Drax plans gas and battery storage project

Drax has submitted its plans to replace its two remaining coal-fired turbines with 3.6GW of gas-fired capacity and install a 200MW battery on its site in Yorkshire.

Proposals for its “Repower” project were released in September 2017, with the power station operator having now submitted its engineering and environmental reports to the Planning Inspectorate.

If the inspectorate accepts the plans then a decision from Energy Secretary is expected in 2019.

> Read Drax's announcement


Scotland’s largest solar farm gets green light

The Scottish Government’s new Energy Consents Unit (ECU) has granted planning permission for the building of Scotland’s largest solar farm.

Elgin Energy will erect a 50MW solar farm across 115 hectares on the former Milltown airfield in Moray.

The former Royal Air Force site is owned by the Innes Estate and the project is expected to be built in the early 2020s..

> See Elgin Energy's statement


Milestone for offshore wind demonstration project

The 11th and final turbine has been installed at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay.

The wind farm is expected to generate its first power later this summer.

Adam Ezzamel, EOWDC Project Director at developer Vattenfall, added: “One of our 1,800-tonne suction bucket jacket foundation was installed in what we believe is a world record of two hours and 40 minutes from the time the installation vessel entered the offshore site until deployment was complete.”

> View Vattenfall's announcement


Vodafone joins RE100

Telecoms giant Vodafone has become the latest major business to join the RE100 initiative and pledge to purchase 100% of the electricity it uses from renewable sources by 2025.

Vodafone’s operations are currently powered by 13% renewable electricity, meaning its target to source 100% by 2025 will require a significant shift in the use of clean energy.

To reach its goal, the company will look to sign power-purchase agreements which will support the growth of renewable energy markets across the globe.

> Read the announcement in full


UK Power Reserve acquired

Sembcorp Industries, which is listed on the Singapore stock market, has bought UK Power Reserve from private equity firms Equistone and Inflexion for £216 million.

UK Power Reserve – which won a 200MW capacity market contract in February’s auction – has 533MW of gas-fired power generation spread across 32 sites in England and Wales, with a further 480MW due to come online by 2019, including 120MW of battery storage.

Sembcorp already operates 210MW of combined heat-and-power, steam and renewables generation at the Wilton International Industrial site on Teesside and is seeking planning permission to install two gas-fired turbines on the site, with a combined capacity of up to 1.7GW.

> View UK Power Reserve's announcement