Drax donates $30,000 towards Aliceville community storm shelter

Renewable energy company Drax has donated $30,000 towards the Dancy-Cochrane-Memphis Volunteer Fire Department’s fund to provide a storm shelter for residents.

Renewable energy company Drax has donated $30,000 towards the Dancy-Cochrane-Memphis Volunteer Fire Department’s fund to provide a storm shelter for residents.

Community storm shelters are essential in areas at high risk of extreme weather and Aliceville had been identified as one of several fire protection districts in the county without one.

Drax, which operates a sustainable biomass production facility in Aliceville, has made the donation, as part of its work to support local communities.

The new shelter will be installed by the Fire Department on the outskirts of Aliceville on Highway 32, and will have enough capacity to shelter and protect 49 people. The total cost of the shelter is in the region of $60,000 with funding also provided by the Black Belt Foundation.

Matt White, Executive Vice President of Drax’s Pellet Operations, said: “The work that the volunteer fire department does is vital in keeping the local community safe and Drax is proud to be able to support them with funding for this essential storm shelter. I hope it will give citizens living in Aliceville some comfort, knowing that they have a safe place to shelter when extreme weather events occur.”

Jalen Spencer, Fire Chief of Dancy-Cochrane-Memphis Volunteer Fire Department in Aliceville, said: “It has been a concern for us for a long time that we have not had a storm shelter in our fire protection district, as tornadoes occur so often in our region so it’s a relief that people in our community will have a safe place to go. These storm shelters will help everyone in our community, and we are so thankful that we are now able to provide one with support from Drax.”

Terrence E. Windham, Mayor of Aliceville, said: “The City of Aliceville and the surrounding areas such as Dancy, Hudson, and our over the river communities appreciate the commitment to the community that has been shown by Drax. Our area is no stranger to dangerous storms so the strategic placement of this shelter will have an immediate impact on these communities. We appreciate Drax and look forward to working with them in continuing the enhancement of our communities.”

Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations through a variety of measures that include sponsoring educational programs and providing support in times of crisis, including during the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters such as Hurricane Ida.


Photo caption: Matt White, Executive Vice President of Drax’s Pellet Operations

Media contacts:

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

Annmarie Sartor
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: +1 318 801 0046


Editor’s Notes

Including Aliceville, Drax operates seven pellet plants in the US south, which use biomass sourced from the region’s sustainably managed working forests.

Drax’s pellet plants help support employment and opportunities across the wider forestry and lumber sectors in Alabama with around 350 people employed during construction of its new plant in Demopolis, and 120 people employed directly by the renewable energy company at its two pellet plants in Demopolis in Marengo County and Aliceville, in Pickens County.

The Demopolis and Aliceville pellet plants support Drax’s plans to increase pellet production to meet growing demand in Europe and Asia for reliable, renewable electricity, which helps displace coal from energy systems, reducing emissions in line with global climate targets.


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 4Mt 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 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt 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 mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.


Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.

It offers 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