Ransomes rotary maintains Europe's largest power station
By Peter Driver
The complex has over 50 acres of grass, which is maintained by one man and his mower; Malcolm Wordsworth, driver and groundsman with Drax Power, the plant's operating company.
"Until last year we had contractors in to maintain the grassed areas. However, when the new management team took over they decided to bring the grass maintenance function back in-house. As a result we purchased an out front, ride-on rotary mower from Palmers Groundcare, who have a depot just down the road in Selby.
"The Ransomes Frontline 728 is a really good mower for our purposes and easily copes with the acreage here. Although I work it hard during the summer months, it has been trouble free and the four-wheel drive has been invaluable, especially in the wet and on some of the steep banks."
Drax has six 660 megawatt, coal-fired generating units and in 2003 produced 24,379 GWh (Gigawatt hours). To produce this amount of electricity, 9.8 million tonnes of coal and 4,900 tonnes of biomass were consumed, and 59 million tonnes of water were abstracted from the nearby River Ouse, of which 35 million tonnes were returned. One GWh is one million kilowatt hours (kWh), enough power to light up over 694,000 (60Watt) light bulbs continuously for 24 hours.
Photo: Malcolm Wordsworth cutting the grass around the cooling towers at Drax Power Station.