South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has tabled a parliamentary motion in the Scottish Parliament to thank Drax Group for providing Chromebooks for young people across the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Harper welcomed the generous Scotland-wide donation from Drax, whom she met with last week. Laptops were distributed to young people in Gelston, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright, Dalry, Kells, Crossmichael, and Heathhall Primary Schools as well as Dumfries & Galloway College.
The donation has enabled those who did not have access to technology, to learn from home and supported many parents and carers who were potentially struggling with the financial cost of purchasing such equipment.
Ms Harper met online with Daphne Vlastari, Drax’s public affairs manager in Scotland, on Tuesday 28 July, accompanied by Councillor Dougie Campbell, to hear more information about the company who own the Galloway Hydro Scheme.
The Galloway Hydro Scheme operates stations in Earlston and Glenlee in Dumfries and Galloway which Ms Harper has visited previously.
Drax has pledged £100,000 to support community initiatives in the Galloway Glens region and have a long-standing relationship with Scottish Wildlife Trust and RSPB Scotland in the area.
Ms Harper commented;
“I’ve raised a parliamentary motion to thank Drax Group for their kind donation to many of our young people in Dumfries & Galloway during an incredibly challenging time which has impacted upon all sectors.
“Not everyone has access to computers and these laptops have been gratefully received, enabling young people to continue with their learning and helping support parents and carers with equipment when it’s most needed.
“I am impressed by the level of commitment by Drax, who have a hugely significant operation in both Scotland and Dumfries & Galloway, to the production of clean, renewable energy and to community engagement which I believe will include an opportunity for local apprenticeships.
“I have invited both the Minister for Energy and Connectivity, Paul Wheelhouse MSP and the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, to visit the Galloway Hydro Scheme and Drax representatives so they can see first hand what work is being progressed here”.
Councillor Dougie Campbell, said;
“The Galloway Hydro Scheme runs through the heart of my Dee and Glenkens Council Ward, is a long established feature of both the heritage of this area and, innovative and continuous clean energy production since the 1930’s.
“Since Drax Energy Group purchased the Hydro scheme I’ve been very encouraged by their commitment to protect the natural environment and to work with and support local communities, especially over the last few months. And of course, they will continue to play a very important part in Dumfries and Galloway Council’s commitment to tackle climate change and for the region to be carbon neutral by 2025.”
Daphne Vlastari, Public Affairs Manager for Drax, said;
“Hydroelectricity has been at the heart of many Scottish communities for decades, and this crisis has reminded us of the importance of looking out for each other. Drax was in a position to help, and we are glad to hear of the positive impact our donation of laptops with pre-paid internet to support home-learning has had across the South of Scotland.”
Motion Text can be found on www.scottishparliament.scot Motion S5M-22322 Emma Harper, South Scotland.
For more information on Drax visit www.drax.com
Cruachan Pumped Storage Hydro
Galloway Hydro Scheme
Lanark Hydro Scheme
Daldowie Biomass Fuel Plant
Investment in Scotland reflects commitment to flexible energy which complements and enhances the deployment of intermittent renewables, such as wind
Ability to supply power to approximately two million homes in Scotland instantaneously
Supporting around 200 direct jobs in Scotland
Supporting over 300 renewable generators in Scotland supplying energy to circa 66,000 homes
Over 700 indirect jobs and over £68million to the Scottish economy (pre-acquisition)
Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire is the UK’s largest power station and biggest renewable electricity generator
Cruachan Power Station accounts for 30% of the UK’s pumped storage capacity by volume, can power a city for over 15hours
Historic hydro schemes in Galloway and Lanark
Supporting the transition to net zero
First company to commit to negative emissions by 2030
Hydro assets already carbon neutral
Converted 4 out 6 units at Drax Power Station to sustainable biomass delivering 85% reduction in carbon emissions
World’s only BECCS trial aiming to deliver first negative emissions plant