Tan Dhesi MP hears about our burning ambitions for Slough Heat and Power

Mike Robertson is the Interim Director of Slough Heat and Power and on Friday he welcomed the station’s local MP, Tan Dhesi, for a tour.

Sometimes the hard work that goes on across SSE every day gets missed. So it was a real pleasure to welcome local MP Tan Dhesi to Slough Heat and Power for a site visit and to see the obvious pride from staff at having a VIP to show round.

Tan’s interest in SSE stems from the fact that we are a landmark business in his constituency – not least because our cooling towers are visible from miles around. The site has provided local jobs since the 1920s, and today provides a private heat and power network to hundreds of companies on the Slough Trading Estate.

We explained to Tan that the businesses on the estate together employ around 17,000 people, so it is fair to say the smooth running of the plant plays a significant role in supporting the local economy.

Many of our 630 clients are household names such as Mars, Ferrari and O2, and we also service the power needs of the largest collection of data centres in Europe.

Tan was especially interested to hear about our future development plans for the site as he wants to see as many skilled jobs in Slough as possible to serve the skilled workforce based here.

He seemed genuinely pleased to hear that SSE is a Living Wage employer. That means everyone gets a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, extending right through our supply chain. He also learnt that we are transparent about our tax reporting - thanks to our accreditation from the Fair Tax Mark.

SSE took ownership of the site a decade ago and Enterprise Utilities has plans to do more with it, not least because it matches our strategic drive to own, operate and manage assets where we can.

With our current plant at capacity, and the furnace burning 450 tonnes of local sourced waste wood per day, early plans are in development for a further 50MW of capacity from a waste plant.

In the meantime, we have immediate plans to build three new primary substations to support new data centre entrants. These developments will increase the scope for growth on the Trading Estate, as well as bringing new jobs to the area.

We were delighted to show Tan round Slough Heat and Power and we hope he left with a sense of the burning ambitions we all have here.