Drax is set to play a bigger role in the UK’s energy system following the New Year’s Eve completion of its £702m purchase of power stations in England and Scotland from Spanish company Iberdrola.
New power stations acquired by Drax will increase its electricity generation capacity by 60%, meaning the company will now provide enough power for the equivalent of more than 8.3m homes.
Will Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer of Drax Group, said: “As a British energy company, we are very proud to be the new owners of these critically important power stations across England and Scotland. For decades Drax has been at the heart of our energy system and now we’re going to play a bigger role than ever.
“We are investing in Great Britain by acquiring this portfolio of flexible, low-carbon and renewable generation assets. They complement our existing activities by providing very flexible power which not only keeps the lights on for thousands of households, but also provides crucial system support services to the grid, maintaining secure supplies and enabling more renewables like wind and solar onto the system”.
The deal adds 2.6GW of generation capacity to Drax’s portfolio, reinforcing its position at the heart of the Great Britain’s energy system. Drax have national footprint with operations in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire, Lancashire, London, the East of England, the East Midlands and the South East of England.
The combination of hydro plants in Scotland with Drax’s biomass units in Yorkshire reinforce the company’s position as Great Britain’s biggest generator of renewable power. With the addition of 35% of Great Britain’s electricity storage capacity and 2GW of gas power stations Drax will also be better placed to provide the flexibility and stability to help underpin the increases in solar and wind power which will be needed in the decades to come if the UK is to meet its climate targets.
The 2.6GW portfolio consists of Cruachan pumped storage hydro (440MW) in Argyll, run-of-river hydro locations at Galloway and Lanark (126MW) and a biomass-from-waste facility at Daldowie in Scotland as well as four Combined Cycle Gas Turbine stations in England: Damhead Creek (805MW) in Kent, Rye House (715MW) in Hertfordshire, Shoreham (420MW) in West Sussex and Blackburn Mill (60MW) in Lancashire.
Drax Power Station in Selby, North Yorkshire, is the biggest renewable generator in the UK. Over the last decade Drax has converted two-thirds of what was Great Britain’s biggest coal fired power station to run on sustainable biomass, creating the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.
Drax Group is now the Great Britain’s fifth largest non-domestic energy supplier and the biggest supplier of renewable power to UK businesses and organisations with over 350,000 now being provided with 100% renewable power.