SSE still planning two massive wind farms in Scotland

The energy giant says it will invest £7.5bn in low carbon projects over the next five years despite the pandemic.

SSE has said it will push ahead with work to build two massive wind farms in Scotland despite the impact of Covid-19.

The energy giant said it is sticking to plans to invest £7.5bn in low carbon projects across the UK and Ireland over the next five years.

They include the so-called Viking wind farm project, a £580m 103-turbine onshore wind farm on Shetland.

Developed in partnership with Viking Energy Shetland, SSE says that when completed it will be the largest onshore wind farm in the UK for annual electricity output.

Plans for a £3bn offshore wind farm in the Firth of Forth – the cost shared with French energy giant Total – will also continue as planned.

It is believed it would be the biggest offshore site in Scotland and produce enough clean electricity to power more than a million homes.

The commitment to the £7.5bn investment plan – or around £4m a day – comes despite SSE warning that its profits could take a £250m hit as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The energy supplier said it expects the pandemic to cost the company between £150m and £250m in the current financial year.

It said the impact of the virus on its operating profit has been “in line with expectations” over the past three months.

SSE is the third largest supplier in the UK energy market, with around 3.5 million household customers and 8000 staff.

Chief executive of SSE Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Throughout the first quarter of 2020-21, our key workers continued to support the national coronavirus response by supporting the safe and reliable supply of electricity.

“At the same time, we are delivering the comprehensive financial plan we set out last month at our full-year results, continuing work on our disposal programme and successfully issuing over £1bn in hybrid bonds.

“Although the key months of our financial year are still ahead of us, the steps we are taking leave us well placed to deliver on our financial objectives of promoting the long-term success of the company and paying dividends.”

Shares in the company moved 1.9% higher in early trading on Thursday.

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