Scottish utility SSE plc is taking full ownership of the Seagreen offshore wind projects under development by Seagreen Wind Energy Limited, in which it currently has a 50% share.
SSE has now acquired the other half of the offshore wind joint venture from Fluor Ltd. The transaction is valued at GBP 118 million.
Seagreen Phase 1, consisting of the Alpha and Bravo projects in the outer Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay, is currently seeking amendments to the existing consent to take advantage of the advances in offshore wind turbine technology since the original consent was granted back in 2014. The new proposal would see fewer, larger, higher capacity wind turbines and the inclusion of monopiles as a foundation option. A maximum of 120 turbines would be developed across the Alpha and Bravo areas with a combined capacity of around 1.5GW.
Increasing its share in Seagreen is in line with SSE’s offshore wind ambitions, the utility said. SSE remains focused on preparing the Seagreen Phase 1 projects in readiness for the next UK contracts for difference auction. In July 2018, the Energy Minister, Claire Perry, announced the next auction will be open by May 2019, with subsequent auctions around every two years, and confirmed GBP 557 million budget will be available to fund projects.
“The Seagreen acquisition aligns with SSE’s ambition to create value from owning, operating and developing clean energy assets and infrastructure. We are looking forward to taking full ownership of Seagreen as we progress through this critical phase towards the contracts for difference auction, expected in May 2019. SSE’s expertise in the development, construction and operation of offshore wind will be an asset to Seagreen, and we will review the ownership structure in due course,” Martin Pibworth, SSE’s Wholesale Director, said.
Alongside Seagreen, SSE is also actively developing projects at Dogger Bank (3.6GW, SSE share 50%) and holds a development option at the 520MW Arklow Bank in Ireland, bringing its total share of consented development pipeline to over 3.3GW. Looking ahead, SSE is also exploring opportunities to secure further seabed through The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland leasing processes.