The construction of what will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, SSE Renewables’ Seagreen, has supported the delivery of a £1 billion economic boost to the Scottish economy in the last year, according to new independent analysis.
The details are included in a new sustainability report published by SSE Renewables, alongside a study by PwC measuring the value the company adds to GDP and the jobs it supports across its home markets of the UK and Ireland.
The report, which covers the 12 months from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, outlines how SSE Renewables’ delivery of flagship infrastructure projects, the £3bn Seagreen project and the £580 million Viking onshore wind farm in Shetland, has driven the £1bn contribution to Scotland’s economy, while also helping the country reach its net zero ambitions.
Additionally, the the company, from its construction and operational activities, has supported around 4,000 Scottish jobs in the last year.
The publication of the SSE Renewables Sustainability Report 2022 marks the first time the UK’s leading renewable energy developer, owner and operator has detailed the actions it is taking to put sustainability at the core of its strategy for ambitious growth in the UK and Ireland, and overseas.
SSE Renewables’ head of sustainability, Kate Wallace Lockhart said: “Across SSE Renewables’ core markets of the UK and Ireland, we contributed £1.65bn to GDP last year, supporting more than 10,000 jobs. This is a 23% increase in our GDP contribution and more than double the number of jobs supported compared to the year before.
“These findings provide yet more evidence that investing in renewables is not only essential for getting to net zero, but it makes economic sense too. SSE Renewables is investing millions of pounds in the green transition, and our new Sustainability Report shows that we are absolutely committed to investing in a sustainable way that benefits workers and communities, as well as the wider natural environment too through our world-leading digital ecological innovations to commitment to biodiversity net gain.”
The report also highlights significant employment growth at SSE Renewables over the past three years. The renewable energy company has grown its UK and Ireland headcount by almost 50% over the last two years, and now employs over 1,300 people, more than 1,000 of whom are based in Scotland. Of these workers, around 1-in-3 SSE Renewables’ employees have transitioned from high-carbon careers, mostly from outside of the company. According to a recent survey of SSE Renewables employees, key drivers behind this transition to the company include environmental considerations (68%), the opportunity to work on exciting projects (58%), and better long-term career prospects (58%).
In November 2020, SSE plc became the first company in the world to publish a Just Transition Strategy. The company embarked on a programme of wide-ranging stakeholder engagement to shape its just transition approach. This strategy outlines 20 principles to promote a fair and just transition for workers, consumers and communities when moving ‘in’ to a net zero world and ‘out’ of high-carbon activities. In November 2021, SSE was named the number 1 out of 180 companies globally assessed by World Benchmarking Alliance on their approach to just transition.
The 1,075MW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm project is located 27km off the coast of Angus in the North Sea firth. A £3bn joint venture between TotalEnergies (51%) and SSE Renewables (49%), Seagreen will be Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest fixed bottom offshore wind farm, with its deepest foundation due to be installed at 59 metres below sea level in December. The world-class project achieved first power generation in August 2022 when the first Vestas turbine of a total of 114 was commissioned and connected to the UK’s national grid. The offshore wind farm, which will be capable of producing around 5 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable electricity annually – enough to power the equivalent of 1.6 million households – is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2023. Find out more at seagreenwindenergy.com
About SSE Renewables
SSE Renewables is the leading renewable energy developer, owner and operator in the UK and Ireland with plans to expand in selected international markets to deliver the green energy the world needs. Its strategy is to lead the transition to a net zero future through the world-class development, construction and operation of renewable power assets and is building more offshore wind energy than any other company in the world. SSE Renewables is part of SSE plc, the UK-listed integrated energy group which is investing £12.5bn over five years, or £7m a day, to deliver a Net Zero Acceleration Programme to address climate change head on. This includes plans by SSE Renewables to double its installed renewable energy capacity to around 8GW by 2026 and ambitious targets to treble capacity to over 13GW by 2031, increasing output fivefold to over 50TWh annually – enough to be able to power around 20 million homes each year.