Drax planning to cut cost of biomass power by a third

Drax CEO Will Gardiner told Reuters April 20 that the company plans to cut the cost of the electricity it generates by a third over the next decade. The goal is to reduce the company’s dependency on subsidies.

Improvements cited by Gardiner are more efficient turbines and cheaper wood pellets.

A spokesperson for Drax told Bioenergy Insight: “We’re looking at a range of options – it’s too early to give details, but we’re looking to reduce biomass costs across the chain, from the fibre, through the processing, to the transportation. We want to transport more heat and less water in the fibre.”

Gardiner said in the Reuters interview that electricity from Drax’s biomass facilities currently costs about £75 per megawatt-hour; the company plans to bring this down to £50 (the current average).

The company says that it supplies 6% of the UK’s power and 15% of the UK’s renewable power. Three of its stations are biomass-fired.

Drax is currently working to convert a fourth coal power station to run on wood pellets, a project that is expected to be completed late 2018.

All coal-fired plants are due to be close by 2025, but Drax has anticipated that it could end coal operations before that.

See the Reuters story here.

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