Archives: Press Release

Drax boosts education and skills with work experience placements

Drax is offering young people a valuable insight into the world of work at its sites in Scotland, including Cruachan Power Station near Oban, as part of the renewable energy company’s commitment to supporting education and skills.

This is the first time Drax has run its in-person work experience programme since before March 2020 when the company had to stop educational visits due to Covid restrictions.

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 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) career is right for them.

Owen Moran, aged 16, spent a week at Cruachan Power Station shadowing engineers and getting an insight into what work on the plant is like.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience at Cruachan. It was great to develop a further understanding of the inner workings of the station and work alongside great people. I look forward to hopefully applying for one of next year’s apprenticeship roles.”

The on-site work experience week builds on what the students learned during an online programme earlier this year during the Easter holidays.

Ian Kinnaird in the Cruachan machine hall

Drax’s Scottish Assets & Generation Engineering Director Ian Kinnaird, said: “We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects, so the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours as we continue to develop and grow.

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

Drax welcomed 12 work experience students across its sites in Scotland, including Daldowie Fuel Plant near Glasgow. At the end of the week, each student was presented with a certificate of achievement and a £100 Amazon voucher to spend on books and educational resources.

Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife and the SNP’s Westminster Spokesperson for Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation, met some of Cruachan’s work placement students during a recent visit to the power station. He said, “It’s great to see businesses like Drax offering opportunities for young people to learn about and prepare for the world of work.

“If we are to reach our goal of net zero, we need to ensure that the next generation has the skills needed to fill green energy roles. Offering young people the chance the explore these careers is vital to get them interested in STEM subjects and help them discover the wide range of choices available for their future.”

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

Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills in Scotland including virtual workshops in schools and providing laptops for students.

ENDS

Photo caption: Owen Moran, with Douglas Chapman MP for Dunfermline and West Fife at Cruachan Power Station

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected] 
T: 07936 350 175

Notes to editors:

Drax first introduced virtual work experience in June 2020 as a result of not being able to run its usual on-site work experience programmes due to Covid restrictions and decided to continue the programme after receiving a positive response from those who took part.

Students who took part in Drax’s virtual work experience programme aged 14-18 could then choose from a variety of different business areas and sites to do the in-person week of their placement. The programme provides an opportunity to learn about the renewable energy company, focusing on developing employability skills and learning about their business area through practical experience and conversations with employees.

Offering work experience virtually also enables more students to participate from across England and Scotland, who may previously have found it difficult to take part, due to barriers preventing their attendance, such as geography, opportunity, and economic factors.

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 17 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

Oban High School students visit iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station

Students from Oban High School have visited Drax Group’s iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station to understand the critical role the facility plays in supporting Scotland’s power system.

Cruachan is an underground pumped hydro storage power station built in a hollowed-out cavern 1km inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain. Constructed in 1965, its reversible turbines are still at the cutting edge of energy storage technology, enabling the plant to act like a giant water battery.

Its turbines pump water from Loch Awe to an upper reservoir on the mountainside to store excess power from the grid. The stored water is then released back through the turbines to generate power quickly and reliably when demand increases. This process helps stop wind farms being paid to turn off when they are generating excess power, helping Scotland to be greener whilst cutting household energy bills.

Oban High School was one of the first schools to visit the power station since it reopened following the lifting of Covid restrictions. They took part in a tour which supported the work the students are doing to understand how renewable electricity is generated.

Ian Kinnaird in the Cruachan machine hall

Drax’s Scottish Assets & Generation Engineering Director Ian Kinnaird, said: “We work closely with schools to inspire the next generation to study STEM subjects, and these tours are important in firing up students’ imaginations by showing them how renewable electricity is generated.

“Cruachan plays a critical role in stabilising the electricity system, balancing supply and demand by 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.

“Drax has exciting plans to more than double Cruachan’s generating capacity, a project that will support new green jobs and help bring more renewable power onto the grid.”

The group of 25 students aged between 16 and 18, were taken on a full tour of the site, which included travelling by bus 1km underground to the viewing gallery that looks out onto the huge machine hall which houses the four turbines.

When all four of its generating units are operating at maximum capacity, the plant can supply enough flexible, renewable power for around 800,000 homes.

Peter Bain, Head Teacher at Oban High School, said: “The students had a great day at Cruachan, learning about how important this unique power station is in supporting the Scottish energy system and the critical role it plays in keeping the power grid safe and stable.

“Visits like this are so valuable because seeing the power station and the scale of the operations is impossible to replicate in a classroom – it really brings the subject to life.”

Prior to the pandemic, Cruachan Power Station near Oban, welcomed more than 50,000 visitors every year, many of whom were students, visiting as part of the renewable energy company’s initiatives to encourage young people to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, boosting skills across the region.

In line with lockdown rules, Cruachan suspended its public tours in March 2020 to protect its key workers, who worked around the clock throughout the pandemic to ensure the country had the renewable electricity it needed.

Tours at Cruachan are free to all primary and secondary schools and can be tailored to suit the area of the curriculum teachers are interested in.

Schools interested in organising a tour, should go to [email protected].

Photo caption: The Cruachan Hollow Mountain Visitor Centre

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected] 
T: 07936 350 175

 

Editor’s Notes

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

 

  • Pumped hydro storage power stations act like giant water batteries, storing excess energy when there is an oversupply of power and then releasing when the country needs it most.
  • This is especially useful in supporting wind and solar generation, storing excess renewable power to be used later instead of going to waste.
  • A recent report by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) highlighted the policy barriers to deploying long-duration energy storage and suggested ways to address these barriers such as through the introduction of an income floor.
  • Despite being a key supporting pillar for intermittent generation from wind and solar power, no new pumped storage plants have been built in Britain since 1984.
  • Enough renewable power to supply 800,000 UK homes went to waste in 2020 and 2021 as wind farms were routinely asked to switch off by the Electricity System Operator and there wasn’t enough capacity to ensure this excess renewable power was stored and made available when it was needed.
  • Drax recently submitted the planning application to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station at Cruachan which will more than double the site’s electricity generating capacity.
  • The new 600-megawatt (MW) power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1 gigawatt (GW).

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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

Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club visits Britain’s biggest renewable power station

Members of the Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club have visited Drax Power Station to see first-hand how renewable electricity is generated by Britain’s biggest power station.

The group of 40 classic car enthusiasts were taken on a full tour of the site, which included seeing Drax’s bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project. BECCS is a vital negative emissions technology which Drax plans to use to permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, whilst also generating the reliable, renewable electricity the country needs.

Plant Director Bruce Heppenstall said: “We welcome thousands of visitors to our site every year. These tours give people the opportunity to see some of the cutting-edge green technologies we’re pioneering, such as BECCS which could play a vital role in addressing the climate crisis as well as delivering jobs and clean growth here in the North.

“It was great to have the Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club here and to see all the fantastic cars together. I hope they enjoyed their tour and will visit again in the future.”

During the tour, the group were shown how renewable electricity is generated and discovered how sustainable, wood pellets have enabled Drax to reduce its carbon emissions by 95% in a decade, making it Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project.

They saw the 427-metre turbine hall that houses the huge turbines which power the generators to produce electricity, as well as the wood pellet storage domes – each large enough to fit The Royal Albert Hall inside, and the 115m high cooling towers, which are taller than the Statue of Liberty.

The group, which travelled from all over the North to come together at Drax, said that they thoroughly enjoyed the visit and particularly enjoyed seeing the huge infrastructure up close and learning about the innovative green technologies being developed at Drax.

Ken Cowdell from the Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club, who organised the visit, said: “Engineering excellence is the core interest of our club which is why I arranged the trip to Drax. It was fantastic to see the scale of the operations and fascinating to hear about their plans for carbon capture going forward. The tour guides were first class and feedback from members of the club was excellent, on the whole it was an absolutely brilliant trip and very worthwhile.”

Groups interested in organising a tour, should contact [email protected]

ENDS

Photo caption: The Rolls Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts Club in front of Drax’s cooling towers, taken from the Drax Social Club field

 

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected] 
T: 07936 350 175

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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

British Steel forges new partnership to support Drax’s world leading carbon capture project

  • Renewable energy company Drax is exploring opportunities with British Steel for it to supply around 13,000 tonnes of steel for the energy company’s multi-billion-pound UK bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project.
  • Partnership will also support the development of skills in the steel supply chain required to develop UK CCUS expertise, enabling the country to lead the world in the vital green industries needed to address the climate crisis.
  • Drax’s ambition is  to source up to 80% of the materials and services it needs to develop BECCS in the UK from British businesses, protecting and creating thousands of jobs, helping to level up the North.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) brings together two major British industries to support the development  of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), a technology which could kickstart a whole new sector of the economy and create opportunities for the UK to lead the world in a vital technology required to address global warming.

Through the partnership, Drax and British Steel aim to support efforts to meet the UK’s climate targets and level up the North, whilst supporting skills within the steel sector.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO said:

Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group

“We are excited to be partnering with British Steel as we continue to progress our world-leading UK BECCS project. This country has a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead the world in vital new green technologies like BECCS, which will not only support thousands of UK jobs, but could also create new export opportunities, whilst helping to tackle the climate crisis.

“We aim to invest billions of pounds, create tens of thousands of jobs and have BECCS operational in the UK by 2030, provided that the UK Government has in place policies to support the feasibility and delivery of negative emissions technologies. BECCS will permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year from as soon as 2027, whilst continuing to generate the reliable, renewable power this country needs.”

BECCS is a critical technology needed to combat global warming because it permanently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere whilst also generating reliable, renewable electricity.

Drax is ready to invest around £2bn in its plans to build BECCS in the UK. Work could get underway as soon as 2024, with the energy company planning to source up to 80% of the materials and services it needs for the project from British businesses.

Graham Backhouse, Commercial Director at Drax, Lisa Coulson, Marketing & Strategy Director at British Steel.

Around 13,000 tonnes of steel will be required for the major infrastructure project, including beams produced at British Steel’s Scunthorpe and Teesside steel works.

Allan Bell, British Steel’s Chief Commercial and Procurement Officer, said:

“We are proud to be working with Drax to explore the opportunities this major infrastructure project creates both in terms of the use of our steel products but also in developing skills in the steel supply chain required to support the development of CCUS expertise within the UK.

“We’re already making progress in our own decarbonisation journey, with our plans to use green hydrogen and our commitment to be net zero by 2050. There are real synergies between what we’re trying to achieve and Drax’s ambitions with BECCS, which we hope to build on through this partnership, putting the UK and the North of England on the world map.”

Esa Heiskanen, Chief Officer Capital Projects at Drax, Xifeng Han CEO British Steel.

Holly Mumby-Croft MP, Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, said:

“I was delighted to hear that Drax and British Steel had reached this agreement, it’s some really positive news for Scunthorpe.

“I’ve long said that we should be using British steel in British infrastructure projects not only because we should be supporting our local businesses, but because it’s also the best. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this partnership and the benefits it will bring to Scunthorpe, protecting jobs and supporting energy security.”

If the UK government gives more clarity this summer on the process for BECCS power projects to move forward within its CCS cluster programme, Drax’s BECCS project could capture 8 million tonnes of CO2 a year from 2030, making it the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world.

It will also act as an anchor project for the East Coast Cluster, a consortium of Zero Carbon Humber and Net Zero Teesside, which combined account for more than half of the UK’s industrial emissions.

The UK steel industry has played a pivotal role in the northern communities in which it operates, supporting thousands of jobs in both Scunthorpe and Teesside. Large infrastructure projects like Drax’s BECCS plans will support and help protect jobs in the steel sector.

ENDS

Main image caption:

(From L – R) Ben Cunliffe, Commercial Director (Constuction), British Steel, Graham Backhouse, Commercial Director at Drax, Chris Vaughan Technical Director at British Steel, Allan Bell, Chief Commercial Officer at British Steel, Lisa Coulson, Marketing & Strategy Director at British Steel, Esa Heiskanen, Chief Officer Capital Projects at Drax.

Media contacts: 

Ben Wicks
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07761 525 662

Ali Lewis
Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07849090368

Editor’s Notes

  • The East Coast Cluster was selected by the UK government to be one of two priority industrial clusters to progress plans for carbon capture in the 2020s.
  • More than 600 businesses from across the North recently attended supplier events Drax organised, where companies were able to find out more about how they could benefit from contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds associated with its BECCS plans.
  • More than 1,800 people have signed up to pledge their support for Drax’s plans for BECCS at the power station in North Yorkshire.
  • The world leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC say BECCS is a vital negative emissions technology required globally to reach the climate targets set out in the Parish Climate Accord in 2015.
  • Negative emissions technologies are essential because they can permanently remove the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere, which is causing temperatures to rise.
  • Once up and running, Drax’s CO2 from Drax’s BECCS units would be transported via pipeline to the Endurance storage site, under the North Sea. This part of the process is being developed and by The Northern Endurance Partnership.

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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

Cost of turning off UK wind farms reached record high in 2021

Pylon that takes excess wind power to be stored at Cruachan pumped hydro storage power station in Scotland
  • Investing in more long duration electricity storage, such as expanding Drax’s Cruachan pumped storage hydro plant in Scotland, would mean more excess renewable power could be stored and made available when required, cutting costs and carbon emissions.
  • The cost of turning off UK wind farms to manage the electricity system rose from almost £300m during 2020 to over £500m in 2021, contributing to higher energy bills and carbon emissions, according to a new report.
  • Costs increased substantially because the system relied on expensive gas power to manage periods when wind power was curtailed, as not enough electricity storage was available to prevent the excess renewable power from wind farms going to waste.

The independent report by Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP), commissioned by renewable energy leader Drax, found that over the last two years curtailing wind power added £806m to energy bills in Britain. Rising gas prices made the practice more expensive, as gas power stations were increasingly used to support the system when wind power was curtailed.

Click to view/download

Despite the growing need for more homegrown renewable power generation from wind farms to support energy security, enough renewable power to supply 800,000 UK homes went to waste in 2020 and 2021 as wind farms were routinely asked to switch off by the Electricity System Operator.

Click to view/download

This happened as a result of constraints in the transmission system and a lack of long-duration storage capacity, which is needed to manage periods when renewable power generation outstrips demand.

Britain is a world leader in wind power with capacity increasing from 5.4GW in 2010 to 25.7GW in 2021 – wind turbines now have the capacity to provide enough renewable power for almost 20 million homes.

But without any new long-duration storage projects built for almost 40 years in the UK, the only way to manage the imbalance when generation outstrips demand and prevent damage to the electricity grid, is to curtail wind power – a practice which could be significantly reduced if more energy storage was available.

And with gas power stations overwhelmingly called upon to plug the gaps in supply when wind was constrained due to transmission issues, there was an environmental cost.

An extra two million tonnes of CO2 was emitted during 2020 and 2021 as a result of gas being used to replace curtailed wind power, equivalent to putting almost half a million more cars on Britain’s roads.

Chris Matson, from LCP, said:

“Increasing the output from wind power is essential for the UK to achieve its climate targets and ensure energy security. And yet because investment in the infrastructure needed to support this expansion has not kept pace, wind curtailment is costing the consumer and the environment. Every pound spent on curtailing wind power is a pound wasted.”

Find out more about Cruachan 2 here.

Drax has recently submitted an application to construct and operate a new underground pumped storage hydro power station at its existing Cruachan facility in Scotland.

The 600 MW plant will be located in one of the most constrained transmission areas and will play a crucial role in supporting more wind power to come online to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions.

Penny Small, Drax’s Group Generation Director, said:

Penny Small, Drax Group Generation Director

“This report underlines the need for a new regulatory framework to encourage private investment in long-duration storage technologies.

“The UK is a world-leader in offshore wind, but for the country’s green energy ambitions to be realised we need the right energy storage infrastructure to support this vital technology, make the system secure and reduce costs.

“Drax’s plan to expand Cruachan will strengthen UK energy security, by enabling more homegrown renewable electricity to power British homes and businesses, reducing system costs and cutting carbon emissions.”

Long-duration storage projects have been left in limbo in recent years without an updated policy and market support mechanism from the UK Government.

The lack of a framework for these technologies means that private investment cannot currently be secured in new pumped storage hydro projects, with no new plants built anywhere in the UK since 1984 despite their critical role in decarbonisation.

ENDS

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes

A copy of the ‘Renewable curtailment and the role of long duration storage’ report can be found here.

  • The report defines consumer costs of curtailing wind as the cost of turning wind plant down (bid costs), the consumer benefit arising from the non-payment of low-carbon support payments to curtailed wind plant, and the cost of paying generation to turn-up (offer costs) to replace the lost wind generation.
  • Of the £806m cost to consumers from wind curtailment in 2020 and 2021, 82% (£663m) was from curtailing wind in Scotland – underlining the need for flexible technologies in Scotland specifically.
  • In May, Drax applied for consent to build a new 600MW pumped storage hydro plant at its existing Cruachan facility in Argyll, Scotland.
  • The new power station could be operation in 2030 with construction work getting underway in 2024.
  • It will be a major infrastructure project which will remove of around 2 million tonnes of rock from inside the mountain to create a cavern and tunnels, with around 900 jobs created during its construction and across the supply chain.
  • Long-duration electricity storage can be defined as technologies that are able to respond to supply and demand variations caused by daily peaks, weather events and seasonal patterns, providing power for more than four hours at their full capacity.
  • The UK government’s 2021 Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan recognised long-duration storage as “…essential for achieving net zero.”
  • The government held a call for evidence to hear the industry’s views on de-risking investment at the end of 2021 and aims to evaluate options and respond this year.

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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

About LCP

LCP’s energy analytics team specialises in the modelling and analysis of the GB power sector.   LCP’s modelling plays a key role in the sector and is at the heart of GB policy analysis. Their electricity market forecasting models are used by BEIS to assess the impact of changes to energy policy, including the analysis behind its energy white papers and Net Zero strategy. It is also used by National Grid ESO to model system security, by Ofgem to assess changes to charging arrangements, and by the LCCC to set the costs to suppliers of the Contracts for Difference scheme.

LCP also work with clients across the UK and Ireland to provide market forecasting, asset valuation and policy impact analysis. These clients include generators, suppliers, investors, strategists, traders and policy analysts.

Source for cars on the road saving:

67.7 Mt of CO2e from cars (& taxis) in 2019, 32.84m cars on road on avg in 2019. 2.06 tonnes of CO2e per car   1.02426 Mt of emissions per year from wind curtailment = 497,251 cars.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1040514/env0201.ods

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1077409/veh0101.ods

Britain’s biggest power station lights up for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Drax Power Station, the UK’s biggest generator of renewable electricity, is turning two of its cooling towers red and blue to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

Electricity has been generated by Drax since 1974 after it was built by the Central Electricity Generating Board, in an area of Yorkshire known as Megawatt Valley due to a fleet of coal-fired power stations which were built there in the 1960s-1980s.

Drax was not only the biggest, but it was also one of the most advanced and efficient coal-fired power stations ever built in the UK.

Nearly five decades on, Drax has transformed itself to become the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe by using sustainable biomass, generating enough renewable electricity for four million households.

Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director, said:

“We wanted to do something special to celebrate this major milestone in UK history and to thank Her Majesty for her 70 years of service to the country.

“Drax is approaching its own milestone – having generated electricity for millions of UK homes and businesses for almost 50 years. As our cooling towers are a major landmark that can be seen for miles around – we thought lighting up in honour of our Queen was a fitting tribute.”

The 114m tall cooling towers near Selby in North Yorkshire, will be lit up between 8:30pm until 4:30am every night from Wednesday 1st June to Sunday 5th June.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936 350 175

Notes to editors:

Drax illuminated one of its cooling towers in blue lights in 2020 in recognition of the work of the NHS during the pandemic, and also projected a poppy onto the cooling towers to raise money for the Royal British Legion on Armistice Day.

Most recently, the cooling towers have been lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag to show support and solidarity with the people affected by the recent conflict.

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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 boosts education and skills with work experience placements

Drax is offering young people a valuable insight into the world of work at its sites in Scotland, including Daldowie Fuel Plant near Glasgow, as part of the renewable energy company’s commitment to supporting education and skills.

This is the first time Drax has run its in-person work experience programme since before March 2020 when the company had to stop educational visits due to Covid restrictions.

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 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) career is right for them.

Lewis Dow, aged 16, spent a week at Daldowie Fuel Plant shadowing engineers and getting an insight into what work on the plant is like.

Lewis Dow, age 16, in the control room at Daldowie Fuel Plant

He said: “It’s been a great experience coming to site and seeing a very large industrial plant for real. All the staff have been very friendly showing me around and explaining how it all works. It’s let me see the difference between school and the working environment. I would like to thank everyone who took time to show me around.”

The on-site work experience week builds on what the students learned during an online programme earlier this year during the Easter holidays.

Sarah Cameron, Drax Visitor Centre Manager, said: “We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects, so the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours as we continue to develop and grow.

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

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

Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills in Scotland including virtual workshops in schools and providing laptops for students.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936 350 175

 

Editor’s notes:

Drax first introduced virtual work experience in June 2020 as a result of not being able to run its usual on-site work experience programmes due to Covid restrictions and decided to continue the programme after receiving a positive response from those who took part.

Students who took part in Drax’s virtual work experience programme aged 14-18 could then choose from a variety of different business areas and sites to do the in-person week of their placement. The programme provides an opportunity to learn about the renewable energy company, focusing on developing employability skills and learning about their business area through practical experience and conversations with employees.

Offering work experience virtually also enables more students to participate from across England and Scotland, who may previously have found it difficult to take part, due to barriers preventing their attendance, such as geography, opportunity, and economic factors.

 

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:
The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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 submits application to expand iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Power Station

Cruachan helps support intermittent renewable power like wind and solar.
  • Plans submitted by renewable energy company Drax to expand Cruachan Power Station in Scotland will support UK energy security, reduce energy costs, and cut carbon emissions by enabling more renewable power to be used by homes and businesses.
  • The new power station could be operational as soon as 2030 with construction work getting underway in 2024, removing around 2 million tonnes of rock from inside Ben Cruachan and creating hundreds of jobs across Scotland.

The development – which could be the first newly constructed plant of its kind in the UK in more than 40 years – will provide critical storage capacity to strengthen the UK’s energy security and enable net zero. It will be a major infrastructure project which will support around 900 jobs during six years of construction across the supply chain in a range of industries from quarrying and engineering, to transport and hospitality. Around 150 on-site local construction jobs will be created during the development.

The up to 600MW power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1.04GW. The plant will be housed within a new, hollowed-out cavern which would be large enough to fit Big Ben on its side. Around two million tonnes of rock will be excavated to create the cavern, tunnels, and other parts of the power station.

The Hollow Mountain – Cruachan’s generating units are housed inside the mountain.

The new plant could be operational in 2030, providing critical stability services to the power system by acting like a giant water battery. It will use reversible turbines to pump water from Loch Awe to the upper reservoir on the mountainside to store excess power from wind farms and other low carbon technologies when supply outstrips demand and then use this stored water to generate renewable power when it is needed.

A new generation of pumped storage hydro plants can play a major role in reducing emissions and significantly cutting the UK’s reliance on imported gas through their storage and flexibility services.

Wind farms are routinely paid to turn off when supply outstrips demand or there is insufficient capacity on the National Grid Transmission System due to a lack of energy storage creating local bottlenecks. In 2020, enough wind power to supply around a million homes went to waste because of this.

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director, said:

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director, standing in-front of a generating unit in the existing Cruachan cavern.

“Drax’s plan to expand Cruachan will strengthen the UK’s energy security by enabling more homegrown renewable electricity to come online to power homes and businesses across the country, helping to end our reliance on imports and cut costs. This major infrastructure project will support hundreds of jobs and provide a real boost to the Scottish economy. Only by investing in long-duration storage technologies can the UK reach its full renewable potential, and Drax is ready to move mountains to do just that.”

Claire Mack, Scottish Renewables Chief Executive, said:

Pumped storage hydro is a critical technology needed to meet net zero. Over the last decade we have managed to develop the technologies to decarbonise the power system such as wind and solar, but what we really need now is greater flexibility to fully optimise those technologies. That’s why the success of long-duration storage projects such as Cruachan 2 is absolutely vital to Scotland and the whole of the UK.”

Drax’s plans to expand Cruachan has also won support from former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. During his time in office, Mr Turnbull announced the construction of Snowy Hydro 2.0 – the biggest pumped hydro scheme in the southern hemisphere. He is now a board member of the International Hydropower Association and Co-Chair of the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower.

Commenting on Drax’s exciting expansion plans, Mr Turnbull said:

“Within the climate crisis the world is facing an ignored crisis – how to ensure that we do not fall back on fossil fuels when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining. We need green energy security solutions, and Drax’s plans to expand Cruachan will enable the UK to enhance its energy security and enable more renewable power to come online.”

In order to deploy this critical technology, Drax must secure consent under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 from the Scottish Government – a process which will take around one year to complete from the application’s submission.

Alongside a successful Section 36 application, the project will also require an updated policy and market support mechanism from the UK Government. The existing lack of a framework for long-duration electricity storage and flexibility technologies means that private investment cannot currently be secured in new pumped storage hydro projects, with no new plants built anywhere in the UK since 1984 despite their critical role in decarbonisation.

Infographic – How Pumped Storage Hydro Works [click to view/download]

ENDS

Media contacts:

Ben Wicks
Media Manager (BECCS and Customers)
E: [email protected]
T: 07761 525 662

Editor’s Notes

  • With Section 36 consent from the Scottish Government, and an updated revenue stabilisation mechanism from the UK Government, work to build the new pumped storage hydro power station could get underway in 2024, with it becoming operational, supplying flexible power to the grid, in 2030.
  • No investment decision has yet been taken and development remains subject to the right regulatory framework with the UK government.
  • Long-duration electricity storage can be defined as technologies that are able to respond to supply and demand variations caused by daily peaks, weather events and seasonal patterns, providing power for more than four hours at their full capacity.
  • The UK government’s 2021 Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan recognised long-duration storage as “…essential for achieving net zero”.
  • The government held a call for evidence to hear the industry’s views on de-risking investment at the end of 2021 and aims to evaluate options and respond this year.
  • recent report by Aurora showed that the UK may need an eight-fold increase in long-duration electricity storage capacity by 2035.
  • The last pumped storage hydro plants to be built in the UK was Dinorwig in 1984, none have followed since the privatisation of the electricity markets.
  • Despite their vital role in enabling more renewable power to come online, no others have been built due to the barriers that exist to securing private investment in projects.
  • A number of options exist for reforming the market to incentivise long-duration electricity storage, with a report published in January by KPMG recommending a cap and floor mechanism to be introduced.
  • 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.

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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 to pilot more pioneering new carbon capture technology

  • Renewable energy giant Drax is collaborating with the University of Nottingham and Promethean Particles on an innovative new carbon capture technology that could shape the future of carbon capture and storage (CCS).
  • Trial is part of Drax’s bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) innovation programme and could see the technology deployed in future BECCS plants.

The new process uses a type of solid sorbent called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which Promethean Particles are a global pioneer in the development and deployment of, to capture the CO2 released when sustainable biomass is used to generate electricity. CCS technologies typically use liquid solvents.

Dr Theo Chronopoulos, Drax Innovation Engineer and Lewis Neve, Promethean Particles’ Engineering Manager.

MOFs have a simple structure, which means they can be tailored to separate and soak up specific molecules making them excellent for CCS.

The trial will last for two months and will allow all three organisations to understand if this new carbon capture process performs well in real conditions on large-scale projects.

Jason Shipstone, Drax’s Chief Innovation Officer, said:

Pilot unit in situ in Drax’s BECCS incubation hub located in Drax Power Station.

“Negative emissions technologies like BECCS will play a vital role in the fight against the climate crisis, so it’s crucial we continue to innovate and develop new technologies that will support their future deployment.

“This partnership with the University of Nottingham and Promethean Particles is part of our long-term innovation programme and will allow Drax to understand the future potential of this technology, as we continue to innovate and grow as a business.”

Professor Ed Lester, Project Lead, University of Nottingham, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase how these solid adsorbents perform in an industrial setting. We know that this project is gathering a lot of interest across many industrial sectors that currently generate large amounts of CO2”.

James Stephenson, CEO of Promethean Particles, said:

“There is exciting potential for MOFs to deliver a more efficient CCS. By collaborating with Drax and the Uni, we can show how they can perform in a real industrial setting and drive a step change in their availability and cost effectiveness.”

Drax Group, which has converted Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to use sustainable biomass instead of coal to become the UK’s largest renewable generator, plans to deploy the essential negative emissions technology BECCS in the 2020s. This would be the world’s largest carbon capture power project, delivering a significant proportion of the negative emissions needed for the UK to meet its climate targets.

Infographic showing the new carbon capture process [click to view/download]

ENDS

Media contacts:

Ben Wicks
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07762 525 661

Featured image caption: Dr Theo Chronopoulos, Drax Innovation Engineer, James Stephenson, Chief Executive of Promethean Particles, and Professor Ed Lester, University of Nottingham.

Editor’s Notes

  • The trial will last for two months and will be hosted within Drax’s BECCS incubation hub at its North Yorkshire Power Station.
  • Metal Organic Frameworks are a unique class of solid sorbents offering lower operational costs and reducing potential environmental impacts.
  • Leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC and UK Climate Change Committee have said that negative emissions technologies such as BECCS, which permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, are vital to achieve climate targets
  • Work to build BECCS at Drax could get underway as soon as 2024, with the creation of thousands of jobs.
  • Subject to the right regulatory support, the first BECCS unit could be operational in 2027, with the second commissioned in 2030, enabling Drax to achieve its world-leading ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030.
  • Analysis by Baringa shows BECCS at Drax will save the UK £13bn in achieving the government’s legally binding fifth Carbon Budget.

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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

About The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia – part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide Sports University of the Year twice in three years, most recently in 2021. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner – locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Promethean Particles

Promethean Particles is a leading global pioneer in the development and high-volume manufacture of high specification, cost-effective nanomaterials. Products manufactured by Promethean, including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), have broad utility in a number of applications and are increasingly being deployed in the fight against climate change and in energy-sensitive applications, including carbon capture.

Promethean has developed a unique and patented continuous-flow reactor, which dramatically improves process reproducibility and reliability, whilst providing the scale necessary for nanomaterials to be considered a viable industry solution. The company has full scale manufacturing capabilities at its site in Nottingham, UK, where it operates the world’s largest continuous flow nanomaterial manufacturing plant.

For more information on Promethean Particles and its activities, please contact Promethean Particles Ltd., 1-3 Genesis Park, Midland Way, Nottingham, NG7 3EF.

www.prometheanparticles.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)115 967 8119 or email: [email protected]