Another Power station converts to Biomass

Drax power will need 15 million tonnes of wood pellets to meet demand for 2018.

Drax power station is located in Selby, North Yorkshire. The power plant has 6 turbines which can produce 3,960 megawatts of energy. These six turbines produce enough energy to satisfy the needs of 6 million homes and businesses in the region which is equal to 7% of the United Kingdoms total electricity supply.

Because of its size the coal fired plant was once the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the UK.

But since 2010 the plant has started the process of converting its large turbines to run on biomass to reduce CO2 emissions, the plant started by converting 2 turbines and it is committed to converting 2 more turbines by 2018.

In order to achieve this Drax power will require an annual supply of 7-8million tonnes of woodpellets per year, the majority of which will come from North America and Canada. By converting to biomass Drax calculates that it will reduce carbon emissions by 80% when compared to coal as a fuel source.

Biomass Conversion

In an effort to reduce its environmental impact, Drax Power began converting to biomass as early as 2003. Eventually, converting from Coal to co-firing coal and biomass in all six power plant units. Drax has plans to convert 4 of its 6 turbines completely to biomass thus reducing its carbon emissions by 80 per cent when compared to coal. A projected saving of some 10 million tonnes of CO2 a year when compared to previous levels.

Not only will Drax be cleaner but it will cement its future as the largest biomass power station in Europe and secure the company’s financial future. The UK Government has introduced a carbon price floor (CPF). This is a tax on fossil fuels which are used to generate electricity. It has been in effect since 2003. So far Drax power is on track to meet its conversion targets and to reduce its carbon footprint in the process saving the company millions of pounds in fines.

The incredible size of this project to convert from coal to biomass has meant sourcing millions of tonnes of Grade A woodpellet's, the supply of which does not exist in the UK market and that has meant sourcing the raw material overseas. Canada and the Eastern USA is well placed to meet this demand with current long term contracts in place to supply the European Biomass project, well into the future.

Biomass has become a very significant opportunity for investors seeking out Renewable energy investments especially as they try to counter the poor interest rates on offer on deposit accounts. Renewable energy has returned 25% a year over the past 20 years and that makes investing in Renewable energy a very smart place to invest for the next 20 years of growth.

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