All seven Pinnacle Renewable Energy plants in B.C., including the one near Burns Lake, were acquired by Drax Group in April. (File photo/Lakes District News)

All seven Pinnacle Renewable Energy plants in B.C., including the one near Burns Lake, were acquired by Drax Group in April. (File photo/Lakes District News)

Drax Group makes introduction to Burns Lake

U.K. based renewable energy giant acquired Pinnacle Renewable Energy in April

Members of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, including Senior Vice President of North American Capital Development Andrea Johnston and Burns Lake Plant Manager Brad Farquhar, met with Village of Burns Lake council on Nov. 23 to introduce them to Drax Group, which acquired Pinnacle in April.

Drax is a U.K. based company that owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. As part of the acquisition, Drax now owns all seven Pinnacle plants in B.C., including the one just east of Burns Lake off of Highway 16.

“The meeting was a great opportunity to update the mayor and council on our Burns Lake operations, and acquaint them with the vision, goals and commitment to the community of the new owner of the plant,” Drax representative Selina Williams told Lakes District News.

According to the representative, Drax has a proven track record supporting its local communities, from job creation to sponsoring educational programs and providing financial support in times of crisis, including during this year’s wildfires, when they made a $50,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross in July to support relief efforts.

“In Burns Lake specifically, we also support The Link Food Centre and the rotary club,” said Williams.

In terms of an environmental plan, Drax Group says its purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. In 2019, they announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bio-energy with carbon capture and storage technology.

After converting the Drax power station, located in Selby, U.K., to sustainable biomass instead of coal, it has become the U.K.’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Following Drax’s acquisition of Canadian pellet producer, Drax now owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the U.S. South and Western Canada, which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets per year.