UK’s largest power station lights up for Poppy Appeal

A giant symbol of remembrance will shine across Yorkshire from one of the cooling towers at Drax Power Station as part of a poignant display to mark Remembrance Sunday. 

The projection at the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator should be visible from miles around to commemorate those involved in the two world wars and other conflicts.

Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director at Drax, said:

“Drax has a proud history of supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. By projecting the symbol of remembrance on to one of our cooling towers we are aiming to show armed forces personnel throughout the generations the gratitude we feel for the sacrifices they’ve made.

“This year we’re pleased to be able to gather in person with our colleagues who have served in the military, to pay our respects and support the Royal British Legion, which provides lifelong support to our armed forces community.”

Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, will project the image onto one of the power station’s 114m tall cooling towers between 5pm and 12am from Armistice Day, Friday November 11 to Remembrance Sunday, November 13.

This is the third year that Drax has marked the occasion with a projection. Members of the public are welcome to view the projection safely from the Drax Sports and Social Club car park opposite the power station where they will also have the opportunity to donate to the Poppy Appeal via QR code.

L-R: Steve Chamberlain, Andy Lewis, Jenny Twentyman, Christian Reeve, Bruce Heppenstall, Richard Hudson, Gordon Banks, Holly Clough, Gavin Kirk and Dominic Box

Gavin Kirk is a Technical Training Co-ordinator at Drax and an ex-Army Warrant Officer who served with both the Parachute Regiment and Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) and completed 22 Years’ service finishing his Military career in 2018.

Gavin helped to organise the Poppy Appeal at the power station this year. He said:

“I’m proud to work for an organisation that supports the Royal British Legion having witnessed first-hand their support to some of my Military Comrades post serving in the Military. There are at least 20 ex-Armed Forces personnel working at Drax, as well as several Army Reserves. The help the Legion provides for veterans like me is fantastic, with many of us relying on this support to help transition to civilian lives.”

As well as the projection, Drax is also donating £3,000 to the Poppy Appeal and will be laying wreaths at war memorials local to its operations across the UK.

Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations through various initiatives including fundraising for local charities and supporting education and skills.


Media contacts:

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

Notes to editors:

Drax illuminated one of its cooling towers in blue lights in 2020 in recognition of the work of the NHS during the pandemic, and also projected a white rose onto the cooling towers to mark Yorkshire Day on 1st August.

Earlier this 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.

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

Power generation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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