THE sale of more than £700 million worth of assets by Scottish Power has been completed, meaning that the energy company is now the first in the UK to rely completely on renewable wind power.

Selby-based Drax said it was “pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of Scottish Power’s portfolio of pumped storage, hydro and gas-fired generation, which comprises ScottishPower Generation Group and its wholly owned subsidiary, SMW”.

Drax shareholders approved the deal at a general meeting held on December 21 2018 and the acquisition from Scottish Power’s owners Iberdrola was formally completed on December 31.

Among the assets being sold are the giant Cruachan pumped storage hydro electric scheme in Argyll and Bute which has a 440 megawatt capacity, run-of-river hydro locations at Galloway and Lanark (126MW) and a biomass-from-waste facility at Daldowie as well as four Combined Cycle Gas Turbine stations in England: Damhead Creek (805MW) in Kent, Rye House (715MW) in Hertfordshire, Shoreham (420MW) in West Sussex and Blackburn Mill (60MW) in Lancashire

The new power stations will increase Drax’s electricity generation capacity by 60%, meaning the company will now provide enough power for the equivalent of more than 8.3m homes. The combination of hydro plants in Scotland with Drax’s biomass units in Yorkshire make Drax Britain’s biggest generator of renewable power

Commenting on the completion of the deal Will Gardiner, chief executive officer 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.”