Public examination of Drax Repower plan closes

The Drax Repower project aims to deliver up to 3.6GW of reliable and flexible power generation and up to 200MW of battery storage to help enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future.

Artist's impression of Drax Power Station CCGT

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will make a decision about Drax’s proposals to repower its two remaining coal-fired generating units with new, high efficiency gas turbines by Friday October 4, 2019.

The Drax Repower project aims to deliver up to 3.6GW of reliable and flexible power generation and up to 200MW of battery storage to help enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said last year that by 2050 85% of the world’s electricity will need to come from renewables like wind and solar power if we are to meet our climate change targets. This means the remaining 15% will need to come from flexible and reliable technologies like gas, biomass, hydro and pumped storage.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO said:

“By using high efficiency gas turbines we can continue to deliver flexible and reliable generating capacity as well as system support services, which are vital for maintaining secure power supplies as more intermittent renewables come online.

“If the Repower project goes ahead we could stop using coal ahead of the government’s 2025 deadline, protecting jobs and preserving the life of the power station.

“Building modern, high efficiency gas power stations will enable ageing, less efficient plant to close, reducing emissions and supplying the reliable and flexible power needed to provide vital system support services.”

Now the examination phase of the application process has closed, the Examination Authority will consider the evidence given and has three months to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State at BEIS about whether to approve or reject the proposals.

Several other workstreams are running in parallel to the planning application, including site enabling works, to ensure Drax is in the best possible position to progress with its plans should the Repower DCO be approved.

In addition to the 900 people employed directly by Drax at the power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, in 2017 Drax generated £600m for the northern economy and supported 5,700 jobs in the region.

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Media contacts:

Ali Lewis
Head of News
Drax Group
01757 612165
[email protected]

Jessica Gorton
Press Officer
Drax Group
07712 677177
[email protected]  

Editor’s Notes

Prior to submitting its application for a Development Consent Order, Drax consulted with 264 people at eight public events.

During the Examination phase of the application there have been five public meetings.

The decision by the Secretary of State for BEIS will be published on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

The Committee on Climate Change and National Grid both say in their forecasts that we can bring new gas generation onto the system and at the same time meet our carbon targets in the 2020s and 2030s.

About Drax

Drax Group’s ambition is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,600-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted two thirds of 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.

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.  It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.

B2B supply:  

Drax owns two B2B energy supply businesses:

  • Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity and energy services to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.
  • Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity, energy services and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Pellet production:

Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

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