Drax starts public consultation on coal to gas plans

UK power giant Drax is going out to town halls and community rooms near its plant in the north of England to tell people about its plans to modify two its coal-fired generating units and turn them into gas-powered ones.

The company, which is based near Selby, UK, has also made plans to install a battery storage facility at the plant called the Drax Power Station.

Drax gave notice to the Planning Inspectorate in September that it intended to consult on proposals for gas power and battery storage.

Last year, the government said it wanted to phase out coal power by 2025 in a bid to cut carbon emissions.

More than half of Drax's current output is from biomass after it switched three of its units to burning eco-friendly wood pellets in 2013.

Under the proposals, the power station said it would create a 3.6 gigawatt gas generation system and a new gas pipeline for electricity to be exported to the National Grid.

More than two thirds of the power produced at the Drax’s power station is now renewable, providing 17% of the UK’s renewable electricity – enough for four million homes.

The upgrades would enhance Drax power station’s flexible and responsive capability, and make Yorkshire the home of large-scale battery technology, according to the company.

CEO Andy Koss said: “We have always supported and worked with our local communities and want to ensure they have a role in shaping our thinking for the future. Drax Power Station is a national asset and a significant driver of growth in the north of England.”

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