Scottish Power is to move to 100 per cent wind generation after agreeing to sell nearly 2.6GW of gas, hydro and pumped storage plants to a subsidiary of Drax for £702 million in cash.

As a result of the deal, the firm claimed it will become the first vertically integrated energy company in the UK to divest its entire fossil fuel generation portfolio, having already closed its Longannet coal-fired power station in 2016.

The company plans to invest £5.2 billion in new renewable generation, energy networks and smart technologies in the UK by 2022.

It currently has around 2.7GW of wind generation in operation or under construction, including the 714MW East Anglia One project being built off the coast of Norfolk, plus another 3GW in the development pipeline.

Scottish Power chief executive Keith Anderson said the sale represents a “pivotal shift” for the company.

“We are leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy,” he added.  “We have closed coal, sold gas and built enough wind to power 1.2 million homes.

“Every working day we are investing over £4 million to deliver cleaner, smarter power for customers. From today, we can focus solely on making energy generation cheaper, cutting carbon quicker, building smart grids and connecting customers to renewable electric future for transportation and heating.”

Drax Group chief executive Will Gardiner said: “I am excited by the opportunity to acquire this unique and complementary portfolio of flexible, low-carbon and renewable generation assets. It’s a critical time in the UK power sector.

“As the system transitions towards renewable technologies, the demand for flexible, secure energy sources is set to grow. We believe there is a compelling logic in our move to add further flexible sources of power to our offering, accelerating our strategic vision to deliver a lower-carbon, lower-cost energy future for the UK.”