The energy group reported strong quarterly performance and said it expects to generate first power from its Seagreen offshore wind farm by the end of this month.
In a quarterly update ahead of its annual general meeting in Perth on Thursday, SSE said its performance had “slightly exceeded” expectations as favourable weather and market conditions led to a rise in generation.
It follows a bumper financial 2021, in which the company reported a near 50% jump in profits to just shy of £3.5 billion – up 44% on the £2.4bn seen in financial 2020-21.
The company reported that progress across its capex projects is also continuing “at pace”, and that it expects to generate first power from the Seagreen wind farm off Angus by the end of this month.
Turbine installation at the 1.1 gigawatt (GW) development – billed as the world’s deepest fixed-bottom wind farm – began last December. A total of 114 Vestas turbines will be installed about 16 miles off the Angus coast.
Full commissioning is expected in 2023, but turbines can begin generating power before the site if fully operational.
A joint venture by SSE Renewables (49%) and oil giant TotalEnergies (51%), Seagreen is Scotland’s largest renewable energy project. Once complete, the £3bn wind farm will be capable of generating around 5,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of green energy annually.
Meanwhile, SSE said construction at the Viking onshore wind farm and at Dogger Bank A, B & C schemes was “progressing well.”
The group’s clean energy unit, SSE Renewables, reported a 5% rise in planned output across the UK and Ireland to around 93GWh, mainly as a result of weather conditions. Thermal generation was also up slightly on the same period last year.
It also reported progress on its efforts to offload a 25% minority stake in SSEN Transmission, the formal process for which is now under way. SSE hopes to have an agreed sale by the end of the year, with completion after regulatory approvals.
SSE said it expects adjusted capital expenditure and investment to total in excess of £2.5bn this financial year.
Finance director Gregor Alexander said: “The strength of SSE’s integrated and balanced business model, combined with our commitment to positive engagement with key stakeholders, is serving us well through a period of market, political and regulatory complexity.
“Meanwhile, CfD success at Viking, progress on our Southern European pipeline acquisition, the positive outlook for Transmission from the recent Holistic Network Design and new hydrogen options at Saltend all position us well for the long term.”
The group also welcomed publication of the government’s Review of Electricity Markets Arrangements (REMA) consultation, noting that an “orderly consultative process” was “the right way to deliver the necessary investment.”
“Having advocated for some time for an evolution of the current electricity market frameworks to deliver net zero cost effectively and securely, we welcome the recent BEIS, believing that an
“We remain confident in our financial outlook for strong earnings growth this year and look forward to updating the market on performance in our interim results statement on 16 November 2022,” Mr Alexander added.