A NORTH Yorkshire power station will play a bigger role than ever from this year, following a £702m buyout.

Drax Power Station, near Selby, completed the buyout of Spanish firm Iberdrola's low-carbon and renewable assets - including hydroelectric and biomass plants in Scotland and combined cycle gas turbine stations in England - on New Year's Eve.

The new power stations will increase Drax’s electricity generation capacity by 60 per cent, which means the company will now provide enough power for the equivalent of more than 8.3 million homes.

Will Gardiner, chief executive officer of Drax Group, said the increased output would add 2.6GW of generation to Drax's current portfolio "reinforcing its position at the heart of Great Britain's energy system".


Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO

Mr Gardiner said: "As a British energy company, we are very proud to be the new owners of these critically important power stations across England and Scotland. For decades Drax has been at the heart of our energy system and now we’re going to play a bigger role than ever.

"We are investing in Great Britain by acquiring this portfolio of flexible, low-carbon and renewable generation assets. They complement our existing activities by providing very flexible power which not only keeps the lights on for thousands of households, but also provides crucial system support services to the grid, maintaining secure supplies and enabling more renewables like wind and solar onto the system."

Drax is the biggest renewable generator in the UK, and currently runs biomass units at its site near Selby, following a decade-long conversion of two-thirds of the plant from coal fired to more sustainable biomass.

Mr Gardiner said the addition of hydro plants in Scotland will mean an additional 35 per cent of Great Britain’s electricity storage capacity and 2GW of gas power stations, and should help the UK meet its climate targets in coming years.

Drax Group is now Great Britain’s fifth largest non-domestic energy supplier, and the biggest supplier of renewable power to UK businesses and organisations.