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Progress Power to participate in 2017 auction

The Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) development project of Drax Group participated in the December 2016 capacity market auction but exited above the clearing price. It is expected that Progress Power will now go on to participate in the 2017 T-4 auction.

Read the announcement.


Last Updated (Dec 9 2016)


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Drax acquires Progress Power

Drax Group plc has acquired four Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) development projects.


The purchase of Progress Power and three other OCGT developments in England and Wales was announced today as Drax, the FTSE-250 company based in Selby, North Yorkshire, revealed its new purpose and strategy.

Progress Power, which adds to the diversification of Drax's generation mix, will be entered into future capacity market auctions to secure a 15 year contract. Once a contract is secured, construction will begin.

Read the announcement.

Find out more about Drax Group, helping to change the way energy is generated, supplied and used for a better future.


Last Updated (Dec 6 2016)


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Project Update

“Progress Power, the company that intends to build a gas-fired power station near Eye, is seeking amendments to the Development Consent Order that was issued by the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change in July 2015. Details have been published in the East Anglian Daily Times (and will be published again on August 26th) and on the Progress Power and Planning Inspectorate websites. Eye Library also hold details of the amendments.

Both Mid-Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council are aware of the proposed amendments and the reasons for making them, and Progress Power has notified other relevant parties. The consultation process is being undertaken in accordance with the Planning Inspectorate’s guidelines.

The changes are restricted to the main power generation plant site at Eye Airfield and are regarded as non-material.

The amendments to the Development Consent Order (DCO) relate to the width of the power station’s exhaust flue stack (chimney) for the single turbine unit solution only and some minor amendments to the dimensions of some buildings within the main power generation plant site. The height of the key components on site (i.e. the gas turbine generator and the stack) will not change from what was originally consented. Progress Power has permission to build up to five stacks (30m high).

The need to make amendments to the DCO became apparent during the procurement process for the power station: in order to construct the one turbine solution, minor alterations would need to be made to some of the parameters and locations of various structures consented by the DCO. There is a need to widen the visible part of the stack for the single unit solution by 1.6 metres.

Progress Power has not yet concluded the exact number of turbines that will be constructed on the site, and the stack height(s) will remain 30 metres as per the July 2015 DCO.

The consultation on the proposed non material changes to the DCO runs from August 19th to September 25th. Responses to the consultation should be addressed to the Planning Inspectorate.”


Last Updated (Aug 25 2016)


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Project Update

Progress Power's consented 299MW gas-fired generation project at Eye Airfield did not secure a contract in the Government's recent Capacity Market Auction for future power generation (held in December 2015) and therefore the project will not proceed during the course of this year (2016).

Given the need for new gas-fired power generation in the UK, Progress Power intends to enter the project in the Government's next Capacity Market Auction which is scheduled to be held in December 2016.

Both Suffolk County Council and Mid Suffolk District Council, as the local planning authorities, have been notified.


Last Updated (Jan 8 2016)


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Progress Power Secures Planning Permission - Construction likely to start in 2017

Progress Power Ltd has secured planning consent from the Department of Energy & Climate Change for its £200m gas-fired power station project, near Eye in Suffolk.  Subject to raising the necessary finance, construction of the plant would start in 2017 with commercial operation scheduled for 2019.  Fuelled by natural gas, It will operate as a “peaking plant” (i.e. providing back-up to intermittent renewable electricity generation) making it the first of its kind to be permitted in England.

To be located on part of the former World War II Eye Airfield, the Progress Power project will produce up to 299 megawatts (MW) of electricity, the equivalent of supplying 400,000 homes.  It will connect into the National Grid via underground cable and a new electricity substation that will be built near the A140 between the villages of Yaxley and Mellis.  The electricity sub-station will be housed within a building that will be designed to be in keeping with the local area.

The power station project represents a significant investment into the East Anglian economy and will give rise to multi-million pound construction and supply chain contracts, support 150 jobs during the two year construction and commissioning period and up to 15 full-time jobs when operational.  In addition, Progress Power has entered into discussions with Suffolk County Council and Mid Suffolk District Council to establish a £300,000 Community Benefit Fund as well as enter into a Section 106 agreement.  The Progress Power Community Fund and the Section 106 agreement will support a package of social, economic and environmental benefits for the local area.

Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change granted permission to the Progress Power project after an extensive 2½ year local public consultation and examination process.

Chris McKerrow, Project Director at Progress Power said: “We are delighted to have secured the Government’s approval for the project.  The project helps to meet the Government’s energy policy objectives of security of supply and affordability and will support the country's transition to a low-carbon economy.  The local community will benefit from the project via the significant commercial investment that will be forthcoming, the skilled jobs being created, our Community Benefit Fund as well as the Section 106 agreement with the local councils.  We are confident that our project will be a catalyst for realising Mid Suffolk District Council’s long-term vision for Eye Airfield.”

“We intend to work closely with Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council to ensure that our project is developed sensitively, respecting the views of local people and carefully managing the project’s impact on the local environment.”


Last Updated (Jul 23 2015)


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DCO Examination Phase Closed

Decision from Secretary of State for Energy expected mid-summer 2015

The DCO Examination Phase for Watt Power’s Progress Power Project, near Eye concluded in January 2015, and is currently under consideration by the Planning Inspectorate.

In accordance with the statutory DCO timetable, a decision as to whether or not to grant Development Consent Orders to the project is expected from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in mid-July 2015.

Assuming the DCO is granted to the project, it is Watt Power’s intention to enter the Progress Power Project in the UK’s Capacity Market Auction.  Subject to the outcome of the Auction and the project’s financing, Watt Power would expect the plants to commence construction within 12 months of the auction, with commercial operation approximately 18 months later.


Last Updated (Apr 2 2015)


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Progress Power's Response to Dr Dan Poulter MP

In response to Dr Poulter’s written representation regarding the Progress Power DCO application, as submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 12 January 2015, Progress Power has released the following statement:

“We have met Dr Poulter on a number of occasions to discuss our proposed project, which is presently being considered by the Planning Inspectorate. We have explained to Dr Poulter and the Planning Inspectorate our reasons for choosing the airfield site for the location of the gas-fired power station, which in principle the local authorities support.

“We have also explained our reasons for the location of the substation, and outlined the work that we will undertake to minimise its visual impact, including the undergrounding of the necessary electrical connection. In addition, we have outlined our initiatives to bring wider benefit to the local area, whilst working with the local councils.

“If our project is approved and built, it will help deliver the Government’s energy and environment policies.”


Last Updated (Jan 16 2015)


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Planning Inspectorate accepts Progress Power Development Consent Order Application

The Planning Inspectorate has accepted an application by Progress Power Ltd for an Order Granting Development Consent for the proposed Progress Power Station on Eye Airfield and its related infrastructure.

The Inspectorate has decided that the application meets the standards required to be formally accepted for examination. This follows its consideration of, amongst other things, the consultation that has been carried out by Progress Power.

The Project now moves into a pre-examination phase. This means that members of the public will be able to register with the Planning Inspectorate and provide a summary of their views of the application in writing. Everyone who has registered and made a relevant representation will be invited to attend a preliminary meeting run and chaired by an Inspector.

The pre-examination stage of the process is expected to take approximately three months. Further updates will be posted on this website.


Last Updated (May 1 2014)


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Progress Power Takes Stock of Local Feedback Towards Project

March 7 2014

Over the past 10 months, Progress Power has received various comments from local people, local councils and a range of interested organisations about its proposed power station at Eye Airfield and its related infrastructure.  These comments have influenced the evolution of the overall Project design that will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, for examination on behalf of the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change.

Yesterday (Thursday, March 6th) was the final day for Progress Power to receive comments and address them as part of the application process for a Development Consent Order (DCO).  The comments received between May 2013 and yesterday, and Progress Power’s response to them, will be included in a comprehensive Consultation Report that will form part of Progress Power’s DCO application. The Consultation Report will be made publicly available alongside the other Project reports, such as the Environmental Statement.

After today, any comments made to Progress Power about the Project will be considered by the Project team but will not be referenced in the Consultation Report.

If the application is accepted, people can register via the Planning Inspectorate website as an “interested party” which allows them to participate in the Inspectorate’s examination process. For further information, please visit http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/application-process/participating-in-the-process/

The Planning Inspectorate will conduct a thorough scrutiny of Progress Power’s DCO application only after it has accepted the DCO application for examination.  Progress Power is aiming to submit its DCO application at the end of this month. The Planning Inspectorate will make a decision on whether or not to accept the application within 28 days of the submission.


Last Updated (Mar 7 2014)


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Electrical Connection Plans: Progress Power Meets Local Residents

26 February 2014

Yesterday, Progress Power met with local residents in Yaxley, Mellis and Eye to explain and answer questions about its plans for an Electrical Connection Compound (ECC) that would connect its proposed power station on the former Eye Airfield to the National Grid’s overhead electricity transmission system that runs parallel to the A140 road.  More than 70 people attended the three drop-in sessions, including a number of local parish, district and county councillors. The Progress Power team answered a range of questions about its plans including the choice of the ECC’s location, the access to it and its visual impact.  The team also explained the need for the ECC, its rationale for choosing to bury the electrical connection underground and its intention to screen the ECC.

Information on the ECC can be downloaded from the Progress Power website and it can be viewed at local libraries.  The deadline for people to send Progress Power their comments on the ECC and its access arrangements is 6 March.  Progress Power will consider the written views and the comments made at today’s drop-in sessions as it finalises its application for a Development Consent Order for the Project; this is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate at the end of March.


Last Updated (Feb 26 2014)