East Anglia One; Source: Iberola's ScottishPower business

Iberdrola earmarks over $15 billion to boost UK’s electricity networks and renewables

ScottishPower, Iberdrola’s UK arm, has confirmed its parent company’s investment plan for 2024-2028, which sets out £12 billion (close to $15.15 billion) for electricity transmission projects in Britain, along with more offshore and onshore wind, solar, energy retail, and green hydrogen projects.

East Anglia One; Source: Iberola's ScottishPower business

Iberdrola invested close to £30 billion (nearly $37.9 billion) in the UK’s electricity grid and renewable generation capacity over the past 15 years. With its new five-year multi-billion investment plan, Iberdrola recently reinforced its commitment to the UK at the UK Global Investment Summit in London, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, where the firm provided further details of its investment plans in the country, focused on electricity networks and renewables.

Alongside the meeting with the Prime Minister, Iberdrola’s Executive Chairman met with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt; Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho; and Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch. With more than £2 billion (over $2.5 billion) invested in Britain as part of its previously announced £6.7 billion (almost $8.5 billion) program for the years 2023-25, the firm plans to build on this with investments of over £7 billion (more than $8.8 billion) more in the years 2026-28, amounting to a £12 billion investment program for 2024-28.

Ignacio Galán, Iberdrola Executive Chairman, commented: “Iberdrola is proud to play our part in supporting the UK’s leadership position on decarbonization. Over the past 15 years, we have invested close to £30 billion in bringing the benefits of greener and more secure energy to the UK. Backed by clear regulatory and policy frameworks, we are as committed as ever to speeding up our investments in the UK’s electricity grid and renewables generation.”

The company went on to explain that around two-thirds of the 2024-28 investments would be dedicated to electricity transmission and distribution networks, driven by regulatory arrangements in place (RIIO T2 and RIIO ED2), as well as projects like the £2.7 billion (around $3.4 billion) Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) subsea transmission cable, which received regulatory approval in November 2023.

In addition, Iberdrola, which will continue investing in its East Anglia 3 offshore wind farm and other renewable and green hydrogen projects, explains that these investments can be further increased with additional offshore wind opportunities, like East Anglia 1 North and East Anglia 2, which the company has ready for upcoming auctions.

During the course of the past year, Iberdrola, through ScottishPower, has been jointly developing the EGL1 subsea transmission line with National Grid, as one of the first projects to be developed under the Electricity System Operator’s (ESO) Holistic Network Design program, which is the blueprint for the UK’s future net zero transmission system. The construction of EGL1 will begin early next year, with a 2029 target date for operation.

When completed, the link will transport enough clean green renewable energy to power up to 2 million homes and increase the resilience of the UK’s transmission grid. This is a 2 gigawatt (GW) high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line from East Lothian in Scotland to County Durham in England, which will run under the sea for most of its 196 km length.

Italy’s Prysmian was selected as the preferred bidder for the Eastern Green Link 1 cable connection in May 2023. The news came shortly after the Italian company was picked for Eastern Green Link 2 (EGL2).