New rapid response gas power station approved in Bedfordshire

An application by Drax to build a gas power station in Bedfordshire to support the electricity system as more renewables come online, has been approved by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The 299MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power station, at Rookery South Pit near the villages of Stewartby, Millbrook and Marston Moretaine will be able to go from cold to full load in less than 20 minutes, enabling it to respond quickly to support the grid.

Once operational, it will run for up to 1,500 hours a year, providing flexible, reliable power, when it’s needed most and system support services – contributing to a balanced and cost-effective electricity system, maintaining supplies for up to 150,000 homes.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO said:

“Securing this approval from the Secretary of State is a crucial step in ensuring development of the new gas generation the UK needs to provide flexible power and system support services to the electricity grid as part of the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.

“Rapid response gas power stations are agile enough to ramp up quickly and support the grid at times of peak demand, making them highly complementary to intermittent renewable sources of power, like wind and solar. Flexible, reliable power stations like this are essential to provide the power Britain’s homes, businesses, transport and infrastructure need.”

Millbrook Power Station will cost up to £90m to build, with around 150 jobs created during the two-year construction phase. It could be generating power as soon as 2022, subject to it securing a capacity market agreement from the government.

Drax applied for a Development Consent Order for Millbrook Power in 2018 with extensive community consultation as part of the planning and consenting process. Drax Group will continue to engage with communities local to the project as the project progresses.

ENDS

Image caption: An artist’s impression of the Millbrook Power Open Cycle Gas Turbine power station at Rookery Pit South, Bedfordshire.

High resolution image (shown above): DOWNLOAD

High resolution image (shown below): DOWNLOAD

Media contacts:

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Interim Head of Media & PR
E: ali.lewis@drax.com
T: 07712670888

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: jessica.gorton@drax.com
T: 07712677177

Editor’s Notes

  • The Development Consent Order (DCO) is published on the National Infrastructure Planning website.
  • Drax plans to enter Millbrook Power into the next Capacity Market Auction – the government’s mechanism for securing enough power generation for the UK at the lowest cost.
  • The UK government’s Capacity Market has been suspended pending the outcome of a European Commission investigation. The timing of the next auction is therefore to be confirmed.

About Drax

Drax Group’s ambition is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,600-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted two thirds of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.  It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.

B2B supply:  

Drax owns two B2B energy supply businesses:

  • Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity and energy services to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.
  • Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity, energy services and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Pellet production:

Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com