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Energy Secretary Ed Davey opens new biomass units at Drax
DRAX’S journey into a low carbon future took a step forward yesterday as Energy Secretary Ed Davey opened the specialist biomass handling facilities built for the plant’s conversion to biomass boilers.
Drax is switching three of its six generators to biomass fuel by 2016 – the first of which has been up and running since April this year, while the second is due next year and the third in 2016.
Yesterday saw the opening of the specialised unloading, handling and storage units – including 11km of train tracks which took the first delivery by 200 bespoke freight trucks bringing in wood chips shipped to Hull, Tyneside and Immingham.
Once converted, each of Drax’s biomass boiler units will provide enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of more than one million homes. By the end, Drax will be the largest renewable energy supplier in the UK, and its emissions will reduce by ten million tonnes.
The minister said: “This is a real landmark for Drax and for Britain’s energy security. Drax’s ambitious plans have made it one of Europe’s biggest renewable generators, helping to increase our green energy supplies.”
Dorothy Thompson, Drax’s chief executive, said the new facilities were a “feat of engineering” which could transform the business.
She said: “This fundamental change has implications far beyond Drax and even our supply chain. Sustainable biomass has a critical role in the UK’s electricity mix.
“It is the only renewable which can deliver low carbon electricity on demand, at the scale the grid needs and precisely when it’s needed.
“It is also a low cost renewable which will help to manage the expense of the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.”
Drax is part of a consortium which has won a Government contract which will be the next step towards the White Rose Project – a clean coal power station with technology to capture and transport 90 per cent of its carbon to the North Sea.
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