UK utility Scottish Power has announced it will spend up to à‚£2 billion in the UK in 2019, the company’s biggest ever investment in the country in a single year.
The announcement came as Scottish Power updated its investment plans following the sale of its thermal generation business and transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in 2018.
ScottishPower chief executive Keith Andersonà‚ said:à‚ “Our first investment plan since leaving coal and gas behind is a historic milestone for ScottishPower and is a vote of confidence in the UK’s commitment to decarbonising the economy. In a time of uncertainty, the UK needs to deliver its Industrial and Energy strategy, and that’s what we’re providing with our biggest-ever investment in a single year.
“Consumers want and need access to reliable, clean and affordable energy. That is what ScottishPower 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.”
Between 2018-2022, Scottish Power will spend à‚£6bn in the UK, with 40 per cent on new renewable energy generation, 42 per cent on smarter enhanced networks and 15 per cent on innovative services and products for customers.
Scottish Power will invest in smarter services for customers, including products toà‚ unlock the market for electric vehicle ownership.
As part of its strategy for growth, ScottishPower announced plans for a new public electric charging service based within the company’s Retail division. The new business will install fast chargers across the UK at strategic commercial locations from winter 2019.
The company also announced plans for a 50 MW battery storage project at Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore windfarm. The large-scale battery project will be the first of a series of storage schemes, mainly located at windfarms and at strategic points on the network. ScottishPower believes the combination of renewable energy and flexible storage are the most cost effective low carbon solution for consumers.à‚
In renewables, ScottishPower set out plans to develop a 1 GW pipeline of onshore wind projects by 2025. Onshore wind remains the lowest cost technology for new electricity generation in the UK and ScottishPower sees substantial opportunities for the continued development of onshore wind projects across Scotland and other areas of the UK.
Construction continues at pace for the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm located 43km off the Suffolk coast. The à‚£2.5bn project will see 102 Siemens Gamesa turbines deployed, each with a capacity of 7 MW. Over 50 per cent of the project’s total investment will be spentà‚ in the UK, ensuring the benefits of East Anglia ONE are felt across the country.
Scottish Power has also gained planning consent for East Anglia THREE windfarm for up to 1200 MW and planning consultations on the company’s next two large offshore windfarms in the East Angliaà‚ zone have begun. If consents are granted, it is anticipated that East Anglia TWO will commence construction in 2024 and East Anglia ONE North will commence construction in 2025.
SP Energy Networksà‚ will continue to deliver smart and efficient grids capable of supporting the UK’s future energy needs. In 2019 the networks business will focus investments on continuing the company’s leading role in connecting renewables in Scotland, Wales and England.
Investments will also target the digitalisation of the grid including ground-breaking artificial intelligence systems that will control and balance the network in areas with high penetration of low carbon technologies enabling the transition to widespread use of electric vehicles.à‚
This article first appeared in our sister title Smart Energy International.