THE public are being urged to have their say over a £2bn 'green' energy project in North Yorkshire.

The Environment Agency has launched a consultation on Drax Power Ltd’s proposals to develop Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) at its power station site near Selby.

Carbon capture is the removal of carbon dioxide from waste gases (usually by absorbing the carbon dioxide in a special solvent) and either utilising it or storing it underground, reducing the amount of emissions into the atmosphere.

Drax's £2billion plan to 'capture' carbon emissions and pump them under the North Sea

Drax Power Ltd wants to capture the carbon dioxide emitted during electricity generation, to prevent the majority of it from entering the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide captured will be transported via a pipeline for permanent storage under the North Sea.

To capture carbon dioxide from the combustion process, Drax will need an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. It will also need a Development Consent Order, following a process led and examined by the Planning Inspectorate.

Kathryn Richardson, Environment Manager at the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency has an important part to play in permitting many of the energy technologies that are likely to emerge over the coming years.

“Our role is to ensure that these new technologies, including carbon capture, are conducted in a way that protects people and the environment.

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“We’re now seeking views from the local community and interested groups on this application. We encourage them to come and see us at our engagement events so they can find out more and view the plans in detail.”

The consultation, which began last week, runs until June 29 and will include a drop-in event in Drax village and a virtual drop-in session:

These sessions will provide further details about the application, the Environment Agency’s decision process and provide opportunities for the public to ask questions about the Drax’s Power’s plans.

Drax launches planning consultation on its BECCS bid

The consultation documents are also available to view online here.

After the consultation has closed, the Environment Agency will review the comments received from the consultation process and take them into account in the determination of the application.

In July 2021 the Environment Agency published Best Available Technique (BAT) guidance on carbon capture as part of the aim for a net zero future. The guidance helps businesses, which must demonstrate that they meet strict requirements that protect the environment and communities, before being granted a permit.