Drax agrees to keep coal plant online this winter

Keeping the UK’s coal-fired power stations at normal capacity this winter aims to ease the energy crunch

Drax has today announced it will extend the coal operations at its power station at the government’s request.

In a statement, the company said it will be paid a fee for the service it will offer and will be compensated for costs incurred, including coal costs caused by the extended operations of its coal units.

Drax said: “At the request of the UK Government, Drax has now entered into an agreement with National Grid – in its capacity as the electricity systems operator – pursuant to which its two coal-fired units at Drax Power Station will remain available to provide a “winter contingency” service to the UK power system from October 2022 until the end of March 2023.

“The units will not generate commercially for the duration of the agreement and only operate if and when instructed to do so by National Grid.

A few days ago, it was confirmed that EDF’s West Burton A coal plant will stay open for six months longer than originally planned.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng wrote on Twitter: “Today – at my request – Drax agreed to keep their coal plant online this winter if needed.

“With Russia cutting off gas to parts of Europe, this is a sensible precaution back home.

“As Energy Secretary, I have a responsibility to ensure we have enough supply this winter. We now have two coal plants available this winter.

“Negotiations ongoing with one more.”

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