Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) Construction Project: Progress Power Station

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About the project

Progress Power Limited (PPL), a subsidiary business of Drax Group, wishes to build a gas-fired power station in an area of Eye Airfield, a former World War II United States Air Force base safeguarded by Mid Suffolk District Council for development as an energy park.

Progress 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 Progress Power Station project will comprise:

Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power peaking plant

Progress Power Station

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.

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Electrical connection (including underground cables)

Progress Power Station

A new electrical connection via an underground cable circuit to export electricity from the power station to the National Grid Electricity Transmission System.

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Gas insulated electricity substation & gas pipeline connection

Progress Power Station

  • 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.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Eye Airfield has three key advantages compared to alternative sites in the region:

  • Close proximity to the national gas and electricity transmission networks
  • Location in National Grid’s strategic area for new electricity generation (south of The Wash)
  • It has been designed by Mid Suffolk District Council as an area suitable for development into an energy park.

The proposed location and layout of the electrical connection compound is on land west off the A140 going north, north of the village of Yaxley and close to the existing high-voltage transmission lines.

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

We are conscious of Eye’s cultural heritage and the rural environment of the area and every effort is being made to minimise the impact of Progress Power Station on the local environment, both during its construction and operation. Its design and the steps to mitigate its impacts, such as screening and landscaping, 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.

The power station site covers an area of approximately 10ha and is located within the Eye Airfield business and industrial estates; however, the footprint of the power station itself would be smaller than the full site.

There will be one stack (chimney) at the power station, up to 30 metres in height. The noise produced during the power station’s operation will be strictly limited by both the Development Consent Order issued by the Secretary of State and limits set by the Environment Agency as part of an operational Environmental Permit.

There will be HGV traffic during the construction phase but it would be routed to minimise congestion, noise and dirt away from Eye, Mellis and Yaxley, and other places. Once operational, there will be a negligible increase in traffic movements. Eye Airfield already has 55 companies operating on it.

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 as part of an operational Environmental Permit, and will not cause harm to people or the environment.

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 Progress 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 Progress 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, Progress 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 four 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.

Conctruction Progress

Learn more about the construction progress of Progress Power Station.

Contact Progress 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

01379 776180