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Drax Group gets approval to build 299-MW rapid-response gas plant in England

British power company Drax Group PLC got approval to build an open-cycle, gas-fired power station in Bedfordshire, England.

The approval for the proposed 299-MW Millbrook Power Station came from the U.K. Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The plant is estimated to cost up to £90 million to build, according to a March 13 news release. Once operational, the power plant is expected to be able to go from cold to full load in less than 20 minutes, allowing quick response to support the grid.

"Rapid response gas power stations are agile enough to ramp up quickly and support the grid at times of peak demand, making them highly complementary to intermittent renewable sources of power, like wind and solar," Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said.

The project includes a new underground pipeline connection to bring gas from the National Transmission System and a new underground electrical connection to export power to the National Grid Electric Transmission System's existing Sundon-to-Grendon transmission line.

Drax could begin operations at the power plant as soon as 2022, subject to securing a capacity market agreement from the government. However, the U.K. capacity market is suspended pending the outcome of a European Commission investigation.