coal to use biomass, transforming the business to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

“If successful, this BECCS technology could enable us to achieve negative emissions on the biomass generating units at the power station and also help the UK to meet its global climate change targets.”

The demonstration project will see Drax partner with Leeds-based C-Capture and invest £400,000 in what could be the first of several pilot projects undertaken at Drax Power Station to deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS.

Drax plans to convert a fourth generating unit from coal to biomass this summer and is also progressing plans for repowering its two remaining coal units with gas power generation and batteries.

Pictured are: Steve Drayton, Deputy head of Research and Innovation, Drax; Carl Clayton, Research and Innovation engineer, Drax; Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO; Mark Taylor, Deputy Director for Programme Delivery, BEIS; Matthew Billson, Head of Strategy, BEIS; Mark Kilcullen, Head of Industry and CCS, BEIS; Solmaz Parsa, Engineer/Technical Project Manager, BEIS; Peter Coleman, Science Team, BEIS; Nick Bevan, lead for gas/coal generation/CCS/CHP, BEIS.

ENDS

Media contact

Ali Lewis

Drax Group Head of Media Relations

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612165

Jessica Gorton

Drax Group Press Officer

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612848

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Drax to pilot Europe’s first carbon capture storage project

Drax carbon capture and storage pilot project

Drax has announced that it is to pilot the first bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) project of its kind in Europe, which, if successful, could make the renewable electricity produced at its North Yorkshire power station carbon negative.

BECCS is vital to global efforts to combat climate change because the technology will mean the gases that cause global warning can be removed from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced. This means power generation would no longer contribute to climate change, but would start to reduce the carbon accumulating in the atmosphere.

The demonstration project will see Drax partner with Leeds-based C-Capture and invest £400,000 in what could be the first of several pilot projects undertaken at Drax to deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS.

Drax Power Station became the largest decarbonisation project in Europe by upgrading its existing facilities and, if the pilot is successful, it will examine options for a similar re-purposing of existing infrastructure to deliver more carbon savings.

A report by the Energy Technology Institute in 2016 has suggested that by the 2050s BECCS could deliver roughly 55 million tonnes of net negative emissions a year in the UK – approximately half the nation’s emissions target.

L-R: Jason Shipstone, Head of R&D, Drax Group; Caspar Schoolderman, Director of Engineering, C-Capture Ltd; Andy Koss, CEO Drax Power; Prof Christopher Rayner, Technical Director, C-Capture Ltd; Carl Clayton, Research and Innovation Engineer, Drax Group.

L-R: Jason Shipstone, Head of R&D, Drax Group; Caspar Schoolderman, Director of Engineering, C-Capture Ltd; Andy Koss, CEO Drax Power; Prof Christopher Rayner, Technical Director, C-Capture Ltd; Carl Clayton, Research and Innovation Engineer, Drax Group. Download high res photo.

The first phase of the project, starting this month, will look to see if the solvent C-Capture has developed is compatible with the biomass flue gas at Drax Power Station. A lab-scale study into the feasibility of re-utilising the flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) absorbers at the power station will also be carried out to assess potential capture rates.

FGD equipment is vital for reducing sulphur emissions from coal, but has become redundant on three of the generating units at Drax that have been upgraded to use biomass, because the wood pellets used produce minimal levels of sulphur.

Depending on the outcome of a feasibility study, the C-Capture team will proceed to the second phase of the pilot in the autumn, when a demonstration unit will be installed to isolate the carbon dioxide produced by the biomass combustion.

Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group, said:

“If the world is to achieve the targets agreed in Paris and pursue a cleaner future, negative emissions are a must – and BECCS is a leading technology to help achieve it.

“This pilot is the UK’s first step, but it won’t be the only one at Drax. We will soon have four operational biomass units, which provide us with a great opportunity to test different technologies that could allow Drax, the country and the world, to deliver negative emissions and start to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Unlike previous CCS projects Drax has been involved with, this is an early pilot for a new technology. It will examine the potential of a new form of carbon capture, post combustion on biomass, rather than coal.

The government’s Clean Growth Strategy identified BECCS as one of several greenhouse gas removal technologies that could remove emissions from the atmosphere and help achieve long term decarbonisation.

Claire Perry, Energy & Clean Growth Minister, said:

“We aim to make the UK a world leader in carbon capture usage and storage, a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy. It’s hugely exciting that Drax has chosen to invest in this innovative project, demonstrating how government support for innovation can create an environment where companies can develop new technologies and scale up investment to build the sectors we will need to achieve long term decarbonisation.”

C-Capture is a spin-out from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, established through funding from IP Group Plc.

Chris Rayner, founder of C-Capture and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Leeds, said:

“We have developed fundamentally new chemistry to capture CO2 and have shown that it should be suitable for capturing the carbon produced from bioenergy processes.

“The key part is now to move it from our own facilities and into the real world at Drax. Through the pilot scheme we aim to demonstrate that the technology we’ve developed is a cost-effective way to achieve one of the holy grails of CO2 emissions strategies – negative emissions in power production, which is where we believe the potential CO2 emissions reductions are likely to be the greatest.”

Andy Duley, Director of Commercialisation at the University of Leeds, said:

“The University has an established track record in working with private sector investors and leveraging its own funds to launch successful spin out companies. C-Capture is the latest example of our continued success in converting research expertise into a valuable service which directly benefits industry, and has the potential to make an impact around the world.”

ENDS

Media contacts

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Head of News
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)1757 612165
Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)7712 677177

Animation:

vimeo.com/draxgroup/beccs

Editor’s Notes

  • Drax Power Station is the single largest user of sustainable biomass for power in the world – 65% of the electricity it produced in 2017 was renewable, enough to power four million households.
  • Biomass, such as sustainably sourced compressed wood pellets, is a renewable fuel – the CO2 captured when it grew is equal to the emissions it releases when used to generate electricity so it does not contribute new carbon to the biosphere. When coupled with CCS, the overall process of biomass electricity generation removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it releases.
  • The government’s Clean Growth Strategy identified ‘sustainable biomass power stations used in tandem with CCUS technology’ as a potential route to achieving long-term decarbonisation between now and 2050.
  • C-Capture is a spin out from the Chemistry Department at Leeds University and has attracted support from IP Group, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and the CO2 Capture Project for CO2 capture technology, which has potential in a range of areas including biogas upgrading, natural gas sweetening and hydrogen production. 

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies seven per cent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fueled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About C-Capture

C-Capture Ltd utilise their extensive knowledge of CO2 (carbon dioxide) based chemistry and engineering, to develop solvent systems for the removal of CO2 from gas streams with the potential to capture the CO2 in a form suitable for storage, and prevent it from entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

C-Capture‘s proprietary technology aims to remove or ‘scrub’ CO2 from large scale point sources of gas emissions. This is important for a broad range of commercially and environmentally relevant areas.

The low cost, high energy efficiency of C-Capture’s solvents help minimise the cost of CCS implementation and makes electricity generation with CCS a much more affordable, environmentally beneficial process.

C-Capture Ltd is a spin-out company from the Chemistry Department at the University of Leeds, and has attracted support from IP Group, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s, Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, and the CO2 Capture Project, for development of CO2 capture technology, which has potential in a range of areas, including biogas upgrading, natural gas sweetening and hydrogen production. It was also the National Winner of Shell Springboard 2016, competition for low carbon businesses.

For more information visit www.c-capture.co.uk

About the University of Leeds

The University of Leeds has created more than 100 spin-out companies, with a market capitalisation in excess of £500 million. Seven of these spin-out companies are market listed on AIM, which is more than any other university in the UK. The University is also home to the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Bioenergy, and has extensive experience in energy research through the interdisciplinary Energy Leeds initiative.

The University is preparing to launch its £40m Nexus innovation and enterprise centre later this year. Nexus will provide business and industry with easy access to world-leading academic experts and their ground-breaking research, high quality facilities and cutting edge equipment at the University.

For more information visit www.leeds.ac.uk

‘Beast from the East’ exposes reliance on French interconnector

The ‘Beast from the East’ exposed the country’s undue reliance on the biggest electricity interconnector with Europe, a new report shows. Despite Great Britain’s power demand surging as temperatures plummeted, the interconnector actually exported power to France on two of the coldest days – 28th February and 1st March.

The six days from February 26 to March 3 were the third coldest experienced this century. These freezing temperatures pushed up power demand 10 per cent as consumers and industry used more electric heating to keep warm.

In response to increasing demand and more limited supply, wholesale power prices surged five times the average for the quarter, peaking at £990 per MWh as the market became volatile.

However, despite surging demand and higher prices, Great Britain’s interconnector exported power to Europe on two of the six coldest days as prices on the continent rose even higher than the UK to meet increasing demand from French consumers, who use more electricity for heating than in the UK.

Great Britain’s’s interconnector with France can demand up to 2GW of the country’s demand – around 4 per cent. It represents 50 per cent of the UK’s interconnector capacity, with the remainder accounted for by transmission between the UK and the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Drax Electric Insights report into the cold snap, published by researchers at Imperial College London in collaboration with Drax, also showed:

  • Biomass and hydro ran solidly throughout the cold spell.  Wind output was particularly high when it was most needed, ranging from 11.8 to 13.8 GW during March 1st.
  • Coal generation surged for the weeks surrounding the cold spell, not because more output from conventional plants was needed, but rising gas prices made it more economical to burn coal than fire-up additional gas capacity.

Dr Iain Staffell of Imperial College London, who co-authored the report, said:

“March 1 was the coldest spring day on record, averaging -3.8ºC. These plunging temperatures put stress on the system due to surging demand. While thermal and renewable generation worked together to meet demand, Britain’s electricity link to France was less than helpful, which, ultimately, drove up wholesale power prices.”

Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power, said:

“While the European interconnector is an an important part of Great Britain’s electricity infrastructure, it responds solely to price. Therefore, if Europe has a cold snap, the country is at the end of the line, leaving consumers vulnerable to security of supply and higher prices.

“As the country looks to procure future electricity capacity, the ‘Beast from the East’ is a reminder that security of supply must be the priority so that Great Britain doesn’t catch a cold when Europe sneezes.”

Drax has upgraded half of its power station in North Yorkshire from coal to use sustainable biomass, with plans to convert a further generating unit this year. It is now the biggest single site renewable generator in the country and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Explore this data live on the Electric Insights website:

https://www.drax.com/uk/beast-data

Read the report:

https://www.drax.com/uk/energy-policy/the-beast-from-the-east

ENDS

Media contacts

Ali Lewis

Drax Group Head of News

E: [email protected]

T:01757 612165

Jessica Gorton

Drax Group Press Officer

E: [email protected]

T: 07712 677177

About Electric Insights

  • Electric Insights Quarterly was commissioned by Drax and is delivered independently by a team of academics from Imperial College London, facilitated by the College’s consultancy company – Imperial Consultants. The report analyses raw data that are made publicly available by National Grid and Elexon, which run the electricity and balancing market respectively. Released four times a year, it will focus on supply and demand, prices, emissions, the performance of the various generation technologies and the network that connects them.
  • Along with Dr Iain Staffell, the team from Imperial included Professors Richard Green and Tim Green, experts in energy economics and electrical engineering, and Dr Rob Gross who contributed expertise in energy policy. The work to date has revealed scope for further research in this area, to inform both government and organisations within the energy industry.
  • The quarterly reports are backed by an interactive website electricinsights.co.uk which provides live data from 2009 until the present.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used for a better future. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies seven per cent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fueled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

UK’s biggest power station signs up to Powering Past Coal Alliance

The company, which has already upgraded half of its power station in North Yorkshire to use sustainable wood pellets instead of coal, has signed up to the UK-Canadian initiative which seeks to end the use of coal by 2030 in developed countries.

The company’s involvement in the initiative was announced by the Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, UK Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, on Monday April 9 at the Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit in New York.

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, said:

“The UK leads the world in tackling climate change – we have reduced emissions by more than 40% since 1990. By phasing out traditional coal power, we are not only taking active steps to tackle climate change, we are also protecting the air we breathe by reducing harmful pollution. The Powering Past Coal Alliance sends a clear signal that the time for unabated coal fired electricity has well and truly passed.”

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said:

“Unabated coal does not have a long term role to play in our low carbon future. The government made it very clear earlier this year that it wants the UK’s power sector to be coal free in 2025 – and we will achieve that, and possibly even beat it.

“We’re exploring options for repowering our remaining coal units to use sustainable biomass and gas which we believe could help us to become coal free even earlier than the 2025 deadline.”

In the UK there has already been a dramatic fall in power generation from coal – an 84% reduction in the last five years, and a major shift towards lower carbon technologies. Friday (April 6 2018) saw Great Britain have its second coal-free 24-hour period since 1882.

Drax Power Station has transformed itself to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is the largest single site renewable power generator in the UK since it started using biomass instead of coal in three out of its six generating units. 65% of the power it produces is now renewable – enough for four million households.

It will convert a fourth generating unit from coal to biomass later this year using a low cost solution developed by its world class engineers.

This will leave just two remaining coal generating units which it plans to replace with up to 3.6GW of gas power as well as 200MW of battery storage.

ENDS

Media contact

Ali Lewis

Drax Group Head of Media Relations

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612165

Jessica Gorton

Drax Group Press Officer

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612848

Notes to editors

  • The UK’s Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Claire Perry MP will attend the Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit conference in New York on Monday April 9, 2018, when she will announce Drax’s decision to sign up to the Powering Past Coal Alliance.
  • Drax Power Station announced its intention to convert its fourth generating unit to use biomass instead of coal earlier this year following the publication of the government’s response to its consultation on cost controls for further biomass conversions.
  • The company is also planning to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) this year for permission to repower its two remaining coal units with up to 3.6GW of gas power and 200MW of battery storage.
  • Subject to securing a DCO and depending on the outcome of future Capacity Market Auctions, the power station could stop using coal in 2023.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Drax hosts Whitehall & Industry Group

A group of senior business people, policymakers and government officials visited Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, today (Thursday April 5) to learn more about the UK’s largest power station and its transformation to become Europe’s largest decarbonisation project.

The Whitehall & Industry Group, a charity aimed at building cooperation between government and different business sectors, which Drax is a member of, had a tour of the power station and heard about how Drax upgraded half of its generating units to use sustainable biomass instead of coal and become a predominantly renewable power generator.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, who met with the delegation said:

“Using our extensive engineering skill and expertise we successfully upgraded half of the power station to use biomass, transforming the business to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

“Today we produce 15% of the country’s renewable power – that’s enough for four million homes.

“We’re continuing to innovate – we plan to convert a fourth generating unit to use biomass later this year, and we’re also progressing plans for repowering the two remaining coal units with gas power generation and batteries.”

ENDS

Media contact

Ali Lewis

Drax Group Head of Media Relations

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612165

Jessica Gorton

Drax Group Press Officer

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612848

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk