Millbrook Power Limited
Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power peaking plant Construction Project: Millbrook Power Station

Millbrook Power Station, once operational, could run up to a maximum of 1,500 hours in any given year. It will help support Great Britain’s energy security, providing back-up to other sources of electricity, including weather-dependent wind turbines and solar farms.

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About the project

Millbrook Power Limited (MPL), a subsidiary business of Drax Group, wishes to build a gas-fired power station in the Rookery South Pit near Stewartby, Bedfordshire.

Millbrook Power Station, once operational, could run up to a maximum of 1,500 hours in any given year. It will help support Great Britain’s energy security, providing back-up to other sources of electricity, including weather-dependent wind turbines and solar farms. The station will have the capacity to generate enough instant electricity to power 150,000 households.

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Power households
Maximum hours
Megawatts (MW) of electricity
Months of Construction/commissioning works in total

The Millbrook Power Station project will comprise:

Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power peaking plant

Millbrook Power Station

A new Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power peaking plant, also known as a Simple Cycle Gas Turbine, designed to provide up to 299 Megawatts (MW) of electricity.

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Electrical connection (including underground cables)

Millbrook Power Station

A new electrical connection (including underground cables) to export electricity from the plant to the National Grid Electricity Transmission System.

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Underground gas pipeline connection to bring natural gas

Millbrook Power Station

A new underground gas pipeline connection to bring natural gas to the plant from the Gas National Transmission System, which is located approximately 1.8 km from the project site. This element incorporates an above ground installation (AGI) located off-site at the south-eastern end of the pipeline.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Rookery South Pit has three key advantages compared to alternative sites in the region:

  • Close proximity to the national gas and electricity distribution networks
  • Location in National Grid’s strategic area for new electricity generation
  • Rookery South Pit is a brownfield site allocated for development by Central Bedfordshire Council


The proposed routes are underground, a decision taken as a result of Millbrook Power’s preliminary environmental impact assessment and consultation with the local community and key stakeholders.

Millbrook Power has a land option agreement with the owner of the area of land.

Every effort will be made to minimise the project’s impact on the local environment, both during its construction and operation. Its design and the steps to mitigate its impacts, such as screening and landscaping, has formed a major part of the consultation and planning process.

We have chosen to reduce the number of exhaust gas flue stacks from five to one, and we will underground the electrical connection so the project’s visual impact is reduced; this is also helped by siting the project in a pit.

The site for the power plant and electricity substation within Rookery South Pit covers an area of approximately 20 acres or 8 hectares. There will be a single stack in the power plant. The stack height will be up to 35m from the bottom of the pit.

No significant effect from noise is expected. The noise produced during operation of the power plant will be strictly limited by the requirements of the Development Consent Order  which will be enforced by the local authority and limits set by the Environment Agency (EA).

Noise modelling was undertaken to ascertain the current background noise levels and the typical noise levels from a gas fired plant have been modelled on top to determine the likely impacts. The results of these assessments were included in the EIA.

There will be HGV traffic during the two-year construction phase but it would be routed to minimise congestion, noise and dirt in the local area. Once operational, there will be a negligible increase in traffic movements.

The combustion of natural gas in a power station does not produce any noticeable odour.

A plume consisting mainly of water vapour may be visible from the stack of the power station but only under certain atmospheric conditions (cold and dry with high pressure); this is not ‘smoke’. The emissions from the stack will be strictly limited by the Environment Agency (EA) as part of an operational environmental permit, and will not have any significant effect on people or the environment.

The stack will also emit some carbon dioxide (CO2). However, Millbrook Power Station will only be permitted to run up to a maximum of 2,250 hours in any given year, provided that the five-year rolling average does not exceed 1,500 hours. This would be at times when lower carbon forms of power generation are not available due to intermittency or high demand, such as when there is not enough wind, sun, at peak times or on very cold days.

Gas-fired power generation is affordable, reliable and flexible. New gas power projects are acknowledged by the Government as being essential to a lower-carbon economy, as an alternative to coal, and the construction and operation of a rapid-response OCGT plant is part of a strategy to support an electricity system that has an increasing amount of less flexible, low carbon and renewable energy technologies. Many ageing coal, gas and nuclear power stations are closing down, and new thermal power generation capacity is needed to help the country retain its energy security.

Gas peaking plants such as Hirwaun Power are designed specifically to provide essential back-up power generation to intermittent renewable technologies such as wind turbines and solar farms.

New gas generation is part of a transition from more polluting fossil fuels of the past such as diesel, oil and coal and to a low carbon economy driven by renewables, storage, demand side response and other low carbon technologies.

We plan to use Millbrook Power to plug the gaps that intermittency creates – essentially flicking the switch on and off at very short notice –in just 20 minutes. We anticipate it would run up to a maximum of 1,500 hours year. This would only be at times when the electricity system is under stress.

Through supporting more intermittent renewables, Millbrook Power Station will also help to enable more coal-fired power stations off the system.

Gas-fired power stations in this country have an excellent safety record, and we do not consider there to be any issues of concern with our site and the neighbouring energy facilities.

The Project can bring a range of benefits to the area during both the construction and operational phases.  It will create supply chain opportunities including more than 150 jobs during a construction/commissioning period lasting twenty five months. In addition, the facility will contribute to business rates and be an active participant in the local community.  A detailed socio-economic impact study was prepared as part of the Environmental Statement.

Contact Millbrook Power Ltd

If you have an enquiry regarding construction of the power station, please get in touch with the project team using the details below:

Our Locations

361-373 City Rd, London EC1V 1LR, UK

Give Us A Call

01525 306270