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Selby District is set to become Europe’s largest generators of renewable power following the Government’s announcement on support levels for biomass.
Both Drax and Eggborough power stations have welcomed today’s decision by the Government to back biomass power generation as both companies want to accelerate their diversification from being primarily coal fired generators to providers of renewable energy.
The Government has published its final decisions on support levels for the various renewable technologies which will come into effect in 2013. The Government has decided to create support levels for electricity generated from sustainable biomass at existing fossil fuelled power stations on an individual generating unit by unit basis, and not, as previously proposed, on a power station wide basis.
Nigel Adams brokered meetings with the Energy Minister and the Chief Executives of Drax and Eggborough power stations last month as negotiations over the subsidy level entered the final stages with the Treasury.
Nigel, who is also Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Biomass Group said “Today’s Government announcement of subsidy support for Selby’s two largest power generating companies is excellent news in terms of our local economy, is good for the environment and will secure hundreds of local jobs. I am very pleased that Government Ministers have listened to calls to support biomass from industry and the group I chair.”
Commenting on the new levels of support for biomass announced by the Government, Dorothy Thompson, Chief Executive of Drax said:
“As a result of our excellent technical progress and the Government’s conclusions on support levels, we are confident that we can transform Drax into a predominantly biomass fuelled generator. Initially we expect to convert three of our six generating units. It will take some time to develop all of the sustainable biomass supply chain to fuel these units, but we believe that within approximately five years Drax could become a predominantly biomass fuelled plant. We are currently refining our previously announced £650 million to £700 million strategic capital investment plan, but remain confident of the overall scale. We will continue to work with Government and Ofgem on the design of practical and efficient regulations for the implementation of these decisions.
“This transformation will be achieved through major capital investments at Drax and across the supply chain, securing significant numbers of jobs, primarily in the North East. We remain keen to contribute fully to the UK’s renewables and carbon reduction targets by producing low cost, reliable and flexible renewable electricity.”
Eggborough’s Chief executive, Neil O’Hara said “ This announcement enables us to continue our plans of transforming our station away from coal to biomass”