Renewable energy giant SSE launches plan to become Britain’s first global windfarm business as it invests up to £15bn over next decade
Renewable energy giant SSE has launched a plan to become Britain’s first global windfarm business as it invests up to £15billion over the next decade.
Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said he is looking to ‘branch out from the UK and Ireland’ to build windfarms in continental Europe, the US and Japan.
Last month, SSE submitted a bid to develop Denmark’s largest offshore windfarm, called Thor, in partnership with Danish investment fund Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Plans: Last month, SSE submitted a bid to develop Denmark’s largest offshore windfarm
‘There is nobody on the planet building more offshore wind businesses than we are right now,’ Phillips-Davies said.
‘Between now and the end of the decade you could easily see £14billion, £15billion of investment being spent by us.’
SSE’s investment in a global expansion would be multiplied by further funding from investment banks and other project partners, he added.
The FTSE100 firm has the largest offshore wind development pipeline in the UK and Ireland including the £9billion Dogger Bank windfarm off the coast of North Yorkshire. Dogger Bank will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm when complete in 2026.
SSE was formerly one of the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers but has focused on producing and distributing wind and hydro electricity since selling its UK domestic supply business to Ovo Energy last year.
The firm plans to treble its renewable energy output by 2030 by investing about £1.5billion each year, allowing it to compete with global windfarm businesses including Denmark’s Orsted and Germany’s RWE.
SSE is also developing carbon capture and storage projects along the east coast of England and Scotland to help decarbonise other industries and move Britain towards a hydrogen economy.
Phillips-Davies said he would be keen to partner with BP and Shell on renewable projects as they transition towards greener energy.
‘They are two of a number of parties we are speaking to,’ he said. ‘We currently work with two of their competitors, Equinor and Total. It would be nice to see more British companies coming into that sector.’
SSE’s renewable energy projects have created 1,000 jobs since lockdown. Phillips-Davies said he will recruit another 2,000 to 2,500 employees in the next 12 months with many of the jobs located in remote areas.