North Yorkshire County Council in the UK has decided to support plans for a 290 MW dedicated biomass-fired power station to be sited adjacent to the existing 400 0MW Drax power station. The proposal has also been backed by the local authority Selby District Council. The final decision on planning consent for what will be known as the Ouse Renewable Energy Plant will now be taken by the UK government. Should the plant get the go-ahead construction should begin in 2010

The plant will burn a wide variety of biomass fuels that include purpose grown energy crops, forestry residues, agricultural by-products as well as recovered timber and paper. Under its sustainability policy Drax Power has guaranteed that all biomass will be from sustainable sources that are independently audited.

The site at Drax is considered particularly suitable as a location for a dedicated biomass-fired power station owing to its proximity to the existing infrastructure, including connection to the electricity transmission network, water and transport facilities.

The Ouse plant is expected to save 1 850 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions compared to a conventional power station of similar capacity. It is scheduled to be the first of three nearly identical biomass-fired power stations developed by Drax. First announced in 2008, the three plants will build on the biomass co-firing project being developed at the power station. By 2016 Drax expects to generate nearly 1400MW of renewable electricity from biomass.