Perth's SSE powers into southern Europe with deal for vast wind portfolio

SSE, the Perth-headquartered energy giant, has powered into southern Europe after agreeing a €580 million (£482m) deal for a vast portfolio of onshore wind development projects.

The group’s renewables business has entered into an agreement with Siemens Gamesa to acquire its existing European renewable energy development platform.

The portfolio includes nearly four gigawatts of onshore wind development projects - around half of which is located in Spain with the remainder across France, Italy and Greece - with scope for up to one gigawatt of additional co-located solar developments.

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SSE Renewables will also take on a team of about 40 employees, said to have “vast experience in the sector”.

The portfolio includes nearly four gigawatts of onshore wind development projects - around half of which is located in Spain with the remainder across France, Italy and Greece. Picture: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

The acquisition marks SSE Renewables’ entry into the southern part of Europe, building on its business in the UK and Ireland where it owns and operates four gigawatts of renewable assets, including nearly two gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind, with a secured pipeline of nearly 11GW across onshore wind, offshore wind and hydro projects.

Stephen Wheeler, managing director of SSE Renewables, said: “Mainland Europe is an exciting growth market for onshore wind, with clear carbon reduction targets and supportive policies, whilst the expert management team will complement our sector-leading capabilities perfectly.

“The project portfolio brings some excellent assets and will provide a real springboard for our expansion plans in Europe across wind, solar, batteries and hydrogen.”

Laura Hoy, equity analyst at financial services platform Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “SSE’s doubling down on its renewables efforts, and [this] announcement is evidence of management’s conviction.

“On the surface this looks like the right play - transitioning toward cleaner energy is the clear direction of travel and the group’s seen output improve steadily over the past few months.

“But having more wind in the sails doesn’t guarantee smoother seas. Performance in SSE’s renewables division has left something to be desired so far this year, and though it seems things are improving, output is still well below targets.

“Pouring money into a yet unproven part of the business is a risky move to be sure - but at present it seems like the only way forward if growth is eventually on the menu,” she added.

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