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Iberdrola increases UK 'green' and grid investments to £12 billion

Ignacio Galán, Executive Chairman of Iberdrola (right) and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (left), at the UK Global Investment Summit in London. Image: Iberdrola

Spanish power giant Iberdrola, the largest electricity company in Europe, announced plans to invest an additional £7 billion more in Britain for 2026-2028 in grids and renewable projects, taking total investment in the island nation over 2024-28 to £12 billion.

Around two-thirds of the incremental investments will be dedicated to electricity transmission and distribution networks attached to renewable energy projects, driven by regulatory arrangements.

Among the new projects is the £2.7 billion Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) subsea transmission cable, approved earlier this month. Iberdrola said construction of EGL1 will begin in early 2024 and, on completion in 2029, the link will transport enough renewable energy to power up to 2 million homes and help make the UK's transmission grid more resilient.

EGL1 is a 2 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. Iberdrola has been jointly developing EGL1 with the UK's National Grid over the past year through its UK subsidiary ScottishPower. The project is among the first being developed under the National Grid's Holistic Network Design program, which is the blueprint for the UK's future net zero transmission system.

In addition, the company will continue investing in its East Anglia 3 offshore wind farm, as well as other onshore wind and solar projects, in energy retail and in green hydrogen. Iberdrola said its investments could increase further if the company bagged other RE projects, such as the East Anglia 1 North and East Anglia 2 offshore wind farms, which the company will bid for at upcoming auctions.

In a release, the company said it had invested close to £30 billion in the UK's electricity grid and renewable generation capacity, pointing out that its ScottishPower business was the first UK integrated utility to generate 100 percent green electricity. The company said it had invested more than £2 billion in the UK as part of its previously announced £6.7 billion programme covering 2023-25.

Speaking at the UK Global Investment Summit in London, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Iberdrola Executive Chairman Ignacio Galán said: "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." 

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