Drax has submitted an application to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order for its plans to replace two of the three remaining coal units at its power station in Yorkshire with up to 3.6GW of gas generation and up to 200MW of battery storage.
Under the proposals, which were first laid out in September, the company will substitute each of the two coal units with a high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbine and a battery storage system. The existing steam boilers will be repurposed to generate electricity using the exhaust gases from the turbines.
Since the plans were unveiled, Drax has been developing engineering and environmental reports for the application and consulting with local authorities and communities.
The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to determine if it will accept the application. If it agrees, the proposals will be examined by the Planning Inspectorate and then considered by the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, Greg Clark.
A decision on whether to grant a development consent order is expected to be made in 2019.
Drax Power chief executive Andy Koss, said: “With our gas repower plans and the conversion of a fourth generating unit this summer to use biomass instead of coal, we intend to extend the life of the plant, protect jobs and deliver the flexible and reliable power millions of households and businesses need.
“Working with the communities local to the power station has been an integral part of the process. The repower project could secure the future of the power station beyond 2025 when the government says coal must come off the system.”
Drax recently announced plans to trial carbon capture and storage (CCS) on one of the existing three biomass units at the 3.9GW power station.