ENERGY giant Drax has highlighted a strong performance by the assets it acquired in Scotland through a £700 million deal with ScottishPower as it announced plans to stop coal-fired generation at its flagship plant in Yorkshire.

ScottishPower boss hails potential of retail arm after energy giant loses 317,000 customers

The company said it expected to stop using coal as an energy source at the Drax power station in March 2021.

The UK Government wants generation from coal-fired plants that do not have carbon capture technology to end by 2025 to help reduce carbon emissions.

Drax chief executive Will Gardiner said: “Ending the use of coal at Drax is a landmark in our continued efforts to transform the business and become a world-leading carbon negative company by 2030.”

Drax has invested heavily in renewable energy assets in Scotland as part of this push.

Energy giant mulls plans for hefty investment in Scottish assets

The portfolio bought from ScottishPower in 2018 includes the giant Cruachan pumped storage facility in Argyll, two hydroelectricity generators on rivers in Scotland and gas-fired plants in England.

Mr Gardiner said Cruachan and the hydro schemes had performed strongly. Drax achieved £114m high quality earnings from the portfolio acquired from ScottishPower compared with a target of £90m to £110m.

It grew total underlying earnings to £410m in 2019 from £250m last time.

The Drax plant at Selby was commissioned in the 1970s and was expanded in the 1980s to give it the capacity to generate enough electricity for six million households.