National Grid plans £7bn capital raise to strengthen electricity network

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National Grid has announced plans to raise £7bn in fresh capital to help fund an investment plan designed to strengthen a UK electricity network facing growing strain from the shift to renewable energy.

The London-listed company said on Thursday that it planned to raise the funds through a fully underwritten rights issue as it set out plans to invest £60bn over the next five years.

“The opportunities presented by the growth of electricity demand, and the consensus among our regulators and jurisdictions of the urgent need for decarbonisation are unprecedented,” said chief executive John Pettigrew.

The transition to renewable energy is expected to increase the demands on electricity networks. Alongside the investment plans, National Grid announced its aim to sell off its liquefied natural gas import terminal in Kent and its US onshore renewables business, National Grid Renewables.

“As economies become increasingly digital, electrified and decarbonised, the need for energy infrastructure has rarely been more pressing,” Pettigrew said.

Since 2021, National Grid has reshaped its portfolio to focus on electricity. It sold a 60 per cent stake in the UK’s gas transmission network and acquired the country’s largest electricity distribution business, Western Power Distribution.

National Grid said on Thursday that about 52 per cent of its £60bn planned investment would be in the UK and the rest in the US.

Roughly £23bn would be ploughed into the UK’s electricity transmission system and about £8bn in electricity distribution to help accelerate the “adoption of low carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, by our customers”, the company said.


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