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National Grid will become the biggest green investor on the FTSE, says boss

·2 min read
National Grid will sell one of its arms to the Government in the next couple of years. (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Archive)
National Grid will sell one of its arms to the Government in the next couple of years. (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Archive)

National Grid will become the biggest investor in the transition to a green economy on the FTSE, its chief executive said on Thursday.

John Pettigrew, who runs the grid giant, said the firm wants to balance this with keeping bills down for customers.

It comes during a time of transition for the business, which has agreed to sell one of its units to the Government to set up a new authority which will oversee the grid system.

The business will be investing £24 billion into green projects to decarbonise energy networks in the UK and elsewhere over the next five years.

It is part of a £30 billion to £35 billion investment plan.

“It’s a record level of investment for National Grid, I think it makes us the largest investor in the energy transition in the FTSE.

“It just gives you a sense of the scale of investment we’re going to be doing over the next few years.

“Of course we are going to try to do that as efficiently as possible to keep bills down for customers.”

In the Queen’s Speech last week ministers included plans for a new authority which will operate the electricity system.

As a result the Government will buy National Grid’s Electricity System Operator arm from the company.

“We’re really pleased actually,” Mr Pettigrew said.

“From our perspective it’s a relatively small part of National Grid, but nonetheless it will have an important role in the energy transition.”

He said that the deal is planned to be completed by 2024. The sales process is starting at the moment, but things will move fairly slowly until MPs pass new laws.

National Grid on Thursday announced a 107% rise in pre-tax profit to £3.4 billion in the year ending March. Most of this was down to its £7.8 billion purchase of Western Power Distribution.

When mitigating for the impacts of the acquisition and some other things, profit was up 16%.