An application by Drax to build a gas power station in Bedfordshire to support the electricity system as more renewables come online, has been approved by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The 299MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power station, at Rookery South Pit near the villages of Stewartby, Millbrook and Marston Moretaine will be able to go from cold to full load in less than 20 minutes, enabling it to respond quickly to support the grid.
Once operational, it will run for up to 1,500 hours a year, providing flexible, reliable power, when it’s needed most and system support services – contributing to a balanced and cost-effective electricity system, maintaining supplies for up to 150,000 homes.
AANdy Koss, CEO at Drax Power, said: “Securing this approval from the Secretary of State is a crucial step in ensuring development of the new gas generation the UK needs to provide flexible power and system support services to the electricity grid as part of the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.
“Rapid response gas power stations are agile enough to ramp up quickly and support the grid at times of peak demand, making them highly complementary to intermittent renewable sources of power, like wind and solar. Flexible, reliable power stations like this are essential to provide the power Britain’s homes, businesses, transport and infrastructure need.”
Millbrook Power Station will cost up to £90m to build, with around 150 jobs created during the two-year construction phase. It could be generating power as soon as 2022, subject to it securing a capacity market agreement from the government.
Drax applied for a Development Consent Order for Millbrook Power in 2018 with extensive community consultation as part of the planning and consenting process. Drax Group will continue to engage with communities local to the project as the project progresses.