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    UK Drax Wins Support for Three Gas Plants


Three of its four proposed plants won capacity payments that will allow financing to go ahead.

by: William Powell

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UK Drax Wins Support for Three Gas Plants

UK generator Drax has provisionally secured 15-year agreements for three 299-MW open-cycle gas turbines (OCGT) projects at sites in England and Wales, it said March 11. The agreements are for the delivery period October 2024 to September 2039, at a price of £18 ($25)/kW and are worth around £230mn in that period.

OCGTs are less efficient than combined-cycle gas turbines but they start up much faster and provide necessary power when renewables fail. They also do not operate for long periods. The total capital cost of these projects is about £80-90mn each, with a build time of around two years. A further OCGT project participated in the auction but exited above the clearing price and did not accept an agreement.

Drax said it will now evaluate options for all four OCGT projects including their potential sale. The plants are Progress Power in Suffolk; Hirwaun Power in Cynon Taf in the south of Wales; and Millbrook Power in Bedfordshire.