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Telling the SSE story through our people and assets

31 Jan 2023

SSE Group is investing up to £24bn in GB, including £15bn in Scotland, this decade – scaling up renewables, improving the networks and ensuring there is back-up generation when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

For a comms person it’s an exciting story to tell; our project pipeline shows we're putting our money where our mouth is…

Our Renewables business is building more offshore wind than anyone on the planet, including the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank. Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest tethered offshore wind farm, Seagreen, and developing the mega Berwick Bank; And, following success in the ScotWind offshore wind leasing auction, developing what will become one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farms off the east coast of Scotland. Our Thermal business is developing CCS and Hyrdogen projects at Peterhead and Keadby whilst SSEN is investing billions upgrading the electricity networks to ensure power gets to where it is needed. And we’re doing all this whilst creating 1,000 new jobs a year directly and supporting thousands more across the country.

I’ve written that paragraph a few times. Point is there are big things to see and interesting people to speak to. And they aren’t just talking about what needs to be done, they are out doing the do.

This month I visited what will be one of Europe’s most productive onshore wind farms, Viking, in the wild and windy Shetland Isles.

The North Sea, North of Scotland and Shetland are one of the best places in the world given wind resources (I can definitely vouch for that) and skills to develop renewables.

The asset is a perfect example of what can be achieved.

In the far North Sea, around 200 miles north of Aberdeen, described to me as offering offshore conditions onshore, Viking’s 103 4.3MW turbines, will harness the wind to power up to 475,000 homes.

The site active is at the moment, with around 140 people needed to work on the project during construction. Once completed it will support around 35 permanent jobs.

As a result of the community investment fund, which comes from the development, millions of pounds could be injected into the Shetland economy annually.

At the same time that the wind farm is under construction, SSEN Transmission is constructing a high-voltage cable, which will link Shetland to the UK electricity grid for the first time in history.

Both developments will deliver clean, green energy to the UK and secure the islands energy security.

On their own they are mammoth projects, but together as part of the whole energy system picture, they show perfectly why SSE is the UK’s clean energy champion.

The political and environmental landscape has meant the pace of change for the UK energy system needs to accelerate. The UK Government has set the target of decarbonising the power system by 2035 and becoming a net exporter of electricity by 2040. Meanwhile the Scottish Government is targeting 11GW of offshore wind and a 75% emissions reduction by 2030.

The ambition is there, we need to urgently accelerate if we are to reach our goals.

At SSE the business has made the whole strategy about delivering an energy system that is cheaper, cleaner and more secure.

But the projects which will underpin this change can’t happen without public and political legitimacy.

By proudly telling their story, whilst maintaining a sensitive and listening ear, we can help deliver on these targets.