Drax now produces three quarters of its electricity from biomass as the electricity producer announced higher annual profits in a year that saw it buy generating assets from Scottish Power. The FTSE 250 firm said it was now one of the UK’s leading generators of low carbon and renewable electricity, with four of its six units converted to burn compressed wood pellets from sustainably managed forests in the US rather than coal. While Drax expects the UK’s power system to become increasingly dominated by wind and solar power, it said alternative supplies would still be needed when those forms were not available. “Our ability to support intermittent renewables will become increasingly important,” said chief executive Will Gardiner, the former finance chief who succeeded Dorothy Thompson in January last year. Drax completed the £702m acquisition of Scottish Power’s portfolio of pumped storage, hydro and gas-fired generation in December. The Iberdrola assets were “highly complementary to our strategy, and will form a very important part of our portfolio”, it said. Despite a “difficult” first quarter for its power generation business, and a “challenging” year for its business-to-business energy supply division, it posted a pre-tax profit of £13.8m compared with a £204m loss in 2017. Revenue rose £545m to £4.23bn.
Telegraph 26th Feb 2019 read more »