Scottish Power is lining up against foreign infrastructure investment funds in the race to buy a £2bn electricity network operator. The utility firm will join the early stages of an auction for Electricity North West (ENW), one of Britain’s nine regional power network companies, which was put up for sale by JP Morgan, the US bank, last year. Scottish Power already owns the networks that flank the ENW region to its north and south through its SP Energy Networks arm. If it succeeds in seeing off competition from investment funds, its power network assets would stretch from southern Scotland to northern Wales. According to City sources, the sale has attracted interest from energy industry players and foreign infrastructure investors, despite fears that a Labour government could take regional energy networks back under public ownership. The strong interest in the auction also confounds fears that Britain’s political instability would lead to a blanket ban on near-term investments. However, the sale is likely to be closely watched by Whitehall officials amid rising concern over foreign ownership of Britain’s critical national infrastructure. Governments are increasingly wary of Chinese ownership as global security fears deepen over Huawei’s involvement in mobile networks. In addition, the industry regulator is under pressure to keep a lid on the earnings of electricity networks, which make up around 16pc of the average home energy bill.
Telegraph 27th Jan 2019 read more »
Faraday Grid, the UK-based smart energy technology company, has secured a £25m investment from billionaire businessman Adam Neumann to support plans to accelerate its global growth, the company announced late last week. The cash injection from the founder of shared workspace giant WeWork will help fuel the rollout of Faraday Grid’s Exchanger technology, which helps manage the flow of electricity without a central management system – essentially creating a self-balancing energy grid.
Business Green 28th Jan 2019 read more »