Work has begun to dismantle the old generating house at the Third Energy site at Knapton in Ryedale.
Third Energy previously had plans to frack for gas but since a change in ownership two years ago and the moratorium on fracking, the company has now repositioned itself to become a renewable low carbon energy player.
Work will focus on Knapton, where until December 2019 Third Energy generated electricity from gas extracted at several local well pads.
The sites have not produced gas for at least 17 months while repurposing was considered, and the power station has been mothballed.
Russell Hoare, managing director of Third Energy said; “The dismantling of the old gas turbine housing and associated equipment is a major milestone for Third Energy and consistent with the transformation that the business has been going through over the last two years.
He added “The Company is committed to several green energy projects that will make use of the Knapton site and removing the fossil fuel-related equipment from the past is necessary to make room for those green projects.
“We aim to make Knapton an energy beacon for North Yorkshire creating jobs, training, and research into the latest innovations in energy.”
Earlier this year, local anti-fracking campaigner, and councillor, Steve Mason, was appointed as a director of Third Energy Trading Limited, which runs the Knapton power station.
He also works for the green energy company, Wolfland Renewables, who have entered a strategic partnership with Third Energy to help them develop the site.
Steve Mason said: “This is an incredibly exciting time and a real symbolic moment for Ryedale.
“Clearing this site for new energy feels like a momentous day.
“If we can deploy renewables at Knapton and in doing so, contribute to the UK’s net zero ambitions, then I feel that we have a duty to do just that and provide a greener future for us all.
“This decade will prove to be pivotable in any action needed to help us reduce emissions to tackle climate change. All industries will have to look at ways to transition for a low carbon economy.
“I’m certainly going to give it my best shot and work with the team here to help them deliver projects for an environmentally smart future.”
Operations Director, Shaun Zablocki said: “The demolition works represent a strange mix of emotions for me as I have worked at the Company in various role for 14 years now.
“There is an element of sadness to see something that I have spent a large portion of my professional career maintaining and operating, but in contrast to that, excitement and optimism at the potential for the site to evolve into a modern sustainable energy production facility.
He went on to add, “This area, and the wider region, need progressive, non-fossil fuelled, energy developments that can stimulate the local economy and help the Country meet its NetZero targets. The transition of these assets represents a unique project and opportunity that I am proud to be part of.”