Drax to end coal generation

4 March 2020

Drax has announced plans to end coal generation at its Yorkshire power plant in 2021 as part of its plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The company said that after almost 50 years of coal firing, Drax power station will cease using the fuel in March 2021, several years ahead of the UK government’s 2025 deadline for ending coal fired generation.

The decision is the result of a comprehensive review of its operations. The company does not expect to use coal after March 2021, but will ensure its two remaining coal units remain available until September 2022 in line with its existing Capacity Market agreements, it said.

“Ending the use of coal at Drax is a landmark in our continued efforts to transform the business and become a world-leading carbon negative company by 2030,” Drax CEO Will Gardiner said. “Drax’s journey away from coal began some years ago and I’m proud to say we’re going to finish the job well ahead of the Government’s 2025 deadline.”

Drax Power Station near Selby in North Yorkshire first started generating electricity using coal in the 1970s. Once the second half of the power station was built in the 1980s, it became the largest power station in the UK.

Over the last decade four of the power station’s six generating units have been converted to use sustainable biomass. The company was granted planning permission in October for two 600 MW gas fired power plants at the site.


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