Today’s official opening of Keadby Wind Farm reflects SSE’s determination to contribute significantly to both the energy sector and the wider UK economy.
With 34 Vestas turbines, Keadby holds the title of England’s largest onshore wind farm with a total installed generation capacity of 68MW.
It’s taken six years to come to fruition so today marks a real milestone for SSE and for the local community. We know that brings many benefits to the communities we work in and at Keadby we were keen to capture this in detail.
That is why we have also published a dedicated Sustainability Impact Report. It found that since construction began in 2011, Keadby Wind Farm has contributed £43m to the UK economy and supported 723 jobs – all before it’s even been officially opened.
Just under £100m was invested in the project and we took care and attention to build the wind farm in conjunction with the local community. For example we funded the building of a new £5m bridge at North Pilfrey to allow the majority of construction traffic to bypass neighbouring villages – being sensitive to the local environment.
As well as providing employment and opportunities for local business, it is also vital that communities continue to see the positive impacts long after construction.
As part of SSE’s approach to responsible development, we took the decision prior to construction to review the previously agreed community fund, increasing it more than three-fold to £8.5m over the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm.
This funding is being distributed across North Lincolnshire in two ways. A local fund – worth £170,000 a year and available in the Axholme North area and the SSE North Lincolnshire Sustainable Development Fund which will benefit the wider area.
Through this fund, an additional £170,000 every year will be open to community groups across North Lincolnshire – specifically targeting large initiatives that have the potential to be transformative to the communities in that area. But this is just one responsibility which lies within a wider set of responsibilities that SSE believes the business community must live up to.
Quite simply, we need to earn the right to be commercially successful. That means companies shouldn’t simply make a profit; they should earn a profit.
We believe that businesses need to raise standards continually and disclose the impacts of their projects so that customers and communities can be assured that commercial success is being generated in a responsible and sustainable way.
As part of this commitment, we’re proud to have paved the way for a number of ‘firsts’ in the energy sector.
SSE is the only energy company to pay at least the Living Wage – not just to people employed on our sites across the UK, but also to all contractors working across our £2 billion supply chain.
We’re also proud to have become the first FTSE 100 company to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark – an accreditation that demands the highest levels of tax transparency and disclosure.
Alongside these, research shows that every year, SSE makes an Olympic sized contribution to UK GDP of around £9 billion.
These are just a few of the ways SSE is able to demonstrate it is doing the right thing and working responsibly in the communities in which we operate.