Ireland’s electricity board to buy and build 800MW of Scottish renewable electricity capacity while challenging Big Six for big share of UK gas and electricity supply market

Paddy Hayes, ESB Executive Director, Generation and Wholesale Markets (centre) and non-executive director Andrew Hastings and Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse (right) open the company’s new Scottish renewables office in Glasgow.
Paddy Hayes, ESB Executive Director, Generation and Wholesale Markets (centre),  ESB non-executive director Andrew Hastings and Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse (right) open the company’s new Scottish renewables office in Glasgow. (PHOTOGRAPH: Marc Turner)

Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has officially opened an office in Glasgow, from where it will continue to develop high quality renewable energy generation projects in Scotland

The energy company wants to developer 800MW of clean electricity generation in Scotland – primarily onshore wind – either building and/or buying assets.

Working in partnership with windfarm developers, including through development partnerships with Coriolis and REG Holdings, ESB has 11 windfarms in development, aiming to bring its total investment in onshore wind across Great Britain to over one gigawatt by 2030.

Its preferred-supplier roster also includes Atmos Consulting  in Scotland and a London-based land and estate agency chain.

Paddy Hayes, ESB’s Executive Director for Generation and Wholesale Markets, said: “The opening of ESB’s new office in Scotland is an important strategic development.   The commitment supports our ambition to grow low carbon and renewable generation as part of the transition to a low carbon economy, powered by clean electricity.

“Currently, our renewable generation portfolio can generate and supply over 1,000 MW of green energy to homes, farms, hospitals, schools, and businesses throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom.

“Building on a proud 90 year legacy, we are a responsible developer and we strive to be a good neighbour to every community in which we operate as we move the dial on the transition to a low carbon future.”

ESB is also developing a 1,650MW gas fired power station at Knottingley, West Yorkshire and is exploring a number of offshore wind and waste to energy developments.

Hayes said ESB also has an open mind on prospective large-scale new Scottish hydro-power generation – a sector which has been sidelined by Perth-based SSE which was privatised with ownership of  all the former North of Scotland Hydro Board assets but which has not built a single hydro-power station in 30 years in the private sector.

ESB is also building a new electricity retail business in Great Britain, to be called ESB Energy to compete head-to-head with the market dominant Big Six (or even more market-dominating Big Five if the SSE-Innogy merged retail business plan is approved by the regulator).

ESB Smart Energy – which aims to dramatically reduce energy costs, carbon emissions and consumption –  is a winning bidder in the Transport for London (TfL) tender process to provide rapid charging infrastructure and services for battery-powered vehicles in London, including the iconic black cabs.

15 Nov 2017

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