Global targets: local action – how Highland businesses are key to SSE Renewables’ net zero target
SSE Renewables is a leading developer and operator of renewable energy across the UK and Ireland. Our strategy is to drive the transition to a net zero future – through the world class development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets.
The Highland region plays a critical role in SSE Renewables’ business. Our people work at onshore wind and hydro sites throughout the area on projects that will allow us to provide clean, reliable energy to millions of homes and businesses.
But the story of SSE Renewables isn’t just about our teams – across Scotland, more than 1,000 Scottish supply chain jobs are supported by our developments and operational assets. In the Highlands, we work with hundreds of local firms, tradespeople and suppliers who help us towards our net zero ambition; generating a cascade of investment in local Highland businesses that reaches communities in every corner of the region.
Take one day in Summer 2019 as an example.
At first light, Highland-based contractor Colin Clark arrives on site at Storr on the Isle of Skye to undertake asset protection works and maintenance at the Storr Loch catchment. This involves clearing the ditch network to maintain waterflow that feeds into the loch, which in turn generates hydro power through the turbines at the dam.
By mid-morning, Beauly-based HiTrak has resumed work on installing an access road which will allow construction traffic to build a spillweir replacement at Loch Mhor, near Gorthleck. The new spillweir will allow Loch Mhor to maintain its crucial role as a reservoir for the 300 Megawatts (MW) Foyers Pumped Hydro Scheme.
Near Brora, Dingwall-based RJ McLeod are on site, overseeing the final stages of construction of an 11-turbine extension to the SSE Renewables wind farm at Gordonbush. The Gordonbush Extension wind farm will generate 38 MW – enough renewable energy to power almost 50,000 homes each year. It’s the first wind farm development to be built by SSE Renewables on a merchant basis, which means no subsidies or contract for difference (CfD) support were used to finance the project.
At the end of the day, Melvich Hotel in Sutherland prepares to welcome workers who have sourced local accommodation whilst carrying out works on SSE Renewables’ nearby Strathy North Wind Farm and the proposed Strathy South development. An increase in business visitors and demand for local accommodation in areas that we develop and operate renewable energy projects enables some accommodation providers to remain open during winter seasons.
Day in, day out, SSE Renewables is working with Highland businesses to build a bright future of renewable energy. The transition to net zero cannot be achieved in isolation, which is why it is so important that we recognise the efforts of innovative businesses in the Highlands who are actively reducing negative impacts on the environment.
We are proud to sponsor the Highland Business Award for Environmental Sustainability to showcase the efficiencies of responsible decision making and the benefits this brings to the workplace and wider community. Find out more about what we do, including projects that are currently in development, at www.sserenewables.com.