Spanish acquisition reinforces Drax's role at the heart of GB energy network
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 2 Jan 2019
Regional power giant Drax is set to play a bigger role than ever in Great Britain’s energy system following the completion of the purchase of Spanish company Iberdrola’s portfolio of flexible, low-carbon and renewable assets.
The £702 million deal for the assets that traded under the Scottish Power banner, increases the company’s electricity generation capacity by 60 per cent. It means the company will now provide enough power for the equivalent of more than 8.3 million homes.
Commenting on the completion of the deal Will Gardiner, chief executive of Drax Group, said: “As a British energy company, we are very proud to be the new owners of these critically important power stations across England and Scotland. For decades Drax has been at the heart of our energy system and now we’re going to play a bigger role than ever.
“We are investing in Great Britain by acquiring this portfolio of flexible, low-carbon and renewable generation assets. They complement our existing activities by providing very flexible power which not only keeps the lights on for thousands of households, but also provides crucial system support services to the grid, maintaining secure supplies and enabling more renewables like wind and solar onto the system”.
The deal adds 2.6GW of generation capacity to Drax’s portfolio, with the addition of Cruachan pumped storage hydro (440MW) in Argyll, run-of-river hydro locations at Galloway and Lanark (126MW) and a biomass-from-waste facility at Daldowie in Scotland as well as four combined cycle gas turbine stations in England. These are Damhead Creek (805MW) in Kent, Rye House (715MW) in Hertfordshire, Shoreham (420MW) in West Sussex and Blackburn Mill (60MW) in Lancashire.
The combination of hydro plants in Scotland with Drax’s biomass units in Yorkshire reinforce the company’s position as Great Britain’s biggest generator of renewable power. With the addition of 35 per cent of Great Britain’s electricity storage capacity and 2GW of gas power stations Drax will also be better placed to provide the flexibility and stability to help underpin the increases in solar and wind power which will be needed in the decades to come if the UK is to meet its climate targets.
The acquisition was agreed in October, with shareholder approval on December 21, and formal completion on the final stroke of 2018.