SSE plans to triple its renewable energy production by 2030 as it prepares to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the north-east coast of England.
The energy company told investors it was days away from a final investment decision on the 3.2 GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, which could produce enough clean electricity to power 4.5 million outbreaks by 2026.
SSE owns a 50% stake in the North Sea project, alongside Norwegian national oil company Equinor, and a 49% stake in Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, Seagreen in the Firth of Forth, in partnership with the French oil company Total.
The Dogger Bank project is part of SSE’s plan to invest around £ 7.5bn in clean energy in the UK, which would help triple the company’s existing renewable energy capacity.
The company laid out its ambitions alongside the Prime Minister’s 10-point climate plan, which included the government’s current goal of building enough offshore wind farms to power every home in the UK by 2030.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, Managing Director of SSE, said Boris Johnson’s plan to ‘rebuild greener’ marked an important day for the UK as it prepares to emerge from the economic impact of the pandemic of coronavirus.
SSE reported an impact of £ 115million on its operating profit in the six months leading up to the end of September due to Covid-19, and said its adjusted pre-tax profit fell 26%, per compared to the same months last year, at £ 194m. The annual impact of the coronavirus on SSE’s profits is expected to be between £ 150m and £ 250m, he said.
“As we seek to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, investing in low-carbon infrastructure that helps stimulate the economy, boost jobs and improve regions while tackling climate change is a solution win-win, ”said Phillips-Davies.
“We have spearheaded the green recovery, creating more than 1,000 jobs through our low-carbon projects and with more to come as we support greener reconstruction efforts. And with clear political signals from the government and the regulator, we can do more, ”he added.
Johnson expects government plans to invest £ 12bn in the green economy to galvanize more than three times as much private investor spending on green innovations, including renewables, electric vehicles, l hydrogen, carbon capture and nuclear energy.
SSE’s plan to invest £ 7.5bn follows a pledge from Scottish Power, which plans to invest £ 10bn in green power and infrastructure over the next five years. Other major renewable energy developers expected to invest in UK green energy plans include Ørsted, Equinor and Swedish utility Vattenfall.