SSE reveals financial results and offshore wind plans

In: CorporateWindfarms
SSE has scheduled financial close for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farms for later this year as it presents financial results for 2019/2020.

SSE, in a joint venture with Equinor are building the Dogger Bank offshore wind project, located off the North East coast of England. SSE Renewables will lead the development and construction phases and Equinor will lead on operations.

The joint venture is working towards final investment decisions for all three projects, aiming for Q4 2020 for
Dogger Bank A and B and late 2021 for Dogger Bank C. Preferred suppliers of turbines, turbine installation and foundation installation services, HVCD equipment, HVCD platform and the export cable have been announced, as has the location of the operations and maintenance base at Port of Tyne.

In September 2019, SSE Renewables was awarded 15-year contracts in CfD Allocation Round 3 for the three Dogger Bank sites and the
Seagreen Phase 1 offshore wind farm.

Seagreen, located in the Firth of Forth, has a total capacity of 1,075 MW and reached financial close in early June 2020, with Total acquiring a 51% stake. The sale includes potential for a further 360 MW extension. SSE Renewables will continue to lead on the development and construction of Seagreen and will operate the asset on completion, expected in 2022/23.

SSE is also reviewing its options for participating in upcoming offshore wind leasing rounds in the England and Wales and Scotland. The Crown Estate’s Leasing Round 4 opened in October and will offer seabed rights for at least 7 GW off the coast of England and Wales with successful bidders to be announced in late 2021. Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind seabed leasing process was launched in June 2020 with results expected by mid-2021.

In Ireland, SSE continues to progress its 520 MW
Arklow Bank offshore wind project and has submitted foreshore lease applications for two further Irish projects in the early stages of development: the 800 MW Braymore Point project off the north-east coast and the 800 MW Celtic Sea array off the south-east coast. SSE hopes to to contribute to Ireland's efforts to meet targets of 1 GW of offshore wind by 2025 and 3.5 GW by 2030. An offshore RESS auction is expected to take place in Q2 2021.

Other planned projects include
Seagreen Phase 2 & 3, with a capacity of up to 3.2 GW, and a 500 MW Greater Gabbard Extension.

According to SSE, its operational offshore wind portfolio continued to perform well in 2019/20, with increased output driven by the 588 MW
Beatrice offshore wind farm (SSE Renewables’ share 40%), which became fully operational in May 2019.
SSE has also outlined plans for over £7 billion of low-carbon investments in the UK and Ireland over the next five years.

In a statement, Richard Gillingwater, Chair of SSE, said: "2019/20 was a year of progress for SSE. Financially, there was a solid recovery from the previous year.

"Since March, SSE’s overriding priority has been to support the safe and reliable supply of the electricity upon which the people and organisations responding directly to coronavirus depend and the commitment of people across SSE in challenging circumstances has been outstanding."

SSE has stated that it is still too soon to predict with accuracy the full human, social, economic and business impact of coronavirus, but it has a comprehensive plan in place. Challenges are currently expected to have short-term adverse effects on its business that are substantial in the context of one year, but largely temporary. Total coronavirus impacts of £51.9m in 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 are predicted, on operating profit estimated between £150m and £250m before mitigation.

“Fundamentally, SSE is a resilient business, with quality assets in businesses such as renewables and electricity networks that have a key role to play in the transition to net zero. The quality and nature of our businesses and assets and their potential for sustainable value creation transcends the financial impact of coronavirus in this financial year."

These results are part of the Preliminary Full Year Report for 2019/2020. According to the SSE financial calendar the final results will be presented on 9th July.

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