SSE sees green in its offshore future

In the past four weeks, SSE has made two major announcements about our future offshore wind portfolio.

At the end of September, we announced an increase in our share of the Seagreen Offshore Wind Energy Limited to 100%. Located in the Firth of Forth in Scotland, Seagreen is currently working to develop a competitive bid for the next contracts for difference auction in May 2019. If Seagreen secures a contract, up to 1.5GW of clean power could be added to the energy system by the middle of the 2020s.

Then at the start of October, The Crown Estate announced SSE, and JV partner Innogy’s, application for an extension to the existing Greater Gabbard offshore wind project had progressed to the next phase. If all goes to plan, this could add up to another 504MW to the system.

We have been a leading player in the offshore wind industry for well over a decade. Involved in Walney Offshore Wind, the development, construction and operation of Greater Gabbard, and currently leading the development and construction of Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited, we have proven our ability to deliver and operate offshore wind projects across the UK.

Now, with an offshore wind development pipeline totalling 3.3GW, we are well on our way to cementing ourselves as one of the leading offshore wind developers. This pipeline is the largest of any company in the UK, the largest offshore wind market in the world.

But this isn’t just something for SSE to be excited about, our investment in offshore wind is also good for the UK.

Offshore wind is one of the key technologies the UK needs to help the transition to a low carbon economy, driving new economic growth, creating businesses and jobs.

As demonstrated on the Beatrice project, our offshore wind projects are bringing jobs and economic development to parts of the UK that need it, whether that be at Wick Harbour for the Operations and Maintenance base, CS Wind Machrihanish factory for delivery of turbines or at Siemens Gamesa in Hull for turbine manufacturing.

Our offshore wind operations and pipeline show our commitment to the UK playing our part in delivering the transition to a greener economy and ensuring the economic benefits of doing so stay here.

By setting out the timetable of future CfD auctions, the UK government has provided the much-needed commitment to the offshore wind sector that developers and supply chain needed. Whilst the Energy Minister Claire Perry has talked about 1-2GW of new offshore wind per year throughout the 2020s, SSE believes that it could be a higher still. The large volume of viable projects means total installed offshore wind could reach more than 30GW by 2030, firmly placing it as the leading source of low carbon power in the UK. Now that is something to celebrate this week.

About the author

Paul Cooley Director of Generation Development, SSE

Paul Cooley is Director of Generation Development for SSE plc and is responsible for the development and construction of all of SSE’s renewable energy projects across Great Britain and Ireland. He was formerly General Manager for Ireland of SSE Renewables. Paul joined SSE and the energy industry from the chemicals and manufacturing sector where he held various senior management positions including operational, regulatory and engineering management roles at DuPont and the Quinn Group. He has an Honours degree in Electrical Engineering from Queens University, Belfast.

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