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Perth-based SSE Renewables buys European wind projects for almost £500 million

Siemens Gamesa wind farm.
Siemens Gamesa wind farm.

Perth-based SSE Renewables has agreed to buy nearly four gigawatts of European onshore wind projects for more than £480 million.

The firm has purchased the portfolio from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) for €580m (£483m).

The deal, covering a series of SGRE assets in development across southern Europe, extends to roughly 3.9GW of onshore wind projects and includes scope for up to 1GW of additional co-located solar development opportunities.

Around half of the capacity is located in Spain. The remainder is spread across France, Italy and Greece.

The acquisition marks SSE Renewables’ entry into southern Europe, where it will now work to bring around 500MW of projects from the SGRE portfolio online by March 2026, and a further 500MW under construction, at a minimum.

SSE Renewables has bought nearly 4 gigawatts of European onshore wind projects from Siemens Gamesa.

The deal will also see the company take on a team of around 40 SGRE employees, it said.

The transaction is likely to complete by the end of September 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

As the renewable energy arm of utility SSE, the company already has a significant footprint in the UK and Ireland.

It owns and operates 4GW of renewable assets, alongside a pipeline of nearly 11GW of pipeline capacity spanning onshore wind, offshore wind and hydropower.

It is also working on the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank scheme off the Yorkshire coast.

The firm is also behind the world’s deepest fixed-bottom offshore wind farm, the 1.1GW Seagreen project, off the coast of Angus.

The first turbine being installed at the Seagreen wind farm, off the Angus coast.
The first turbine being installed at the Seagreen wind farm, off the Angus coast.

Those are part of a £12.5 billion capital investment plan running to 2026.

‘Exciting growth market’

SSE Renewables managing director Stephen Wheeler said the group was “delighted” with the acquisition.

Mr Wheeler said it would help boost its net zero plans.

He added: “Mainland Europe is an exciting growth market for onshore wind, with clear carbon reduction targets and supportive policies.

“The expert management team will complement our sector-leading capabilities perfectly.”

“The project portfolio brings some excellent assets and will provide a real springboard for our expansion plans in Europe across wind, solar, batteries and hydrogen.”

Meanwhile, SGRE noted that the deal will see it partner with SSE to provide turbines and associated long-term maintenance services for a portion of wind farms built by the developer over the next few years following the sale.

SSE ‘the right partner’

It marks the first major divestment by new SGRE chief executive Jochen Eickholt.

He now leads a cash-raising drive after a series of profit warnings led to the exit of his predecessor.

Mr Eickholt said there had been “very strong market interest” in the portfolio.

He added: “We are confident SSE will be the right partner to develop these projects and integrate our employees.”

The embattled company reported a 20% year-on-year drop in revenue for October-December, having already cut its financial outlook three times in nine months.

It blamed increased supply chain costs and the rising cost of its new generation of turbines.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, SGRE announced preliminary quarterly results.

It warned it had put its full-year 2022 guidance under review, with performance expected at the “low end” of its forecast range.

It expects to publish half-year results on May 5.

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