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Drax to convert fourth unit to biomass

Drax to convert fourth unit to biomass

25 January 2018

Drax has announced plans to convert a fourth unit to biomass following the UK government consultation response to control the cost of support for biomass under the Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme.

The consutation response from the UK govenment proposes capping the level of Renewable Obligation Certificates (Rocs) power stations can receive for biomass conversion and co-firing, but would allow generators to use different units up to the cap.

Drax has converted three of its six units to biomass and will now convert a fourth, with the government's rules allowing it to decide which units to operate and when while earning Rocs. This would protect existing converted units and limit the amount of incremental ROCs attributable to additional unit conversions to 125,000 per annum

Drax plans to convert the unit to biomass as part of a planned outage in the second half of the year, before returning to service in late 2018.

Drax chief executive Will Gardiner said "We welcome the government's support for further sustainable biomass generation at Drax, which will allow us to accelerate the removal of coal from the electricity system, replacing it with flexible low-carbon renewable electricity".

It is likely the unit will operate with lower availability than the three existing converted units, but the intention is for it to run at periods of higher demand

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