ScottishPower announces £2bn UK investment in 2019

ScottishPower Whitelee Wind Farm - image 1
ScottishPower’s Whitelee wind farm has 2015 turbines. (Image: Wikipedia)

ScottishPower announced a record £2 billion investment for this year. This is the Glasgow-based company’s largest ever investment in the UK in a single year. ScottishPower, a subsidiary of Spanish utility company Iberdrola, wants to transition to 100% renewable energy.

ScottishPower is the distribution network operator for southern and central Scotland, North Wales, Merseyside, and parts of Shropshire and Cheshire. It is the Transmission Owner for the south of Scotland.

The company supplies gas and electricity to businesses and homes across the United Kingdom. It also generates electricity for supply to the National Grid.

A ‘historic milestone’ for ScottishPower

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower’s CEO, said:

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.”

Spending on renewable energy

Between 2018 and 2022, the company says it will spend £6bn in the UK. Renewable energy generation will represent forty percent of that expenditure. Forty-two percent will go on enhanced networks, and 15% on innovative products and services for customers.

ScottishPower says it will invest in smarter services for customers. It also plans to introduce products for the expanding electric vehicle market.

Within its Retail division, there are plans for a new public electric charging service. The division will install fast chargers across the United Kingdom at strategic locations.

Giant storage batteries

There are plans for a 50MW battery storage project at the UK’s largest onshore wind farm ‘Whitelee.’ It will be the first of a series of storage schemes.

Most of them will be located at wind farms and other strategic points on the network.

Renewable energy projects

In a press release, ScottishPower announced that it has:

“Set out plans to develop a 1GW 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 £2.5billion project will see 102 Siemens Gamesa turbines deployed, each with a capacity of 7 megawatts; which could in total provide enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes annually.”

“Over 50 percent of the project’s total investment will be spent in the UK, ensuring the benefits of East Anglia ONE are felt across the country.”

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy that comes from a source that is everlasting – it never runs out. ‘Everlasting,’ in this context, refers to a human timescale and not a geological timescale.

Wind energy is renewable. It does not matter how much wind we use to generate electricity, we know there will always be more.

We also know that energy from the Sun, i.e., sunlight, never runs out. Therefore, solar energy is also renewable.

Geothermal energy involves capturing Earth’s inner heat and converting it into electricity. It is also renewable.

Other renewables are hydropower (from flowing or falling water) and biomass energy (from burning organic material).

Video – Renewable Energy