SSE to complete six new UK-subsidised Scottish renewable onshore wind farms, but delays final decision on offshore Beatrice project in Moray Firth

SSE Local resident Robin Mackay visits the Strathy North siteVertically-integrated Scottish power giant SSE yesterday confirmed it will develop six onshore renewable energy wind farm projects in Scotland and N. Ireland – thanks to ongoing UK Treasury financial support.

These projects have escaped the April 2016 cut-off point for cutting on-shore wind subsidies announced by the UK government.

But it has long-grassed a final investment decision on the offshore Beatrice wind project in the Moray Firth.

Chief Executive Alistair Phillips-Davies told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Perth that SSE believes that 475MW of capacity at the following wholly-owned wind farms now under construction will still qualify for Renewables Obligation Certificates (aka susbsidies); –

  • Strathy North (68MW)
  • Dunmaglass (94MW)
  • Clyde Extension (172MW)
  • Bhlaraidh (108MW)
  • Tievenameenta (32MW) (in N. Ireland)

In addition, SSE has consent to construct a 210MW wind farm at Stronelairg in the Highlands, but notice was served for Judicial Review of Scottish Ministers’ decision and the result of this is expected in the second half of this year.

Subject to this, SSE also expects Stronelairg wind farm to qualify for UK government subsidy under the outgoing Renewable Obligation Certificates rules.

He said: “We will continue to engage with the UK government and the devolved administrations to maximise deployment of onshore wind farms under the Renewables Obligation.”

But Philllips-Davies long-grassed a final investment decision on the 664 MW Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm project in the Moray Firth to next year. SSE owns 50% of the Beatrice project.

Meanwhile, SSE’s grid networks business – Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission- has completed construction of its section of the Beauly-Denny replacement transmission line and the entire line from Beauly to Braco, near Perth, was energised for the first time last week.

In retail, the picture remains gloomy, with consumers voting with their electricity meters – with another 90,000 customers switching away from SSE to less expensive suppliers

This follows a stampede of 500,000 customers who turned off SSE and its regional retail brands in England in favour of rival suppliers in the first quarter of this year.

This continues the trend away from Britain’s ‘Big Six’ legacy energy suppliers because of recent ‘loss of trust’ issues arising from when retail gas and electricity prices rocketed upwards, but only fell like leaves when wholesale prices drop.

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