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Drax plans 3.6GW gas plant and battery storage facility in North Yorkshire

EBR Staff Writer Published 14 September 2017

Drax Group said that it has notified the UK Planning Inspectorate of its plans to build a new 3.6GW gas-fired power plant along with 200MW battery storage facility at its existing Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.

The Drax Power Station was originally a 3.96GW coal-fired power plant built in Drax which featured six units of 660MW each.

Its operator, Drax had already upgraded three of the six coal-fired units to run on biomass. The British coal power producer has been carrying out conversion of the power plant’s fourth unit to sustainable biomass.

Drax had announced its plans for the conversion of its remainder coal-fired units to run on gas in June this year. The execution of the conversion project is subject to a positive investment decision along with a 15-year capacity market contract, said Drax.

The upgrade to facilitate gas-fired units along with battery storage is expected to boost the flexible and responsive capability of the Drax Power Station. It would also position Yorkshire as a place for large scale battery technology, stated Drax.

The upgrade, if successful, is also likely to enhance Drax’s ability to deliver flexible generation and grid support services that the electricity system in Britain needs at a time when coal and other large power stations are being retired.

Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said that the options for gas and battery storage show how Drax can upgrade existing infrastructure to deliver capacity, stability and essential grid services.

Koss added: “This would continue to keep costs low for consumers and help to deliver Government’s commitment to remove coal from the UK grid.

“Drax Power Station is a national asset and a significant driver of economic growth in the North of England. These options could repurpose up to two of our coal assets and extend their operation into the 2030s.”

Over the coming weeks, Drax is expected to start consultations on its upgrade plans with local communities and national stakeholders.

Image: Artist’s impression of a Drax rapid-response gas power station with planning permission. Photo: courtesy of Drax Group Plc.