ScottishPower has pledged to invest up to £2 billion in renewable energy projects in the UK this year.
It is said to be the Big Six supplier’s biggest ever investment in the country in a single year and follows its commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy.
The company is to spend £6 billion in total in the UK between 2018 and 2022, out of which 40% will be invested in renewable generation, 42% on smarter networks and 15% on innovative services and products for consumers.
Part of ScottishPower’s plans also include the installation of fast chargers “at strategic commercial locations” from winter 2019, a 50MW battery storage unit at the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, Whitelee, the first of a series of storage projects mainly as well as a 1GW pipeline of onshore wind farms by 2025.
The supplier says onshore wind remains the lowest cost technology for new electricity generation in the UK and it sees “substantial opportunities” for the continued development of such projects.
Investments will also target the digitalisation of the grid, including artificial intelligence (AI) systems that will control and balance the network in areas with high additions of low carbon technologies, enabling the transition towards the widespread use of electric vehicles (EVs).
CEO Keith Anderson said: “Out 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 out gas and 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.”