Britain’s largest coal-fired power station is set to become one of Europe’s biggest renewable electricity generators, with the potential for new future generation on the site to be based on truly clean coal.
Energy and secretary Ed Davey opened the Drax coal-to-biomass conversion plan, and announced the government was awarding funding to further the White Rose carbon capture and storage project, also based at the site.
At Drax, the £700m planned conversion project will burn wood pellets rather than coal.
Drax calculate that this will reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent compared with coal.
The facilities opened today will provide enough low-carbon power to the equivalent of around 1m homes and help to safeguard 1,200 jobs and many more in the supply chain and in local communities, Drax said.
The multi-million-pound FEED study funding will support the White Rose project, which is designing a £2bn state-of-the-art coal power plant with full CCS that will be able to provide clean electricity to more than 630,000 homes.
It also includes the planned development of a CO2 transport and storage network – the Yorkshire Humber CCS Trunkline – which would have capacity for additional CCS projects in the area.
It was claimed the project has the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs and safely capture 90 per cent of the plant’s emissions.
Together, the two projects could support 3,200 jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber, and provide carbon transport infrastructure to help build a clean energy industry in the region.