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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

Drax Visit

On Friday 3rd June a group of PhD students from SPEME visited Drax Power Station in Selby, North Yorkshire.

This has developed into a very popular visit over the last couple of years and gives students a real insight into how Drax produces its huge amounts of electricity and how the carbon and ash is stored and disposed of successfully. Also helping with their research the students learned how Drax is trying its upmost to reduce carbon emissions for the future.

Drax is the largest, cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power station in the UK. The output capacity of the six generators is 4,000 megawatts, making them nearly twice the size of the next largest coal-fired power station in the UK. They currently provide enough power to meet 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.

As well as being an important strategic asset nationally, Drax is also vital to the local economy. Drax Power employs some 760 people and supports many other local jobs indirectly.

They are committed to reducing their emissions of carbon dioxide and have the capability to save over three and a half million tonnes of CO2 each year. They have also delivered on their 2010 target of producing 12.5% of their output from renewable fuels and this has provided a large proportion of the CO2 saving (2.5m tonnes of CO2).

The students began their visit with a 1 hour presentation from an environmental officer who spoke in depth about how Drax is trying to reduce its carbon emissions and also discussed CO2 saving targets for the future.

A bus tour also took place around the site explaining what each section of the Power Station was responsible for. Then the students had a chance to look at the gigantic boilers, generators, and the main control room where detailed talks were also given.

Staff and students at Drax