Perth energy firm SSE has announced it is to invest £12.5 billion in renewables over the next five years to accelerate its net zero plans.
Bosses said the move makes it the biggest constructor of offshore wind in the world and will increase the amount of renewable energy produced by four gigawatts (GW) over the period.
The plan will mean SSE delivers 25% of the UK’s 40GW offshore wind target by 2030 and more than 20% of the UK’s electricity networks investment.
The increase in spending on new energy generation is 65% higher than previous commitments, with the company saying it intends to take advantage of the Government’s new super-deduction tax plans laid out earlier this year by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
It means for every £1 spent, the Government will refund businesses £1.30 to encourage capex investment.
SSE will see 40% spent on networks, 40% on renewables and 20% on the rest of the business.
It is constructing the Seagreen offshore wind farm, which has its operations base in Montrose.
Plans include construction of one of the world’s biggest windfarms off the coast of Fife.
SSE profits boost to help fund renewable investment
Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: “We are constructing more offshore wind than anyone else in the world right now and expanding overseas, delivering the electricity networks needed for net zero and pioneering carbon capture, hydrogen and battery technologies to deliver system flexibility.”
The announcement comes as the business revealed pre-tax profits for the six months to September jumped 116% to £1.7 billion thanks, in part, to the soaring energy prices experienced this year.
But the company’s renewables division was hit by poor weather in the UK during the summer, with wind levels low and dry conditions impacting its hydro business.
Sir John Manzoni, SSE chair, said: “Over the past six months the board of directors has carefully considered a range of strategic alternatives for the next phase of SSE’s growth and development.
“Having reviewed all options and taken independent advice this resulting strategic update significantly accelerates growth in our core businesses, whilst providing efficient and competitive sources of financing and ensuring SSE continues as a reliable and resilient operator of critical infrastructure.”
Despite the high gas prices, SSE said it would continue to dispose of its 33.3% stake in gas distribution operator Scotia Gas Networks in the financial year.
The group said it has enjoyed a strong start to the second half of the year.
Renewables volumes were above plan in October and thermal and hydro plant in particular achieving strong prices in the market.