The court of appeal has ruled that biomass conversion of unit 3 at the 6 x 660 MW Drax coal plant site in the UK is not eligible for an investment contract under the Final Investment Decision Enabling ("FID Enabling") mechanism – an interim support mechanism for low carbon generation technologies as the UK switches from the existing ROC regime to the new contracts for differences system.
The appeal had been lodged by the UK government (Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)) against an earlier high court ruling that the project did qualify.
Drax says it will not appeal against the latest decision and "will now consider its options for the full conversion of this unit". The project had already been confirmed as eligible for support under the ROC scheme.
Drax unit 2 has been converted to 100% biomass (under the ROC scheme), while the unit 1 conversion has been approved for an investment contract under FID Enabling.
Also approved under FID Enabling is the proposed conversion of Lynemouth to 100% biomass, but RWE has yet to announce a final investment decision on that project.