Progress Power Station will be located in an area of Eye Airfield, a former World War II United States Air Force base safeguarded by Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) for development as an energy park. It lies within the administrative boundaries of MSDC and Suffolk County Council (SCC) and is located 1 km north west of the village of Eye, 4 km south of Diss and adjacent to the A140 which links Norwich to Ipswich.
Progress Power Station, a Drax Group
development project, will help support Great Britain’s energy security. It will be used during periods of peak electricity demand and when intermittent renewable technologies are unable to produce the power required to keep the country running – for example when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. It will not operate more than 1,500 hours a year and as such, Progress Power Station will help the country to transition to a lower carbon economy. It will have the capacity to generate enough instant electricity to power 150,000 households. All efforts will be made to ensure Progress Power Station has a minimal impact on the environment during its construction and operation.
The Progress Power Station project will comprise:
- A new Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power peaking plant, also known as a Simple Cycle Gas Turbine capable of providing up to 299 Megawatts (MW) of electricity. Following consultation with the community in 2014/15 and additional technical work, the plant will incorporate a single gas turbine generator with one exhaust gas flue stack.
- A new electrical connection via an underground cable circuit to export electricity from the power station to the National Grid Electricity Transmission System.
- A new gas insulated electricity substation constructed by National Grid.
- A new gas pipeline connection to bring natural gas to the power station from the Gas National Transmission System in the vicinity of the project site. This element incorporates an above ground installation (AGI) at its southern end and a new access road off Potash Lane.
Planning & Consultation
The views of local residents, businesses and other local interest groups were crucial in shaping the final planning application
To inform its planning application, Progress Power undertook a two stage consultation process: ‘Non-Statutory Consultation’, which began in May 2013, followed by a period of ‘Statutory Consultation’, which began on 3 October 2013 and closed on 7 November 2013. The consultation plan (known as the Statement of Community Consultation and found it Key Documents
) met all legal requirements and was based on a range of advice and guidance.
Following extensive consultation, the project was granted planning permission
– known as a Development Consent Order – on 23 July 2015 by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
An environmental impact assessment (EIA) was undertaken and formed a central part of the application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) in accordance with the Planning Act (2008). Please see the Environmental Statement Non-Technical Summary in Key Documents
. The full Environmental Statement and supporting documents can be accessed via the Planning Inspectorate’s website
As part of its commitment to support the communities in which it operates, Drax will provide a Community Benefit Fund to support local projects and initiatives in the vicinity of Progress Power Station. It is intended that the local community will have the final say over how this money is spent and which projects to support. Drax is in ongoing discussions with the local authorities over how this Progress Power Community Benefit Fund can be best delivered in a fair and transparent way and will provide further details in due course.
Working with local businesses
Construction is expected to take approximately 30 months and will provide job opportunities for up to 150 skilled and semi-skilled workers. As part of the construction programme, Drax is committed to working with its lead Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor to ensure that local businesses have every opportunity to tender for relevant work streams they can support the project on. We will hold a ‘meet the buyer’ event in the local area early in the construction programme to provide more details on these opportunities and how suppliers can get involved.
Expressions of interest from local companies wishing to support the project have already been received and if you would like to be kept aware of future developments and be added to our database please contact us