Archives: Press Release

Drax donates over £37,500 to support STEM education and local community initiatives in Yorkshire

Jane Breach, Drax UK Community Manager, said: “Drax has a long tradition of giving back to the communities we operate in, and this year we have stepped up our community funding to allow us to support even more good causes and ensure our business has a positive impact on people, nature and the climate.

“We are pleased to announce that in the first round of community funding this year we will be awarding close to £60,000 of grants to 40 different organisations in the UK which support STEM education and skills or work to improve the local community.”

Of the total, £37,530 has been awarded to 26 different community-led projects local to Drax Power Station near Selby. This includes developing an outdoor space for volunteering and educational opportunities at St John’s Church in Goole, purchasing equipment to deliver a STEM programme for children at Carlton Playgroup, helping Kellingley Juniors Football Club to purchase sports kit and the Stillingfleet Community Group to deliver a village playground project.

Jonny Patton, Operations Director at St John’s Church, said: “As the only greenspace in the centre of the town, St John’s churchyard has the potential to make a significant contribution to the lives of the people of Goole, and play a key role in the rejuvenation of the town centre. This donation from Drax will help us to progress plans for our project ‘Life and Hope Gardens’, which will be an inclusive and accessible space for volunteering, community-led projects and school activities as well as create opportunities to reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing.”

Drax’s Community Fund donations are awarded once a quarter to local projects in the regions where Drax operates which fit into the following categories:

  • STEM education, skills development, and employability
  • Improving green spaces in local communities
  • Improving our communities

Heather Palmer, Director at Carlton Playgroup, said: “We applied to the community fund because we wanted to deliver a new STEM educational programme which would give children the opportunity to develop the concepts and skills needed for these subjects later in life. This donation will allow us to purchase learning resources such as magnifying glasses, nature puzzles, counting blocks, wooden nuts and bolts and coding games all of which promote curiosity and innovation through active learning, playing and exploring.”

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 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: Drax UK Community Manager Jane Breach and St John’s Church Vicar Hannah Patton

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes

The organisations that have been awarded funding local to Drax Power Station are:

  • Woodlesford Primary School
  • Bubwith Coronation Party
  • Ashby Junior Tenpin Bowling League
  • Wakefield Wildcats Netball Club
  • Snaith Juniors Sonics Under 9s Team
  • York RLFC
  • Applefields School
  • Carlton Railway Society
  • Brayton Busy Bees Preschool
  • Wheldrake with Thorganby CE Primary School
  • Thorne Sea Cadets
  • The Rubicon Centre, Selby
  • Second Chance Ostomy, Selby
  • Whitley Bridge Cricket Club
  • Carlton Primary School
  • Kellingley Juniors Football Club
  • Carlton Playgroup
  • Airmyn Park Primary School
  • Stillingfleet Community Group
  • St John’s Church, Goole
  • Camblesforth Social Events Committee
  • Hensall Community Hall
  • Carleton High School, Pontefract
  • Vixens & Falcons Netball
  • Selby Cricket Club
  • The Goole and District Community Transport Group

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 donates over £14k to support STEM education and local community initiatives in Scotland

Shona King, Drax Group Head of Community, said: “Drax has a long tradition of giving back to the communities we operate in, and this year we have stepped up our community funding to allow us to support even more good causes and ensure our business has a positive impact on people, nature and the climate. We are pleased to announce that in the first round of community funding this year we will be awarding close to £60,000 of grants to 40 different organisations in the UK which support STEM education and skills or work to improve the local community.”

Of the total, £14,350 has been awarded to 11 different community-led projects local to Drax’s operations in Scotland. This includes Embers Aquatics who run water safety workshops for primary schools in the Cruachan area, Oban Junior Community Football Club to help them purchase sports equipment and run a training camp trip, Wildcat Explorer Scouts Argyll to purchase climbing equipment and Rockfield Primary School to develop an outdoor area for children with complex needs.

Anna Roscoe, Founding Director of Embers Aquatics, said: “Swimming is a lifesaving skill as well as a great form of exercise, yet the number of children unable to swim in the UK is rising at a drastic rate. This is particularly worrying as we have seen a number of tragic incidents in Scottish waters in recent years. Last summer, we ran vital water safety workshops for local children in schools across Lochaber and now with the help of this funding we plan to expand the workshops to more rural areas across Scotland including the three primary schools close to Cruachan, ensuring that as many children as possible benefit from water safety education.”

Drax’s Community Fund donations are awarded once a quarter to local projects in the regions where Drax operates which fit into the following categories:

  • STEM education, skills development, and employability
  • Improving green spaces in local communities
  • Improving our communities

Kevin Roy, from the Oban Junior Community Football Club, said: “Our football club is an inclusive group which gives children of all backgrounds the opportunity to socialise, meet new people and have fun, all whilst promoting mental and physical health and wellbeing. Securing additional funding helps massively with alleviating some of the financial burden imposed on parents, especially families who are struggling due to the financial challenges that we are facing at present. This donation from Drax will help to cover a whole host of costs from equipment and pitch fees to transport and the annual football trip which is so beneficial for our young people.”

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 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: Oban Junior Community Football Club 2016 Team

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes

The organisations that have been awarded funding near to Drax’s operations in Scotland are:

  • Oban Junior Community Football Club
  • Inveraray Primary School Shinty
  • Cambuslang FC 2012
  • Taynuilt Sports Council
  • South West of Scotland Piping & Drumming Academy
  • Terregles Youth FC
  • Locharbriggs Primary School
  • Rockfield Primary School
  • Corpus Christi Primary School
  • Embers Aquatics
  • Wildcat Explorer Scouts Argyll

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 response to Ofgem statement

Ofgem’s announcement states that the opening of an investigation does not imply any finding of non-compliance. It has separately confirmed that it has not established any non-compliance that would affect the issuance of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to Drax, and therefore the associated financial benefit.

Like all energy generators, Drax receives regular requests from Ofgem and continues to cooperate fully throughout this process.

Last year Drax appointed a third party to independently verify the accuracy of its biomass sustainability and profiling data as part of an ongoing process. Drax is confident in the compliance of its biomass with the Renewables Obligation criteria.

A link to the Ofgem statement is below.

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-investigating-drax-power-limiteds-compliance-reporting-requirements-relating-renewables-obligation 

 

Enquiries:
Drax Investor Relations: Mark Strafford
+44 (0) 7730 763 949

Media:
Drax External Communications: Chris Mostyn
+44 (0) 7548 838 896 

Website: www.Drax.com

Primary school children rise to Drax’s recycled robots challenge

In March, students aged between seven and eleven at Camblesforth Community Primary Academy (part of Ebor Academy Trust), were provided with individual activity boxes containing a range of learning materials, games and resources they will need to build their robots, the focus of which is on recycling and forms part of their school curriculum.

The robots are made from recyclable materials that can be found around the house such as bottles, tin cans and cardboard and have been designed to carry out recycling tasks such as having magnetic hands to pick up metal, or built-in compartments to store paper.

To launch the project, students received a presentation from the Drax Community and Education team on recycling and the role everyone plays ensuring the correct waste items enter recycling schemes. The Drax team then returned at the end of April to see the results and judge the best robots.

Drax Community and Education Manager, Jane Breach, said: “By providing schools with these resources we hope to help develop students’ understanding of the importance of recycling and fire up their imaginations, inspiring them to study STEM subjects by showing them the wide range of career options that are available.”

Camblesforth Community Primary Academy teacher, Georgia Wynn said: “Creating their amazing robots really sparked the children’s enthusiasm for STEM and drew their focus to the importance of recycling. Activities like these are so important as it brings the subject to life and encourages students to start thinking about careers they might enjoy in the future.”

Drax has a long tradition of supporting education and helping to inspire the next generation of engineers by encouraging interest in STEM subjects. The renewable energy company offers a number of other initiatives to support STEM education and skills including offering power station tours, interactive workshops and work experience opportunities.

ENDS

Pic caption: Camblesforth Primary School pupils with their recycled robots

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 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

Wind powers Britain more than gas for first time

Almost a third (32.4%) of Britain’s electricity was supplied from wind power during the first quarter of 2023, outpacing gas which delivered 31.7%. It is the first-time wind has provided the largest share of power in any quarter in the history of the country’s electricity grid.

The findings have been released ahead of the next instalment of the quarterly Drax Electric Insights report. The publication is an independent report by academics from Imperial College London commissioned through Imperial Consultants.

Across the three months, Britain’s turbines generated 24 TWh of electricity – enough to charge more than 300 million Tesla Model Ys. Output from wind was 3% higher than during the same quarter last year, while gas was down by 5%.

Almost 42% of Britain’s electricity came from renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass, and hydro) in the first three months of 2023. Fossil fuels supplied 33%, with the rest coming from imports from abroad and the country’s shrinking nuclear fleet.

Dr Iain Staffell of Imperial College London, and lead author of the quarterly Drax Electric Insights report series, said: “The renewable power revolution has transformed how Britain gets its electricity, making our power grid cleaner and greener.

“In the space of a decade the UK has almost completely cut out coal, after relying on the most polluting fossil fuel for over a century to power our country. There are still many hurdles to reaching a completely fossil fuel-free grid, but wind out supplying gas for the first time is a genuine milestone event, and shows what can be achieved when governments create a good environment for investors in clean technology.”

Britain has just one coal-fired power station left following Drax ending the use of the fuel at its plant in North Yorkshire last month. Once the largest coal-fired power station in Western Europe, the plant is now the single largest generator of renewable power in the UK. Over the last decade four of the power station’s six generating units have been converted to use sustainable biomass, providing the UK with clean, green, and secure renewable electricity.

Bruce Heppenstall, Drax Power Station Plant Director, said: “This is a remarkable achievement for the UK, and it comes at a vital time when cutting the use of foreign gas is critical to our national energy security. Throughout the energy crisis, biomass has also played a crucial role in providing the country with a reliable source of renewable power to displace fossil fuels from abroad.

“At Drax, we believe the UK must now focus on unlocking investment in carbon negative technologies, such as Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), which permanently remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit. Only BECCS can simultaneously remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere whilst also generating reliable, renewable power when the wind isn’t blowing, or the sun is not shining.

“Countries across the world, and particularly the United States, are stepping up to address climate change, we believe the UK Government should accelerate its policy support for BECCS to give this country the best chance of establishing itself as a world leader in carbon removals, attracting further clean energy investment, creating jobs and delivering its net zero targets.”

ENDS

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes:

In Q1 2023, Britain’s electricity fuel mix was:

  • Wind          32.4%  24.0 TWh
  • Gas           31.7%  23.4 TWh
  • Imports     12.6%  9.2 TWh
  • Nuclear     12.5%   9.2 TWh
  • Biomass    5.7%    4.2 TWh
  • Solar          2.3%    1.7 TWh
  • Hydro        1.5%    1.1 TWh
  • Coal           1.3%    0.9 TWh

 

  • The useable battery of a standard Tesla Model Y is 75 kWh, meaning 24 TWh of electricity could charge 320,000,000 of these vehicles.
  • Drax Power Station began co-firing biomass with coal in 2003, with the first of four full-unit conversions from coal to sustainable biomass taking place in 2013.
  • Drax’s UK generation assets are the country’s largest source of renewable power by output – 11% of annualised total, 19% of peak (up to 70% in-day peak) in 2022.

About Drax

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

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

Britain’s biggest power station lights up for King’s coronation

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 announced the official end of coal-fired generation at its North Yorkshire power station, after having transformed itself to become the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe by using sustainable biomass, generating enough renewable electricity for four million households.

The announcement marks a historic milestone in both the company and the UK’s transformation to a zero-carbon energy future.

Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director, said:

“His Majesty King Charles III has shown great commitment to environmental and climate causes and Drax was delighted to be asked to be a member of his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) in 2020. SMI enables industry executives to work together on delivering meaningful and actionable plans to help accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future.

“We wanted to do something special to celebrate this major event in UK history and as our cooling towers are a major landmark that can be seen for miles around – we thought lighting up in honour of our King was a fitting tribute.”

The 114m tall cooling towers near Selby in North Yorkshire, will be lit up between 8:00pm until 1:00am every night from Friday 5th May to Monday 8th May. 

Last year the cooling towers were lit up in red and blue to celebrate the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and in September a tribute to the Queen was projected during the period of mourning.

ENDS

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 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 ends half a century of coal-fired power generation

  • Drax has announced that almost 50 years of power generation from coal at its North Yorkshire power station has come to an end.
  • Drax Power Station was once Western Europe’s largest coal-fired power station but has been transformed into the UK’s single-largest generator of renewable electricity.
  • Drax Power Station’s four biomass units generated 12.7TWh of electricity in 2022.

Global renewable energy company Drax has today announced the official end of coal-fired generation at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, marking a historic milestone in both the company and the UK’s transformation to a zero-carbon energy future.

Following the discovery of the Selby coalfield, construction of the coal-fired Drax Power Station began nearby in 1967. The power station started generating power out of its first unit in 1974 and in 1975, following the completion of two additional generators, the site officially opened. At the time, this provided enough power for around two million homes and in 1986, power generation capacity was doubled to just under 4GW.

Once the largest coal-fired power station in Western Europe, the plant is now the single largest generator of renewable power in the UK. Over the last decade four of the power station’s six generating units have been converted to use sustainable biomass, providing the UK with clean, green, and secure renewable electricity.

Following the end of the winter contingency agreement, Drax will now embark on a decommissioning process to remove coal-related infrastructure from the site which will start with the flue gas desulphurisation plant that was built in the 1990s to remove 90% of the sulphur from the plant’s air emissions.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said:

“Ending the use of coal at Drax is a landmark moment in our efforts to become a world-leading carbon negative company.

“I’d like to thank the many hundreds of people, including our staff, suppliers, and local communities, for all the hard work it has taken to transform Drax Power Station into the UK’s biggest renewable power source by output.

“By converting the plant to use sustainable biomass we have not only continued generating the secure power millions of homes and businesses rely on, but we have also played a significant role in enabling the UK’s power system to decarbonise faster than any other in the world.

“We’re now planning to go further by using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, and we are engaged in discussions with the UK Government to move this £2bn project forward.

“The global momentum for converting coal-fired power stations to biomass is growing as more countries work to reduce their emissions by moving away from fossil fuels to renewables while maintaining their energy security. In recent months, new projects have been announced in countries from Japan to Hungary. If BECCS were eventually added to each of these sites they would be able to remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating power.”

The UK Government aims to deploy 5Mt of engineered CO2 removals per annum from BECCS and other engineered GGR technologies by 2030, rising to 23Mt in 2035 and up to 81Mt in 2050 to keep the UK on a pathway to meet its legislated climate targets.

Through transforming the plant to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, Drax has reduced its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by approximately 99% since 2012.

ENDS

Media contacts:

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

Editor’s Notes:

  • Coal-fired generation began in 1974 when the first 660 MW unit was commissioned.
  • The station began co-firing biomass with coal in 2003, with the first of four full-unit conversions from coal to sustainable biomass taking place in 2013.
  • Drax’s UK generation assets are the country’s largest source of renewable power by output – 11% of annualised total, 19% of peak (up to 70% in-day peak) in 2022.

About Drax

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

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

 

 

 

Family of ‘Tunnel Tiger’ visit Cruachan Power Station

Eddie Gallagher was one of the 4,000 ‘Tunnel Tigers’ who drilled, blasted and cleared the rocks from the inside of mighty Ben Cruachan over a period of six years from 1959 to 1965 to make way for the UK’s first pumped storage hydro power station. 

Conditions for the men who worked at Cruachan during were highly dangerous and Eddie was among 15 men who tragically died during construction. These men are commemorated by the mural on the wall of the machine hall as well as in a specially commissioned tartan Drax created, which includes 15 strands of a special dark blue thread.

His family didn’t know much about where he had worked and believed him to have been killed in a mine until a chance meeting with Eddie’s long-lost fiancée in 2019, which inspired the family to plan a visit to Cruachan in May 2020.

The trip was unfortunately postponed due to Covid restrictions but on Friday 17th March this year, Eddie Gallagher’s family was finally able to make the trip to Cruachan for a tour from the visitor centre team, with some of the family travelling from as far as Sydney.

Director of Drax’s Scottish Assets, Ian Kinnaird, met the family during their tour. He said: “Visits from families of those who were tragically killed during the construction at Cruachan are a chance for us to learn more about these incredible men. Everyone involved has  left a lasting legacy as part of the talented team who constructed this wonder of Scottish engineering.

“The team at Cruachan Visitor Centre take great pride in telling these men’s stories to our visitors. Everyone who visits has have complete admiration for their human endeavour that has led to Cruachan still being operational nearly 60 years after opening.”

After the visit, Eddie’s sisters each received a scarf made from the special tartan Drax commissioned to commemorate the men who built Cruachan.  

Ann Buckley, Eddie’s niece, who organised the visit, said: “I want to thank the team at Cruachan so much for their help in organising this trip, which was really emotional for our family. We never knew where Eddie worked, and this has given us a whole new understanding. The team showed so much patience and generosity towards us and great respect for my uncle and the other men who lost their lives. We also appreciate that Ian took the time to meet us and we’re grateful for the commemorative tartan we were presented with, we will treasure it. It means a lot that the company will not let our uncle be forgotten.”

You can find out more about the men who built Cruachan Power Station here and to book a tour, go to the website at www.visitcruachan.co.uk

ENDS

Pic caption 1: Eddie Gallagher’s sisters Mary Porter and Brid Moriarty, with nephew, Eddie, named after his uncle

Pic caption 2: The family of Eddie Gallagher on top of the dam at Cruachan Power Station

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 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

Scottish Planning Minister visits iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ power station

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.

As part of the visit, Drax Group’s Director of Scottish Assets, Ian Kinnaird, outlined the company’s exciting work on plans to build a new second underground pumped hydro storage power station at the Cruachan complex.

Drax is progressing plans to build a new 600 MW underground plant adjacent to its existing underground Cruachan facility in Argyll, Scotland. Increasing the UK’s pumped storage hydro capacity is critical to enabling more wind and solar power to come online, strengthening the country’s energy security while helping Scotland and the whole of the UK to decarbonise.

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

“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 our homes and businesses go greener by bringing more renewable power online.”

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director and Joe FitzPatrick, the Scottish Government’s Planning Minister

The Scottish Government’s Planning Minister Joe FitzPatrick said:

“Scotland has a proud history of hydro power and currently accounts for around 88% of total UK capacity.

“Our recently adopted National Planning Framework 4 is clear about the importance of pumped hydro storage and continues its designation as a national development. Scotland’s facilities have the potential to play a significantly greater role in the energy transition, while contributing to the resilience of electricity supply and creating jobs in rural locations.

“We continue to press the UK Government to ensure that the appropriate market and regulatory arrangements are put in place to support the further development of hydro projects.”

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.

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.

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

Cruachan Power Station, Scotland

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.
  • No investment decision has yet been taken by Drax and development remains subject to both development consent and an appropriate regulatory framework.

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