Archives: Press Release

Drax generates £1.7bn and supports over 18,500 jobs in the UK

British energy business Drax Group contributed almost £1.7 billion towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported over 18,500 jobs across the country. The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of Drax’s UK operations, which includes Drax Power Station – a nationally significant energy asset that provides power to six million homes.

Researchers at Oxford Economics found that Drax Group’s contribution to the British economy has increased by 34% year-on-year following the Group’s acquisition of Opus Energy, a large retail company which supplies energy to businesses.

Based on Drax’s operations in the energy sector and its use of British businesses across its supply chain, the report estimates that the company contributed £1.67 billion to the economy and supported 18,500 jobs last year, a rise from 14,150 in 2015. The vast majority of this impact is felt outside London and the South East – of the £1.67bn Gross Value Added by Drax Group only £155m was in London, meaning 90% of the Group’s economic impact was experienced outside of the capital.

Employment supported by Drax’s activities covered a wide range of sectors including high-skilled manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery, construction, IT, professional business services and transport.

Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Drax’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.

A breakdown of the GDP generated by Drax Group shows all regions of the UK benefited. Highlights include:

  • £419 million created in Drax’s heartland of Yorkshire and the Humber, where its power station is located.
  • 760 jobs for the North East and £59m contributed to the local economy.
  • £232 million generated in the East of England, where one of Drax Group’s business retail suppliers, Haven Power, is based.
  • 1,600 jobs supported and £130 million generated in Wales, the home of Drax Group’s recently acquired business retail supplier, Opus Energy’s Cardiff offices
  • 900 jobs supported in Scotland and £76 million generated in its economy.
  • 950 jobs sustained and £83 million contributed to GDP in the South West.

Drax Group CEO, Dorothy Thompson, said: “As a British energy company, we are committed to working with UK businesses right across our supply chain. This report shows that Drax now supports more than 18,500 jobs across the UK and with our new business strategy in place, we believe we will boost this number further.

“With the power station’s sophisticated supply chain and our growing retail business, we are making a positive economic contribution in every region of the UK. We are an important player in an energy sector that is crucial to delivering a low carbon economy as part of the Government’s wider Clean Growth Strategy for the country.

“Since upgrading half of the power station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, Drax is the UK’s biggest single site generator of renewable power – producing enough for four million households.

“We are also exploring options for a coal-free future, including the repowering of our remaining coal generating units either to biomass or to gas, with battery storage of up to 200MW.

“If developed these options for gas and battery storage show how we could upgrade our existing infrastructure to provide capacity, stability and essential grid services, as we do with biomass.

“This will allow more renewable energy sources onto the system, paving the way for increased carbon savings across the UK as a whole and helping us to meet the government’s ambitions for a coal-free system by 2025.”

Osman Ismail, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “Drax Group makes an important economic contribution to Yorkshire and the Humber, and the UK more widely. Its activities generated almost £1.7 billion in GDP last year, and sustained thousands of jobs across the nation.

“In addition, the implementation of the Group’s new strategy means that Drax is uniquely placed to impact the wider challenges for the UK’s energy system through helping to balance the Grid.

“The Opus Energy acquisition solidifies Drax’s principal activities of generating energy and supplying energy services to businesses and directly impacts a number of different regions in the UK in terms of both job creation and contribution to GDP.”

ENDS

Full details of the study can be found at draximpact.co.uk

Regional press releases:

Media contact:

Jessica Gorton

Press Officer

Drax

07712 677177

[email protected]

Notes to editors:

About Drax Group

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses. The Opus Energy acquisition was part of the company’s new business strategy, which focuses on providing greater flexibility to the country’s electricity grid, to complement the rise in generation from intermittent renewables such as wind and solar, as well as diversifying earnings through its retail businesses and helping companies in the UK to be more sustainable

Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. It is now one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Its best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.

About the study

Oxford Economics assessed the economic benefits of Drax Group using a standard means of analysis, called an economic impact assessment. This approach is applied in each of the three stages of the study.

The full report can be viewed here: draximpact.co.uk/public/Oxford_Economics-Economic_impact_of_Drax_in_the_UK_2016.pdf

New report shows Drax generates more than £1/2 billion for the northern economy and supports over 6,000 jobs

British energy business Drax Group contributed almost £1.7 billion towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported thousands of jobs across the country, including £577m across the North of England – Yorkshire and Humber, North West, and North East, termed as the ‘Northern Powerhouse Region’.

The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of Drax’s UK operations, which includes Selby-based Drax Power Station. The Power Station, which employs around 900 people and has seen three of its six generating units converted in recent years to use compressed wood pellets, generated 16% of the country’s renewable electricity in 2016 – enough for four million households, the equivalent of Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.

Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Drax’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.

In the past year, Drax Power Station’s activities have supported employment in a wide range of sectors including high-skilled manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery, construction, IT, professional business services and transport.

Drax Power CEO, Andy Koss said: “This new report demonstrates that as well as being of major significance nationally as the country’s biggest power generator, Drax Power Station continues to play a crucial role in supporting the northern economy.

“Thanks to a sophisticated supply chain that spans both the east and west coasts of the country, Drax supported over 6,000 jobs across the North of England last year and generated more than £1/2 billion in economic activity. Drax works with hundreds of businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region to ensure millions of homes across the country have the power they need each day.

“The North of England has a rich heritage in providing energy to the rest of the UK. Companies like Drax have an important role to play in delivering a low carbon economy as part of the Government’s wider industrial strategy for the country”.

Alan Waddington, Managing Director of TEi Ltd, a leading engineering company based in Wakefield, said:

“Our specialist team of engineers have been working at Drax Power Station for a number of years, using their technical knowledge to support its transition to become the largest source of renewable power in the country.

“As a British business we are proud to support this nationally significant asset that generates enough clean electricity to power Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.”

Osman Ismail, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “Drax Group makes an important economic contribution to Yorkshire and the Humber, and the UK more widely. Its activities generated almost £1.7 billion in GDP last year, and sustained thousands of jobs across the nation.”

ENDS

Full details of the study can be found at draximpact.co.uk 

Media contact:

Jessica Gorton

Press Officer

Drax

07712 677177

[email protected]

Notes to editors:

About Drax Group

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses.

Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. It is now one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Its best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.

About the study

Oxford Economics assessed the economic benefits of Drax Group using a standard means of analysis, called an economic impact assessment. This approach is applied in each of the three stages of the study.

The full report can be viewed here: https://draximpact.co.uk/public/Oxford_Economics-Economic_impact_of_Drax_in_the_UK_2016.pdf 

 

New report shows Cardiff-based Opus Energy generates more than £½ billion for the UK’s economy

Leading energy supplier Opus Energy contributed £588m towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported nearly 7,000 jobs across the country. The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of British energy company Drax Group, which Opus Energy joined earlier this year.

In the space of a decade Opus Energy has grown from a challenger brand to the sixth largest supplier of gas and electricity to British businesses. It provides energy to over 300,000 customer meters, including national brands such as Lloyds Pharmacy and White Stuff.

The company opened its Cardiff office in the newly built Capital Quarter in the centre of the city in 2016, with around 70 employees based on site.

The report also found that in Wales alone, Opus Energy and Drax combined to generate £130 million in the local economy and support 1,600 jobs.

Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Opus Energy’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.

Opus Energy’s activities support employment in a wide range of sectors including renewable energy generation, IT, professional business services and transport.

Drax Group Retail CEO, Jonathan Kini said: “This report shows that in addition to being a leading supplier of energy to British businesses, Opus Energy, and the rest of Drax Group also play an important role in the local and national economy. Through the people we employ and the businesses we use, we have supported thousands of jobs and generated nearly £1.7 billion of economic activity across the UK.”

Opus Energy COO, Nikki Flanders said: “The new customer support centre we opened in the Capital Quarter last year is a key part of Opus Energy’s strategy to deliver a level of service unmatched by our competitors. In addition to employing people from the local area, over time we expect our operations to make an increasingly significant contribution to the local economy.”

Osman Ismail, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “The implementation of the Group’s new strategy means that Drax is uniquely placed to impact the wider challenges for the UK’s energy system through helping to balance the Grid.

“The Opus Energy acquisition solidifies Drax’s principal activities of generating energy and supplying energy services to businesses and directly impacts a number of different regions in the UK in terms of both job creation and contribution to GDP.”

ENDS

Full details of the study can be found at draximpact.co.uk.

Media contacts:

Jessica Gorton

Press Officer

Drax

07712 677177

[email protected]

Sarah Musgrove

Editor-In-Chief

Opus Energy

01865 312280

[email protected]

Notes to editors:

About Drax Group

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses.

Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About Opus Energy

Opus Energy is the UK’s sixth biggest business energy supplier, ranking in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for the last six years, most recently in 6th position. It employs over 900 people between Northampton, Oxford and Cardiff, and was named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015 by The Sunday Times.

Opus Energy supplies more than 310,000 business locations across the UK with electricity and gas. Generating 96% of its electricity from renewable sources last year, and purchasing power from over 2,000 renewable generators in the UK, Opus Energy is a multi-award winning business, with recent highlights including being announced as finalists for the 2017 British Small Business Awards and the 2017 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

For more detailed information please visit www.opusenergy.com

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. It is now one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Its best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.

About the study

Oxford Economics assessed the economic benefits of Drax Group using a standard means of analysis, called an economic impact assessment. This approach is applied in each of the three stages of the study.

New report shows Northampton-based Opus Energy generates more than £½ billion for the UK’s economy

Leading energy supplier Opus Energy contributed £588m towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported nearly 7,000 jobs across the country. The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of British energy company Drax Group, which Opus Energy joined earlier this year.

In the space of a decade Opus Energy has grown from a challenger brand to the sixth largest supplier of gas and electricity to British businesses. It provides energy to over 300,000 customer meters, including national brands such as Lloyd’s Pharmacy, Your Housing Group and White Stuff.

The company employs roughly 800 employees across a number of offices in Northampton, who will move to new offices at John Dryden House in The Lakes Business Park in 2018. Opus Energy purchased John Dryden House from Northamptonshire County Council earlier this year and has capacity for 1,400 members of staff.

The report also found that in the East Midlands area alone, Opus Energy and Drax combined to generate £147 million in the local economy and support 1,900 jobs.

Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Opus Energy’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.

Opus Energy’s activities support employment in a wide range of sectors including renewable energy generation, IT, professional business services and transport.

Drax Group Retail CEO, Jonathan Kini said: “This report shows that in addition to being a leading supplier of energy to British businesses, Opus Energy, and the rest of Drax Group also play an important role in the local and national economy. Through the people we employ and the businesses we use, we have supported thousands of jobs and generated nearly £1.7 billion of economic activity across the UK.”

Opus Energy COO, Nikki Flanders said: “We have a strong link with Northampton, having been based here for several years. In addition to employing people from the local area, we use a number of businesses in the region to provide us with products and services that enable us to deliver the best possible experience for our customers.”

Michael Ellis, Member of Parliament for Northampton North, said: “I am delighted to see Opus Energy supporting hundreds of thousands of businesses from its operations in Northampton, while at the same time employing hundreds of local people and generating wealth and employment opportunities for the region.”

Osman Ismail, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “The implementation of the Group’s new strategy means that Drax is uniquely placed to impact the wider challenges for the UK’s energy system through helping to balance the Grid.

“The Opus Energy acquisition solidifies Drax’s principal activities of generating energy and supplying energy services to businesses and directly impacts a number of different regions in the UK in terms of both job creation and contribution to GDP.”

ENDS

Full details of the study can be found at draximpact.co.uk

Media contacts:

Jessica Gorton

Press Officer

Drax

07712 677177

[email protected]

Sarah Musgrove

Editor-In-Chief

Opus Energy

01865 312280

[email protected]

Notes to editors:

About Drax Group

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses.

Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About Opus Energy

Opus Energy is the UK’s sixth biggest business energy supplier, ranking in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for the last six years, most recently in 6th position. It employs over 900 people between Northampton, Oxford and Cardiff, and was named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015 by The Sunday Times.

Opus Energy supplies more than 310,000 business locations across the UK with electricity and gas. Generating 96% of its electricity from renewable sources last year, and purchasing power from over 2,000 renewable generators in the UK, Opus Energy is a multi-award winning business, with recent highlights including being announced as finalists for the 2017 British Small Business Awards and the 2017 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

For more detailed information please visit www.opusenergy.com/

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. It is now one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Its best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.

About the study

Oxford Economics assessed the economic benefits of Drax Group using a standard means of analysis, called an economic impact assessment. This approach is applied in each of the three stages of the study.

New report shows Oxford-based Opus Energy generates more than £½ billion for the UK’s economy

Leading energy supplier Opus Energy contributed £588m towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported nearly 7,000 jobs across the country. The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of British energy company Drax Group, which Opus Energy joined earlier this year.

In the space of a decade Opus Energy has grown from a challenger brand to the sixth largest supplier of gas and electricity to British businesses. It provides energy to over 300,000 customer meters, including national brands such as Lloyds Pharmacy and White Stuff. The company employs 120 people at its Summertown offices in Oxford, specialising in important roles such as risk management, trading, finance, sales, marketing and IT.

The report also found that in the South East of England alone, Opus Energy and Drax combined to generate £124 million in the local economy and support 1,650 jobs.

Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Opus Energy’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.

Opus Energy’s activities support employment in a wide range of sectors including renewable energy generation, IT, professional business services and transport.

Drax Group Retail CEO, Jonathan Kini said: “This report shows that in addition to being a leading supplier of energy to British businesses, Opus Energy, and the rest of Drax Group also play an important role in the local and national economy. Through the people we employ and the businesses we use, we have supported thousands of jobs and generated nearly £1.7 billion of economic activity across the UK.”

Opus Energy COO, Nikki Flanders said: “We have a strong link with Oxford, having been based here for several years. In addition to employing people from the local area, we use a number of businesses in the region to provide us with products and services that enable us to deliver the best possible experience for our customers.”

Osman Ismail, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “The implementation of the Group’s new strategy means that Drax is uniquely placed to impact the wider challenges for the UK’s energy system through helping to balance the Grid.

“The Opus Energy acquisition solidifies Drax’s principal activities of generating energy and supplying energy services to businesses and directly impacts a number of different regions in the UK in terms of both job creation and contribution to GDP.”

ENDS

Full details of the study can be found at draximpact.co.uk.

Media contacts:

Jessica Gorton

Press Officer

Drax

07712 677177

[email protected]

Sarah Musgrove

Editor-In-Chief

Opus Energy

01865 312280

[email protected]

Notes to editors:

About Drax Group

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses.

Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About Opus Energy

Opus Energy is the UK’s sixth biggest business energy supplier, ranking in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for the last six years, most recently in 6th position. It employs over 900 people between Northampton, Oxford and Cardiff, and was named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015 by The Sunday Times.

Opus Energy supplies more than 310,000 business locations across the UK with electricity and gas. Generating 96% of its electricity from renewable sources last year, and purchasing power from over 2,000 renewable generators in the UK, Opus Energy is a multi-award winning business, with recent highlights including being announced as finalists for the 2017 British Small Business Awards and the 2017 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

For more detailed information please visit www.opusenergy.com

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. It is now one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Its best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.

About the study

Oxford Economics assessed the economic benefits of Drax Group using a standard means of analysis, called an economic impact assessment. This approach is applied in each of the three stages of the study.

New report shows Ipswich-based Haven Power generates £488 million for the UK’s economy

Leading energy supplier Haven Power contributed £488 million towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported 5,400 jobs across the country. The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of British energy company Drax Group.

Haven Power joined the Group in 2009 and has grown to become a leading supplier of electricity to British businesses, including Manchester Airport Group and Thames Water. It employs nearly 400 people at its headquarters in Ransomes Europark, near Ipswich and over 50 at Franciscan House in the town centre

The report also found that in the East of England alone, Haven Power and Drax combined to generate £232 million in the local economy and support 2,200 jobs.

Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Haven Power’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.

Employment supported by Haven Power’s activities covered a wide range of sectors including IT, professional business services and transport.

Drax Group Retail CEO, Jonathan Kini, said: “This report shows that in addition to being a leading supplier of energy to British businesses, Haven Power also plays an important role in the local and national economy. Through the people we employ and the businesses we use, we have supported thousands of jobs and generated nearly £500 million of economic activity in Ipswich and beyond.

Paul Sheffield, Haven Power Chief Operations Officer, said: “We’re a well-established business and have strong links here, having been founded in Ipswich in 2006. In addition to employing people from the local area, we use a number of businesses in the region to provide us with products and services that enable us to deliver the best possible experience for our customers.”

Sandy Martin, Member of Parliament for Ipswich, said: “In recent years Haven Power has grown to become an energy supplier of national importance, working with businesses across the country to use their energy more efficiently. In doing so it has become an important part of the Ipswich community, creating jobs, working with local businesses and supporting a range of community initiatives.”

ENDS

Full details of the study can be found at draximpact.co.uk

Media contacts:

Jessica Gorton

Press Officer

Drax

07712 677177

[email protected]

Tim Cole

PR Manager

Haven Power

07718 123901

[email protected]

 

Notes to editors:

About Drax Group

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses.

Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. It is now one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Its best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.

About the study

Oxford Economics assessed the economic benefits of Drax Group using a standard means of analysis, called an economic impact assessment. This approach is applied in each of the three stages of the study.

The full report can be viewed here: draximpact.co.uk/public/Oxford_Economics-Economic_impact_of_Drax_in_the_UK_2016.pdf

 

Dorothy Thompson, CEO, Drax Group (2005-2017), responds UK government’s Clean Growth Strategy

Dorothy Thompson, Drax Group CEO said:

“We welcome the government’s Clean Growth Strategy and the opportunities it gives both Drax and the businesses we supply, to play an important part in delivering clean growth.

“We are already seeing decarbonisation in industry – the proportion of businesses choosing to use renewable electricity supplied by Haven Power, part of Drax Group, has more than tripled this year, reducing the carbon emissions from these businesses by 76% compared to five years ago – saving almost 1.5 million tonnes of carbon. We now need to work with these customers to use the information from smart technologies to fuel future decarbonisation and help them to become even cleaner and more sustainable.”

“Flexible technologies like Drax’s biomass and gas are vital in supporting the government’s strategy. As today’s plan makes clear, biomass generation is crucial because it’s a reliable, flexible renewable available at scale, able to provide the full range of support services the grid needs to retain stable supplies – whatever the weather. Our biomass, with the rapid response gas power plants we’re developing, will support the system and enable more intermittent renewables to come online, helping us to further decarbonise.”

Drax Power CEO Andy Koss responds to National Grid’s Winter Outlook Report 2017/18

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO said:

“Flexible technologies like biomass and gas are critical during the winter months because they can provide power when we need it most – in the morning and evenings when it is cold and dark, or at times of system stress, such as when the sun isn’t shining or the wind doesn’t blow.

“Biomass is a reliable, flexible renewable available at scale, which is able to provide the full range of support services the grid needs to retain stable supplies – whatever the weather.

“Drax has upgraded half of the power station in North Yorkshire to run on biomass instead of coal – 70% of our output is now renewable. We produce 17% of the UK’s renewable power – enough for four million households.

“We’re also exploring low cost options for upgrading a fourth generating unit from coal to biomass – this along with the rapid response gas power plants Drax is developing, will support the system and enable more intermittent renewables to come online, helping us to further decarbonise.”

Drax collaborates with academics to meet the UK’s changing energy needs

Drax Group is working with the University of Sheffield on research which could help to revolutionise the UK’s energy future.

The company, which owns the country’s largest power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, is sponsoring three PhD projects at the university.

Having transformed half of its coal fired power station to sustainable biomass, to become the UK’s largest single site renewable generator, Drax is also developing four rapid response gas power stations. In addition it recently announced it is exploring options for repowering some of its coal units to gas and developing battery storage to help support the UK’s changing energy needs. Drax’s retail businesses, Haven Power and Opus Energy, are increasingly working with customers to help them manage their energy use to reduce bills and their impact on the environment.

Dorothy Thompson, Drax Group CEO said: “The energy sector is changing beyond recognition in the UK and modern companies like Drax are transforming with it. The work with the University of Sheffield will help us to deliver on our aim of changing the way energy is generated, supplied and used for a better future.”

The projects Drax is working on with the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and its Applications, are aimed at increasing understanding of developing technologies, to enable Drax to support the UK’s energy system in the future.

The PhDs will focus on topics including:

  • Use of flow batteries for grid support
  • Customer interaction with vehicle to grid systems using smart technology
  • Cleaning of exhaust streams for small power generators.

Jason Shipstone, Head of Drax Group’s Research and Innovation Team, said: “Flexibility is already important for the UK’s electricity system, but it’s going to become vital as we continue to decarbonise and more electric vehicles take to the roads. Without the right storage and flexibility the UK’s power systems will struggle to meet the increasing demand.

“This collaboration with the University of Sheffield will provide us with insights which I believe could help us to deliver better, smarter solutions for our future energy needs.”

The research on flow batteries will look at grid scale storage and the possible use of flow batteries versus other storage technology. Flow batteries have the potential to offer longer life, are faster to charge and deliver high storage capacities compared to other technologies.

The project on vehicle to grid systems is focused on the impact of human behaviour on smart energy technologies. This will be an integral part of the future systems required to enable electric cars to store excess power from the grid – like a fleet of small batteries, and then release the power again when needed.

The exhaust cleaning research will look at ways of using exhaust scrubbing technology in combination with small diesel or rapid response gas, to reduce the environmental impact of these essential assets, as they plug the gaps at times of system stress – such as when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.

Dr Solomon Brown, Deputy Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and its Applications at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted the Drax Group have decided to work with us to develop their business in response to the changing energy economy, consumer demands and how energy needs to be generated. Energy storage is a critical translational technology for the UK, and this collaboration indicates commitment to low carbon energy generation and deployment”.

The research work will be carried out by PhD students at the University of Sheffield over three years from October.

Drax is also collaborating with the University on a potential fourth PhD in distributed energy storage which may be starting in 2018. The work on distributed energy storage is likely to look at ways of optimising storage assets within a small community to provide ancillary services to the grid, such as demand management, frequency response and load shifting.

Candidates interested in applying for this fourth PhD can find out more online.

ENDS

Media contact

Ali Lewis

Drax Group Head of Media Relations

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612165

Jessica Gorton

Drax Group Press Officer

E: [email protected]

T: 01757 612848

 

Editor’s Notes

  • Since upgrading half of its power station in North Yorkshire to use sustainable biomass from coal, more than two thirds of the power Drax produces is renewable, delivering carbon savings of 68% compared to gas.
  • It is now the UK’s largest single site renewable electricity generator, producing 17% of the country’s renewable power; enough for four million homes.
  • Drax is also developing four rapid response Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) projects, the first of which could be operational in 2020/21.
  • These projects, based in England and Wales, are rapid response gas power stations which will be able to be up and running quickly at times of system stress, such as when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. By providing this kind of system support, these OCGTs will enable more intermittent renewables like wind and solar, onto the system, helping the UK to decarbonise.
  • In addition the Drax group has also announced it is exploring options for repowering up to two coal units to gas, and building battery storage at Drax Power Station. The options could create up to 3.6GW of new gas generation capacity and 200MW of battery storage. The upgrade would enhance Drax Power Station’s flexible and responsive capability, and make Yorkshire the home of large scale battery technology.

The PhD projects at the University of Sheffield include:

Use of flow batteries for grid support

Flow batteries are a technology that have the advantage over other, competitor, battery energy storage technologies of longer live, quick response times and almost instantly rechargeable. This makes them potentially ideal for use at large scale for supporting the electricity grid, given their reliability.

This project seeks to perform a detailed techno-economic comparison between grid scale battery storage and the use of flow cell

Agent based modelling of customer interaction with vehicle to grid systems

This project will develop an agent-based model for the use of an electrical car charging facility utilised as part of a Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) scheme. The model will incorporate the behaviour of the individual users of the facility and factors which impact its use; for example, the impact battery degradation has on vehicle performance will be included, which is expected to impact the take-up of such a scheme. Following this, control and scheduling of the batteries as a grid service will be added.

Once this model has been developed, it will be used to investigate both the robustness of the system to the variable behaviour of the vehicles’ owners and tariff or funding regimes that may be used to encourage their take-up while, for example, remunerating customers for the degradation in the lifetime of the vehicle.

The project will make benefit from the substantial work in V2G already being performed in the CDT, in particular in the scheduling and control of V2G systems as well as behavioural aspects of the interaction with such a V2G system.

Cleaning of exhaust streams from small generators

In an energy system with an increasing amount of renewable energy from which electricity production can be intermittent, there is a need for the ability to quickly replace wind and solar sources when their contribution drops. For this grid support role, hydrocarbon generators such as diesel and open cycle gas turbines are important, as they capable of being brought online almost immediately. The purpose of this project is reduce the environmental impact of these essential assets.

The projects seeks to perform a model-based design and techno-economic analysis to study the cleaning of exhausts of small generators, for example diesel or OCGT. The study will use existing technologies as a baseline, e.g. CCS and catalytic reduction, and select and adapt those most appropriate to the smaller scale generators of interest. A constraint in this is exhaust streams’ composition, which must be accounted for given that require particular attention given the deleterious effect that some species have on performance (e.g. NOx). Importantly, the system must be designed such that it can operate in a transient manner alongside these small generators, given their use as back-up generation. Further, an experimental element of the project may also be included, to test at bench scale key component(s) of the design.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Biomass, based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, providing businesses with electricity.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, providing electricity and gas to businesses.

Billington Bioenergy, based in Liverpool with depots across the UK, is one of the leading distributors of wood pellets for sustainable heating in the UK.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

About the University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.