Virtual tours of Britain’s biggest power station to support home learning

School children can immerse themselves in how the UK’s largest power station works through a new virtual tour aimed at supporting STEM education and skills during the Covid-19 crisis.

Drax Group has launched the free online resource for students to use from the comfort of their own homes as part of its efforts to support its communities during the lockdown.

Drax power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, is Britain’s largest and since converting two thirds of the generating units to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, has become the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Each year the power station has 12,000 visitors, many of whom are students, visiting as part of Drax’s efforts to work with schools and colleges to promote Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects.

Since the Covid-19 crisis began, Drax has suspended its public tours at the power station to protect employees who are key workers, playing a crucial role in generating the electricity the country needs as the lockdown continues.

To support its local communities Drax has donated 853 laptops to 50 schools and colleges across the country, including 412  to 20 schools across Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire helping to make sure children without access to computers or the internet at home are not left behind in their studies.

Drax Group’s head of sustainable business, Vicky Bullivant, said: “We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire children from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects, so the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours as we continue to develop and grow.

“With students having to be home-schooled during the Covid-19 crisis it’s essential they don’t miss out on the opportunities businesses like Drax would usually provide in creating positive experiences for them to support their studies.

“The virtual tours we’ve created builds on the work we’ve already done to provide laptops and free internet access, to ensure no students are left behind during the lockdown.”

Over the last decade the power station’s world-class engineers have upgraded two thirds of its generating units to use biomass – sustainably sourced compressed wood pellets – in place of coal, transforming the plant to become the UK’s largest renewable power generator, producing enough electricity for four million homes.

Drax Group, the owner of the power station, recently announced a world-leading ambition to become carbon negative by 2030 through pioneering new negative emissions technology bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at the site.

The first in the series of virtual online tours shows viewers how fuels are used to generate electricity, where Drax’s sustainable biomass comes from and how BECCS could be deployed to tackle climate change.