SSE to pump £15 billion into Scotland's electricity network as annual profits surge
The group plans to invest in key technologies including new offshore wind, critical network upgrades, carbon capture and storage (CCS), batteries and hydroelectric power.
SSE said that assuming a “continued supportive policy environment”, its investment plans will see it investing significantly more than it makes in profits over the next few years in order to realise its growth opportunities and accelerate the transition to net zero.
The investment in Scotland equates to almost £3,000 per head of population.
The firm set out its investment plans for the period up to the end of the decade as it published its full-year financial results for 2021/22.
Adjusted operating profit jumped 15 per cent year-on-year to just over £1.5bn, while profit before tax was up 23 per cent at almost £1.2bn.
The profit haul comes amid calls for a windfall tax on energy generators and suppliers as consumers and businesses face crippling increases in their utility bills.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said: “We’ve already achieved a lot, but we’re only just getting started. Against the backdrop of a global gas crisis, we are investing far more than we are making in profit to deliver clean homegrown energy that will bolster security, cut emissions and make energy more affordable over the long term.
“We have plans to invest more than £15bn in Scotland and in excess of £24bn in Britain alone by 2030 to help deliver government’s ambitious targets.
“These results demonstrate the strength of our strategy and highly complementary business mix, the passion and commitment of our people, and our ability to deliver for all our stakeholders as we create thousands of jobs and contribute billions to Scottish GDP.”
SSE said it is developing Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest tethered offshore wind farm, Seagreen off the coast of Angus; and what will be one of Europe’s most productive onshore wind farms, Viking, on Shetland.
Earlier this year it was confirmed the business had secured rights to develop a new giant floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Angus.
It is also constructing the electricity cable which will connect Shetland to the UK mainland for the first time.
SSE also said it planned to make a final dividend payment of 60.2p per share, making a full-year dividend of 85.7p.
Michael Matheson, Scottish minister for net zero and energy, said: “Our abundant natural resources, expertise and proven track record in decarbonisation make Scotland perfectly placed to become a global powerhouse of renewable energy - as clearly evidenced by the significant investment plan from SSE.
“The coming decade will be truly transformative for our energy sector - delivering further good, green jobs and benefits for communities, and I welcome SSE’s firm commitment to playing an important role in our just transition to net zero.”
SSE set out its net zero acceleration programme last November.
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