Wyke Applied Science students were one of the first colleges to visit the Drax power station since it reopened post-Covid, taking part in a tour that supported their work in renewable electricity generation.
Sophie Thompson, Applied Science teacher, said: “The students had a great day at Drax, learning about how the electricity system works and where our electricity is generated. Visits like this are so valuable because seeing the power station and the scale of the operations is impossible to replicate in a classroom – it really brings the subject to life.”
Our students were taken on a full tour of the site, which included seeing Drax’s Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) pilot project. BECCS is a vital negative emissions technology which Drax plans to use to permanently remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, whilst also generating the reliable, renewable electricity the country needs.
BECCS at Drax will support over 10,000 jobs at its peak, and it is vital that the region’s workforce has the skills needed to deliver this green energy technology, enabling the UK to meet its net zero target.
Plant Director Bruce Heppenstall said: “These tours are so important – they fire up students’ imaginations by showing them some of the cutting-edge green technologies we’re pioneering, such as BECCS which could play a vital role in addressing the climate crisis as well as delivering jobs and clean growth here in the North.”
During the tour, students learnt how renewable electricity is generated and discovered how sustainable, wood pellets have enabled Drax to reduce its carbon emissions by 95% in a decade, making it Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project.
They saw the 427-metre turbine hall that houses the huge turbines which power the generators to produce electricity, as well as the wood pellet storage domes – each large enough to fit The Royal Albert Hall inside, and the 115m high cooling towers, which are taller than the Statue of Liberty.