More local events to discuss gas and battery project

More events are being held to ensure local people have their say about Drax Power Station’s plans to repower up to two of its remaining coal-fired electricity generating units with gas and install what could be amongst the largest batteries in the world.

Drax’s project team will be on hand at the events to discuss the plans with local people and listen to their views.  New images and interactive displays showing what the development will include, as well as an environmental impact report, will also be available.

If the plans go ahead in their entirety, the development would include two combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) which would also be capable of operating as rapid response gas power plants in open-cycle mode, with a combined capacity of up to 3,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity as well as battery storage of up to 200MW.

The exhibitions follow on from similar events held in November and are part of the statutory consultation process required ahead of submitting an application for a Development Consent Order.

Andy Koss, Chief Executive of Drax Power, said:

“Holding public events to share our ideas with local people is a great way to hear their views. It’s really important to us that we support and work with our local communities – we want people who live and work in the area near the power station to play a part in shaping our thinking for the future. We look forward to sharing our ideas and hearing thoughts.

“The options we’re exploring could reuse some of the existing infrastructure from the remaining coal assets at Drax and extend their operation as gas plant into the 2030s. The Repower project could secure the future of the power station beyond 2025 when the government says coal must come off the system.

“Drax Power Station is a national asset and a significant driver of economic growth in the North of England, generating more than £1/2bn for the northern economy and supporting 6,000 jobs.”

Drax is already the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator having converted three coal generating units to use sustainable wood pellets. More than two thirds of the power produced is now renewable, providing 17% of the UK’s renewable electricity – enough for four million homes.

Mr Koss explained that by upgrading its existing infrastructure to use gas it would provide more capacity, stability and essential grid services keeping costs low for consumers and delivering the government’s commitment to end power generation with unabated coal by 2025.

Public exhibitions featuring Drax’s proposals are taking place at the following venues:

  • Selby Town Hall, York Street, Selby, YO8 4AJ – Saturday 20th January 2018 (10am – 4pm)
  • Drax Sports and Social Club, Main Road, Drax, Selby, YO8 8PJ – Tuesday 23rd January 2018 (3pm – 8pm)
  • Junction, 2 Paradise Place, Goole, DN14 5DL – Wednesday 24th January 2018 (2pm – 7pm)
  • Selby Town Hall, York Street Selby, YO8 4AJ – Thursday 1st February (10am – 4pm)
  • Hemingbrough Methodist Church Hall, 2 Main Street, Hemingbrough, YO8 6QE – Friday 2nd February (9.30am – 1.30pm)

Leaflets about the project have been sent to homes and businesses in the areas around the power station.

The project’s consultation documents, including the Project’s Preliminary Environmental  Information Report, are also available to view at the following locations from 16th January until 27th February 2018, when the statutory consultation period closes:

  • Selby District Council, Access Selby, Market Cross Shopping Centre, Selby, YO8 4JS
  • North Yorkshire County Council, County Hall, Northallerton DL7 8AD
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Customer Service Centre, Cross Street, Beverley, HU17 9BA
  • Selby Library,52 Micklegate, Selby YO8 4EQ
  • Snaith Library, 27 Market Place, Snaith DN14 9HE
  • Goole Library, Carlisle Street, Goole DN14 5DS

The options for repowering to gas and building battery storage complement Drax’s ongoing work to explore options for further generation from sustainable biomass and are part of its strategy to play a vital role in changing the way energy is generated as the UK moves to a low carbon future.

Subject to development consent and construction, the project could start generating electricity in 2022/23.

Further information about the project, the consultation and planning application are available on the project website: http://repower.drax.com.

– Ends –

Media contacts:

Ali Lewis
Head of News
Drax Group
01757 612165
Ali.Lewis@drax.com

Jessica Gorton
Press Officer
Drax Group
07712 677177
Jessica.Gorton@drax.com  

Notes to editors:

About the planning regime

The proposed development is a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) under “the construction or extension of a generating station” category in Part 3 Sections 14(1)(a) and 15(2) of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended). As such, Drax is required to seek planning permission known as a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

About the Repower Project

Drax’s proposals include the following elements:

  • Up to 3,600 megawatts (MW) of new gas generation capacity and up to 200MW of battery storage – two battery storage facilities, one per unit and each up to 100MW
  • The capacity of the Drax’s coal units being considered for this project is 1,290MW.
  • Gas-fired generation units (four new turbines, up to two per unit) that can operate in combined-cycle or open-cycle modes.
  • Use of existing steam turbines and cooling towers.
  • A new gas pipeline connection to the National Gas Transmission System and an electrical connection into Drax’s existing substation to allow electricity to be exported to the National Grid.
  • An option to install a temporary crane positioned next to the existing jetty on the River Ouse and at a point close to the power station during construction.
  • Environmental assessments are considering issues such as local planning, air and water quality, flood risk, traffic and transport, noise, ecology, heritage and the effects on landscape and visual amenity.

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.

For more information visit www.drax.com.