Drax is beginning a major planning consultation to seek the public’s views on its bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) proposals.
The announcement follows the publication of the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, which outlined how vital engineered greenhouse gas removal (GGR) technologies, such as BECCS, could be in delivering the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions.
The strategy also stated that BECCS could achieve ambitious contributions towards the UK’s 2030 climate change target, supported by a significant deployment of mature BECCS technology from the late 2020s.
Additionally, the announcement follows news that the East Coast Cluster (ECC), a collaboration between Zero Carbon Humber, Net Zero Teesside and the Northern Endurance Partnership, which plans to create the UK’s first net-zero industrial cluster, has received government backing. Drax is an anchor project in the ECC.
Drax’s BECCS technology could permanently remove 8 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere annually; accelerate economic growth for the Yorkshire and Humber region, and put the region at the heart of a global green economy, the company said. The proposed scheme will also create and support over 10,000 jobs.
“Negative-emissions technologies like BECCS will play a vital role in tackling the climate crisis and the start of this consultation marks a significant milestone in our plans to deliver this innovative technology at our power station in Yorkshire,” said Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group.
“The government’s recently stated ambition for BECCS and backing for the ECC further demonstrates the vital role Drax can play in helping the UK reach its ambitious net-zero targets, as well as creating and protecting thousands of jobs in this country.”
BECCS at Drax is a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ under the Planning Act 2008 and the company is, therefore, required to apply for a Development Consent Order before installation and operation.
Through the consultation, communities are invited to share their views on Drax’s proposals. The consultation will run between 1 November and 12 December and once complete, the findings will be used to finalise Drax’s planning before its submission in 2022. This timeline keeps the firm on track to begin construction in 2024, and operation as soon as 2027.