Three major Scottish energy projects get underway

Work has begun on three major Scottish energy construction projects worth more than £4bn.

The developments – the £3bn Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm near Angus, the £580m Viking Onshore Wind Farm on Shetland and the £630m subsea power cable connecting the island to the Scottish mainland – will ramp up as Scottish Climate Week gets underway this week.

Once completed they will provide electricity for around 1.5million UK homes, and support more than 1,000 direct, contractor and supply chain jobs, many of which will start in the near term – coming at a vital time to help kickstart the UK’s green economic recovery from coronavirus.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted to be a business able to create employment opportunities at this time.

“These three schemes are some of the biggest construction projects in the UK, channelling billions of pounds into the economy – creating jobs, supply chain opportunities and building a greener, cleaner future.

“SSE and its predecessors have been at the cutting edge of electricity generation for almost 80 years and our latest infrastructure projects are changing the face of energy production in the UK.

“Beating our own record to build Scotland’s largest wind farm at Seagreen, connecting Shetland to the mainland electricity grid for the first time and constructing the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm at Viking, we’re delivering the greener power and reducing carbon emissions for the future.”

More than 1,000 jobs are being created across the three projects with many long-term, highly skilled roles being created in island and coastal communities.  All three are also delivering big supply chain contracts for UK businesses, including Glasgow based RJ McLeod, Aberdeen based Seaway 7 and Montrose Port, with more to come.

Viking will be the UK's largest onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output, and includes a commitment from turbine supplier Vestas to develop an apprentice programme on Shetland as part of their contract. Seagreen 27km (16 miles) from the Angus coast, is being built in partnership with Total and will inherit the title of Scotland’s largest offshore wind from SSE’s other offshore wind farm, Beatrice, near Wick.

The 600MW Shetland electricity transmission link will be delivered by SSE’s networks business, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN) and will connect Shetland to the mainland electricity grid for the first time ever.  It will enable renewable electricity to be exported from the island to the rest of Britain, as well as clean and green power for the communities living there.