Scottish Power goes 100% green after £700 million Drax sale

Scottish Power has become the UK’s first energy company to abandon fossil fuels and run entirely from renewable sources after confirming the £702 million sale of its remaining gas stations to Drax.

The company’s Spanish parent firm Iberdrola said the move was part of its strategy to tackle climate change and would enable it greater freedom to invest in renewables and power grids across the UK.

Drax, whose main business is a coal and biomass-fired power station in the North of the UK, will receive a 2.6GW portfolio of assets which include four gas stations, two hydro schemes and a pumped storage plant.

The sale means Scottish Power’s entire power supply is derived from onshore and offshore wind farms. The firm has significantly expanded its offshore wind business, with East Anglia One set to become the world’s largest when it opens in 2020.

Chief executive Keith Anderson said: “We are leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy.” He added that although the divested hydro assets produce green energy, they were in the same company as the gas plants, thus making the sale simpler.

Meanwhile, for Drax the acquisition gives it the opportunity to become a key player in the UK’s energy system at times when solar and wind output is low. Renewables produced a record 31.7% of the UK’s electricity generation in Q2 of 2018.