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Iberdrola’s North Sea deal ‘underpins’ shift to low carbon energy

Power play: East Anglia One’s first turbines in place (pic: Iberdrola)

ScottishPower’s Spanish owner Iberdrola has sold a stake in a giant wind farm to Macquarie Group in a £1.6 billion deal seen as a huge step forward in tackling climate change.

The deal values the East Anglia One development at £4.1 billion and analysts say it indicates a growing willingness of institutional investors to invest earlier in large offshore wind projects for their steady income. The annual income from the site will be about £400 million.

The 714 megawatt windfarm will have 102 turbines, making it one of the biggest in the world when it is commissioned next year. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power 600,000 homes. The project has been led by ScottishPower Renewables engineers in Glasgow and London.

Macquarie investment bank is acquiring a 40% stake through its £2.3bn purchase of the Edinburgh and London based Green Investment Bank which was controversially privatised in 2017.

The deal will help Iberdrola meet its target of delivering 10 gigawatts of offshore wind over the next few years. Wind generated more than half of Britain’s energy needs last week.

ScottishPower completed the shift from coal and gas to 100% green power by selling its conventional generation business to Drax for £702m in October.

The company said it will focus investment on the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the United States.

It will use the proceeds from the deal with Macquarie to support work on the second and third phases of the East Anglia development.

The company is not building any windfarms in the Scottish North Sea. However, in February ScottishPower said it planned to invest a record £2 billion in clean energy in the UK this year, with plans to build more onshore wind farms and to install electric vehicle charging points across Scotland.

The Iberdrola deal also the second major wind farm transaction for Macquarie in the past week. Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets is buying renewables developer Ocean Breeze Energy, which owns a 400-megawatt wind power project in the North Sea, from Italy’s Unicredit.

The bank said: “The need to accelerate our transition to a greener economy has never been greater. We’re committed to driving the UK’s energy transition, establishing offshore wind as the backbone of the UK’s new low-carbon energy system.”

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