A NORTH Yorkshire power station is to invest more than £700m in renewable energy.

Drax announced on Tuesday it would spend £702 on ScottishPower's entire "portfolio of pumped storage, hydro and gas-fired generation".

The move, which is subject to Drax shareholder approval, will further increase Drax's move towards renewable and sustainable energy.

Will Gardiner, chief executive officer of Drax Group, said the investment - which will see ScottishPower generate 100 per cent of their electricity through wind power instead of coal and gas - was exciting and a big move for the future of the organisation.

He said: "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.

"This acquisition makes great financial and strategic sense, delivering material value to our shareholders through long-term earnings and attractive returns. We are combining our existing operational expertise with the specialist technical skills of our new colleagues and I am looking forward to what we can achieve together."

Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower, said the company would invest £5.2bn on renewable energy, better grid networks and smart technology for customers over the next four years, in "a pivotal shift" for the company.

He said: "We are leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy. We have closed coal, sold gas and built enough wind to power 1.2 million homes.

"Every working day we are investing over £4m 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."

The sale would increase Drax's low-carbon and renewable portfolio, and include hydro, gas, and biomass-from-waste facilities.