THOUSANDS of jobs will be created after the European Commission today awarded 300 million Euros to fund a green energy project at Drax power station near Selby.

The NER300 White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project,  which will be based at the 426 megawatt power plant, is expected to support 2,000 jobs creating up to 4,000 in the wider carbon capture and storage industry.

The scheme is expected to generate enough low carbon electricity to power 630,000 households, while 90 per cent of the harmful gases produced by the plant will be captured and pumped along 100 miles of pipeline to be permanently stored beneath the North Sea.

Linda McAvan, Euro MP for Yorkshire and the Humber, helped to secure the scheme through cash from the sale of carbon permits as part of the EU's flagship Emissions Trading Scheme.

She said: "I am delighted to see  the EU is investing in the White Rose project.
"As well as the immediate jobs the CCS project would create, the potential to export this technology, once developed, could also bring untold economic benefits to our region.

"CCS technology is also essential if we hope to meet ambitious climate action targets and reduce the amount of Carbon being released into our atmosphere."

Drax has already begun the £700m process of converting its existing coal-fired plants so they will operate as biomass plants burning renewable woodchips. Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change secretary, opened the first of these at the end of last year.

The CCS plant, however, will be a completely new plant being built at Drax alongside the existing plants.

Leigh Hackett, chief executive officer for Capture Power, the developer of the White Rose CCS Project, said: "The NER300 award represents another significant milestone for us in our development programme and an important potential source of funding for the project, as well as providing a strong signal for CCS in Europe.

“We are well on track to demonstrate the key role that CCS can play in the future UK energy mix. CCS is an important technology providing clean, reliable and cost competitive electricity with the potential to contribute greatly to the decarbonisation of global power markets.”

Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, added: "Our part of North Yorkshire, and Selby in particular, has had a good week in terms of government announcements of funding and this €300 million makes it even more likely that the Selby District will become one of the world's foremost generators of renewable power."

Residents can view plans of the developments over three days next week.

Exhibitions are being held at Selby Town Hall on Tuesday, July 15, the Junction at Goole on Wednesday, July 16 and Drax Sports and Social Club on Thursday, July 17.

The exhibitions are open from 2pm to 8pm.