Archives: Press Release

Drax delivers funding for 25 community projects across the UK

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

Jane Breach, Drax UK Community Manager, said:

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

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

Ross Powell, Chair at PlayStillingfleet Community Group, said:

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

David Hardaker, Treasurer at Hensall Village Hall, said:

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

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

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

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

ENDS

Pic caption 1: Community event at Hensall Village Hall.

Pic caption 2: New play equipment at PlayStillingfleet.

Media contacts:

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

About Drax

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

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

Power generation:

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

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

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

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

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

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

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website energy.drax.com

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

Drax boosts education and skills with work experience placements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director, said:

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

Photo caption:

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

Media contact:

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

About Drax

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

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

Power generation:

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

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

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

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

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

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

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website energy.drax.com

Drax responds to Track 2 CCUS Viking announcement

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS 

Media contacts: 

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

Editor’s Notes:  

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

About Drax  

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

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

Power generation:  

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

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

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

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

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year. 

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

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 

Customers:    

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.  

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com 

Drax Power Station contributes over £350m to the economy of Yorkshire and the Humber

New research by leading consultancy, Oxford Economics, The Economic Impact of Drax Power Station in the UK, demonstrates the key role the power station plays in the economies of Selby and Ainsty, Yorkshire and the Humber and the UK.

The report, utilising data from 2021, shows that the North Yorkshire site, including its supply chain, contributed £735m to UK GDP. It also supported 7,130 jobs across the country and delivered a total contribution of £154m in taxes to the UK.

The research also found that in the constituency of Selby and Ainsty, 901 people were directly employed by the power station, a further 290 jobs were supported and it contributed £278m to local GDP.

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, the combined impact of Drax Power Station was £358m with 2,580 jobs supported.

The power station is the largest dispatchable renewable power station in the UK and across its four biomass units it can supply enough power for the equivalent of five million homes. In March this year, almost 50 years of coal generation ended at Drax Power Station.

Between October 2021 and 2022, Drax Group generated 11% of the UK’s renewable electricity. In addition, the business produced on average 19% of the UK’s renewables at times of peak demand and up to 70% on certain days.

Richard Gwilliam, Chair of the Humber Energy Board and UK BECCS Programme Director at Drax Group, said:

“This research underscores the critical role that Drax Power Station plays regionally and nationally. In Yorkshire and the Humber, our power station has created thousands of jobs and contributed hundreds of millions of pounds to its GDP while helping maintain energy security.

“We have been generating power at our North Yorkshire site for nearly 50 years and, providing we get the right support from the UK Government for our bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) plans, we could be doing the same for another 50.”

James Bedford, Senior Economist, Oxford Economics, said:

“Our research demonstrates the significant contribution that Drax Power Station makes to the UK economy and Yorkshire and the Humber.

“In 2021, it supported a £358 million contribution to GDP in the region and over 2,500 jobs. Much of this was within the constituency of Selby and Ainsty, where it supported a £278 million contribution to GDP, equivalent to 12% of the local economy.”

BECCS is the only technology that can deliver reliable, secure and renewable power while permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Providing Drax gets the right support from the UK Government, the company plans to build two BECCS units at Drax Power Station by 2030 which could remove 8Mt of CO2 from the atmosphere per year.

The development of BECCS at the Selby power station could see up to 10,000 jobs created and supported at the project’s peak, help maintain energy security and help meet the UK’s legally binding Net Zero targets.

Read the full report here: https://www.drax.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Drax_UK_Power_Station_.pdf

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Media contacts:

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

About Drax:

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

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

Power generation:

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

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

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

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

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

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

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com

Drax Foundation pledges £1.5m to help UK schools save energy and reduce their carbon footprint

The firm, which owns Drax Power Station near Selby, established the Drax Foundation earlier this year to provide grant funding to non-profit organisations in the regions where it operates.  

The installation of energy-efficient LED lighting initiative is currently being piloted at the following five schools local to Drax’s operations in England:  

  • Barwic Parade Community Primary School in Selby 
  • Kirk Sandall Junior School in Doncaster  
  • Selby Abbey Primary School 
  • Triangle Primary School in Sowerby Bridge 
  • Great Clacton Junior School in Clacton-on-Sea 

It is estimated that these schools will save on average £8,600 per year from reduced energy bills, which can then be reinvested back into the school and children’s education.  

The full rollout of the LED lighting and solar panel schemes and energy saving and education programme is planned for later this year, with a focus on rural communities and areas of low social mobility, particularly in and around the communities where Drax operates. Schools wishing to submit an expression of interest should contact [email protected]  

Will Gardiner, CEO Drax Group, said: “The Drax Foundation is committed to giving back to the communities where we operate, and the new initiative will provide schools with practical, tangible ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. It’s important that children start thinking about these issues from a young age as energy usage and its impact is set to become an increasingly relevant topic in their future.” 

Kathy Thompson, Executive Headteacher at Kirk Sandall Junior School, said: “It’s so important that businesses support their communities and this initiative by the Drax Foundation is a really great way to help us save money, especially at the moment when energy costs and prices in general are so high. It also teaches pupils about the impact we have on our environment and how we can act responsibly to save energy.” 

The Drax Foundation was launched in March this year to award  grants of up to £50,000 for established non-profit organizations. 

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

ENDS 

Pic caption 1: Pupils at Kirk Sandall Junior School with Drax Head of Community Shona King, Executive Headteacher Kathy Thompson and Head of School Ash Eastwood  

Pic caption 2: Pupils at Barwic Parade Community Primary School, Headteacher XX and Drax UK Community & Education Manager Jane Breach 

Media contacts: 

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

About Drax  

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

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

Power generation:  

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

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

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

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

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year. 

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

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 

Customers:    

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.  

To find out more go to the website energy.drax.com 

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

Dunbeg Primary School pupuls visit iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station

18 pupils from the primary one class spent time in the exhibition and kids’ zone before travelling by bus 1km underground to the viewing gallery that looks out onto the huge machine hall which houses the four turbines.

Cruachan is an underground pumped hydro storage power station built in a hollowed-out cavern 1km inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll and Bute’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.

Pupils and teacher from Dunbeg Primary School at the Cruachan Visitor Centre

Sarah Cameron, Drax’s Scotland Community Manager, said:

“We work closely with schools to inspire the next generation to study STEM subjects and these visits can make such an impact on children’s understanding of what a career in STEM can be. Often a visit to Cruachan as a child can be a lifelong memory for some people. During this particular visit, 6-year-old Archie told me he will be back because he is going to work here when he’s older which is brilliant to hear.”

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.

Dunbeg Primary School children were the latest of over 200 young visitors that Cruachan has welcomed so far this year as part of Drax Group’s initiatives to encourage young people to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, boosting skills across the region.

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 primary one class enjoying the outdoor play area

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:

  • Work experience placements
  • STEM workshops in schools
  • Free virtual tours
  • Grant funding for STEM education and skills development through the Drax Foundation

Pumped storage hydro plants act like giant water batteries, using reversible turbines to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir which stores excess power from wind farms and other low carbon technologies when supply outstrips demand. These same turbines are then reversed to bring the stored water back through the plant to generate power when it is needed.

In May 2022, Drax 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).

In order to deploy this critical technology, Drax must secure consent from the Scottish Government alongside an updated policy and market support mechanism from the UK Government.

The existing lack of an appropriate framework for new long-duration, large-scale electricity storage 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 security of supply and decarbonisation.

About Drax

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

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

Power generation:

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

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

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

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

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

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

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website energy.drax.com

Drax Foundation:

The Drax Foundation was established in 2023 to provide grant funding for nonprofit organizations in the countries and regions where Drax operates. The Drax Foundation supports STEM education and skills development, and enhancing community green spaces. We prioritize funding for programs that benefit underserved communities and advance gender equality. www.drax.com/community

Drax responds to the UK emissions trading scheme (ETS) reforms July 2023

Ross McKenzie, Drax’s Interim Group Director of Corporate Affairs, said:

“This announcement positions the UK as the potential home of one of the largest compliance markets for carbon removals in the world and we are delighted that the Government intends to include engineered Greenhouse Gas Removals (GGRs) in the UK ETS.

“The development of such a market is an important step towards deploying large-scale carbon removal technologies such as Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). These technologies are essential in the fight against climate change as they permanently remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit.

“With the right support from the UK Government, Drax plans to invest billions into delivering BECCS at our power station in North Yorkshire. This would enable the plant to simultaneously remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere whilst also strengthening UK energy security through generating reliable, renewable power when the wind isn’t blowing, or the sun is not shining.”

Government backs carbon capture pilot at Drax’s CCUS incubation site

The new carbon capture project, Project MONET, will test metal-organic frameworks (MOF) based Negative Emissions Technology. The project was awarded support from DESNZ through Call 2 of the Department’s CCUS Innovation 2.0 competition, which aims to accelerate the development of next generation CCUS technology.

Drax has a strong relationship with Promethean and in 2022 collaborated with the company at the North Yorkshire incubation site to test MOF-based carbon capture.

Drax’s incubation site has also previously hosted a carbon capture project by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Leeds-based company C-Capture. Drax plans to use MHI’s carbon capture technology for its bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) power plants, including its proposals to develop two BECCS units at Drax Power Station.

Jason Shipstone, Chief Innovation Officer, Drax Group, said:

“Congratulations to all at Promethean Particles and Project MONET on securing this award from DESNZ. We have a strong relationship with Promethean and we are pleased to continue to support their work at our CCUS incubation site at Drax Power Station.

“Scientific consensus is increasingly clear – the planet cannot solve the climate crisis without carbon removals. Providing we secure the right support from the UK Government, our ambition is to harness what we have learned piloting carbon removals technologies in North Yorkshire and create two BECCS units at Drax Power Station which could remove 8Mt of CO2 per annum from our atmosphere.

“We are excited by the opportunities for MOF-based carbon capture and this new project will help us better understand the performance and future applications for the technology. MOFs have the potential to be deployed to help decarbonise Drax’s supply chain and contribute to our mission of enabling a zero carbon, lower cost, energy future.”

James Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer of Promethean, said:

“We are extremely proud that project MONET has been chosen by DESNZ as one of the winners of this competition. Carbon removal is now a necessity in limiting the devastating effects of climate change. MOF-based carbon capture can help enable broader adoption of this critical technology.

“Our manufacturing technology uniquely enables the production of these exciting materials at the scale and cost necessary to make them a viable industrial solution. I would like to thank the Drax team for their continued support of our technological advancement. The incubation area is a huge help in the application development of MOF-based CCS systems.”

ENDS                                                 

Media contacts:

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

About Drax:

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

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

Power generation:

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

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

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

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

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 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

About Promethean:

Promethean Particles is a UK-based, global pioneer, leading the industrial-scale manufacture of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and specialty nanomaterials. The Company is primarily focused on developing the use of MOFs in the fight against climate change, particularly for carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) applications. When compared to existing technologies, MOF-based carbon capture has the potential to deliver significant advantages; increased energy-efficiency, lower process complexity, smaller operating footprint, and an improved EHS profile. Other applications for the Company’s materials include water harvesting, gas separation and storage, green hydrogen catalysis, and high-efficiency thermal fluid additives.

Promethean has developed a range of patented continuous-flow reactors, which dramatically improve throughput and cost whilst increasing process reliability and consistency. The company operates a 1,000 tonnes per year reactor at its site in Nottingham, UK – the world’s largest continuous multi-nanomaterial manufacturing plant.

Promethean is collaborating with several different organisations to test MOFs in real-world environments and measure carbon capture effectiveness. Results from completed studies have been exciting, demonstrating that MOFs can significantly increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of CCS and leading to further projects. Larger-scale MOF-based CCS demonstration units are now planned on the path to full-scale implementation.