Regulator to probe Drax’s compliance with biomass reporting rules

Drax Power Station

Power station Drax is facing an investigation by energy regulator Ofgem into the sustainability of the biomass it uses at its wood-burning power plant.

Ofgem, said it would investigate whether the North Yorkshire facility – which which generates about 6% of the UK’s electricity – has breached reporting rules required for its renewable energy subsidy scheme.

It will analyse the accuracy of the energy company’s sustainability reports concerning the sourcing of its wood pellets – 80% of which come from forests in the US and Canada.

Ofgem said it opened the enforcement case following investigations into Drax’s sustainability reports and the controls it has put in place to guarantee its green claims.

The regulator stressed the opening of its new investigation did not imply it had found a breach of its rules.

Drax has received billions in renewable energy subsidies for its biomass electricity. But it has also been criticised over its “carbon neutral” claims, amidst scepticism over how sustainable it is to burn imported wood to create electricity.

Responding to Ofgem, the power station owner said it was confident in the compliance of its biomass with the Renewables Obligation criteria.

The business says: “Ofgem’s announcement states that the opening of an investigation does not imply any finding of non-compliance.

“It has separately confirmed that it has not established any non-compliance that would affect the issuance of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to Drax, and therefore the associated financial benefit.

“Like all energy generators, Drax receives regular requests from Ofgem and continues to cooperate fully throughout this process.

“Last year Drax appointed a third party to independently verify the accuracy of its biomass sustainability and profiling data as part of an ongoing process.”