Key date passes for Drax as it closes in on going coal-free

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 4 Apr 2019

The public examination of Drax's application to switch two huge coal-fired generator units to gas closes today.

Known as the Repower project, the Planning Inspectorate is considering the bid for a development consent order, with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to make a decision by early October.

As reported, it aims to deliver up to 3.6GW of reliable and flexible power generation and up to 200MW of battery storage to help enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said last year that by 2050 85 per cent of the world’s electricity will need to come from renewables like wind and solar power if we are to meet our climate change targets. This means the remaining 15 per cent will need to come from flexible and reliable technologies like gas, biomass, hydro and pumped storage.

Read more: Drax submits application for gas generation and battery storage

Andy Koss, Drax Power chief executive, said: “By using high efficiency gas turbines we can continue to deliver flexible and reliable generating capacity as well as system support services, which are vital for maintaining secure power supplies as more intermittent renewables come online.

“If the Repower project goes ahead we could stop using coal ahead of the government’s 2025 deadline, protecting jobs and preserving the life of the power station.

“Building modern, high efficiency gas power stations will enable aging, less efficient plant to close, reducing emissions and supplying the reliable and flexible power needed to provide vital system support services.”

Now this phase of the application process has closed, the examination authority will consider the evidence given and has three months to make a recommendation to Greg Clark about whether to approve or reject the proposals.

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