Drax wins approval for £90m gas peaking plant

The open cycle gas turbine plant will have a total capacity of 299MW

The Big Zero report

Drax has been granted approval to build a 299MW open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) power station in Bedfordshire.

The £90 million plant at Rookery South Pit, near the villages of Stewartby, Millbrook and Marston Moretaine, will be a peaking plant that is able to power up in less than 20 minutes and respond quickly to support the grid.

Once operational, it will run for up to 1,500 hours a year, providing flexible power equivalent to the needs of up to 150,000 homes in total.

Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power said: “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.”

Drax expects the plant to start generating power as soon as 2022 but this would be subject to it securing subsidies under the Capacity Market scheme, which has been suspended since November 2018 pending an in-depth investigation by the European Commission.

Last year, ELN visited the Ashford Peaking Power Plant, a 21MW facility located at Kingsnorth Industrial Estate in Kent.

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