DRAX is launching a major public consultation on November 1.

The energy giant is progressing its plans to deliver negative emissions technology by beginning a planning consultation about its proposals to develop Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.

The announcement follows the publication of the Government’s Net Zero Strategy which outlined how vital engineered greenhouse gas removal technologies, such as BECCS, could be in delivering on the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions.

The Strategy also stated that BECCS could achieve ambitious contributions towards the UK’s 2030 climate change target, supported by significant deployment of mature BECCS technology from the late 2020s.

The East Coast Cluster, a collaboration between Zero Carbon Humber, Net Zero Teesside, and the Northern Endurance Partnership, which plans to create the UK’s first net zero industrial cluster, has received government backing.

Drax is an anchor project in the East Coast Cluster and the commencement of its planning consultation marks the first major action from a project in the cluster.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “Negative emissions technologies like BECCS will play a vital role in tackling the climate crisis and the start of this consultation marks a significant milestone in our plans to deliver this innovative technology at our power station in Yorkshire. "

BECCS at Drax is a “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project” (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008 and the company is therefore required to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) prior to the installing and operation of the technology.

Through the consultation between November and December 12, communities are invited to comment before Drax finalises its planning application prior to its submission in 2022. This timeline keeps the company on-track to begin construction of BECCS in 2024, and operation as soon as 2027.