Scottish Power has unveiled plans to invest £2 billion in clean energy in the UK over the course of 2019 – its largest ever investment in a single year.
The announcement comes after the company sold its conventional generation business, including 2.6GW of gas and hydro assets, to Drax.
“Our first investment plan since leaving coal and gas behind is a historic milestone for Scottish Power and is a vote of confidence in the UK’s commitment to decarbonising the economy,” said Scottish Power chief executive Keith Anderson.
“Consumers want and need access to reliable, clean and affordable energy,” he added. “That is what Scottish Power is focused on delivering and as long as government climate change commitments stay firm, with sensible policies to support them, this investment will continue.
“Now that we have sold our gas power stations our growth plans are about cleaner and smarter power that will help the UK to decarbonise faster and we have set out the part we will play in the transition to electrify the economy where it matters most now – in transport and in heating.”
Scottish Power intends to spend a total of £6 billion in the UK between 2018 and 2022 – 40 per cent on new renewable generation, 42 per cent on upgrading networks and 15 per cent on innovative products and services for customers.
As part of the growth strategy, the company will create a new electric vehicle charging service based within its retail division that will begin installing public fast-chargers at “strategic commercial locations” from winter 2019.
The firm will also build a 50MW battery storage facility at its Whitelee onshore windfarm near Glasgow. It will be the first in a series located at “windfarms and at strategic points on the network”.
Scottish Power said onshore wind “remains the lowest cost technology for new electricity generation in the UK”. It is therefore planning to develop a 1GW pipeline of onshore wind projects by 2025.
The company is currently constructing the 702MW East Anglia One offshore windfarm at a cost of £2.5 billion and has already secured planning permission for the 1.2GW East Anglia Three project.
It has also begun planning consultations for the East Anglia Two and East Anglia One North projects. If consent is granted, construction is expected to begin in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
Earlier this week, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said it expects to spend between £300 million and £700 million annually on the transmission network in the north of Scotland during the second set of RIIO price controls.