Drax Power has secured approval from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for an application submitted by the company for the construction of a gas power station in Bedfordshire to support the electricity system as more renewables come online.
The 299MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power station, to be established at Rookery South Pit near the villages of Stewartby, Millbrook and Marston Moretaine, will be capable of going from cold to full load in less than 20 minutes.
This will enable the power plant to respond quickly to support the grid.
The power plant will operate for up to 1,500 hours a year and provide flexible, reliable power when it is needed most and system support services, contributing to a balanced and cost-effective electricity system and maintaining supplies for up to 150,000 homes.
Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said: “Securing this approval from the Secretary of State is a crucial step in ensuring development of the new gas generation the UK needs to provide flexible power and system support services to the electricity grid as part of the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.
“Rapid response gas power stations are agile enough to ramp up quickly and support the grid at times of peak demand, making them highly complementary to intermittent renewable sources of power, like wind and solar.
“Flexible, reliable power stations like this are essential to provide the power Britain’s homes, businesses, transport and infrastructure need.”
The £90m Millbrook power station is expected to create 150 jobs during the two-year construction phase.
The facility is expected to generate power as soon as 2022, subject to securing a capacity market agreement from the government.
Drax has applied for a Development Consent Order for Millbrook power plant in 2018 with extensive community consultation as part of the planning and consenting process and will continue to engage with local communities as the project progresses.
Image: CGI of Millbrook power station. Photo: Courtesy of Drax Group plc.