DRAX power station is eyeing a shift from coal into gas, and is looking at the construction of battery storage at its site.

The company has given notice to the Planning Inspectorate of its intention to consult on long-term options to repower up to two coal units to gas, and build battery storage at Drax Power Station.

Plans for gas on site were announced in June and are part of an ongoing research and development project.

The options could create up to 3.6GW of new gas generation capacity and 200MW of battery storage.

The plans are still subject to a positive investment decision and would need to be underpinned by a 15-year capacity market contract.

The company stressed that at this early stage in the planning process the figures represent "the maximum parameters of the project".

Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said: "We are at the start of the planning process but if developed these options for gas and battery storage show how Drax could upgrade our existing infrastructure to provide capacity, stability and essential grid services, as we do with biomass. This would continue to keep costs low for consumers and help to deliver Government’s commitment to remove coal from the UK grid."

He added: “Drax Power Station is a national asset and a significant driver of economic growth in the North of England. These options could repurpose up to two of our coal assets and extend their operation into the 2030s.

"We have always supported and worked with our local communities and want to ensure they have a role in shaping our thinking. We will undertake a comprehensive programme of local consultation and engagement over the coming months to share our options with the public and listen to their views."

The proposals run alongside Drax's ongoing work to explore converting a fourth unit to biomass, and if all go ahead the power station would be left with none of its six units using coal.

Today’s notice to the Planning Inspectorate is a step in Drax's strategy to play a vital role in changing energy generaion as the UK moves to a low carbon future.

The company said it would begin consulting on the options with local communities and national stakeholders over the coming weeks.