“Ending the use of coal at Drax is a landmark moment in our efforts to become a world-leading carbon negative company,” stated Drax Group CEO, Will Gardiner.
At the North Yorkshire power plant, coal has been the main source of generated power for 50 years, now it's being transformed into the UK’s single-largest renewable energy sourcing facility. On April 25th, Drax officially announced their end of coal-fired generation, marking a milestone in the company’s history and the UK's transition over to a biofuel future.
Constructed in 1967, the Drax Power Station in Yorkshire, England set off on their journey of being Western Europe’s largest coal-fired power station. With multiple generators on site, Drax built up to power around 2 million homes by 1986. But now, to meet the goals in renewable energy and assist with the growing climate crisis, 4 out of their 6 power stations were converted into renewable energy generators. Today, following the winter contingency agreement, Drax will begin to decommission its coal-driven sectors and infrastructure. Starting with the flue-gas desulfurization plant built in 1990, this will remove about 90% of the sulfur emissions floating throughout the plant’s air.
“By converting the plant to use sustainable biomass we have not only continued generating the secure power millions of homes and businesses rely on, but we have also played a significant role in enabling the UK’s power system to decarbonise faster than any other in the world,” stated Gardiner.
Establishing future goals, Drax plans to enhance efforts in removing carbon emissions from the atmosphere. By using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), they are able to remove millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the nearby atmosphere each year. This 2 billion GBP project is to be moved forward into fruition with the help of the UK government. Their goal is to remove carbon from the air all while producing sufficient energy. According to Gardiner, this function can be implemented throughout hundreds of already established renewable energy sources and projects across the globe.
The global drive for renewable energy has changed the game for many rooted energy companies, Drax as an example. But by reshaping their idea of how to produce energy, the transition over to renewable biofuel is not only simple and efficient but allows for the momentum to move onward.