Scottish & Southern Energy enters offshore wind alliance

Source: Scottish and Southern Energy

Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Siemens plc, Siemens Transmission and Distribution Limited, Subsea 7 Limited, Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and Atkins, under which the companies will form an alliance to collaborate on SSE's offshore wind program, with the aim of securing substantial reductions in the cost of delivered power from offshore wind farms. 

Over the next few months, the parties will work closely together to agree the formal commercial arrangements of the alliance before embarking on design activities. 

This builds on SSE's agreement last year with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe to cooperate on the development of the next generation of offshore wind turbines. 

As the UK government's consultation document on electricity market reform points out, much of the low carbon electricity generation capacity that could be deployed over the next decade has high capital costs and low operating costs. Moreover, offshore wind farms are a new technology, and realising their full potential will require the development of a sustainable UK supply chain, including design, manufacturing and installation. 

The new alliance is designed to meet the challenges of high capital costs and supply chain sustainability, thereby supporting the development and construction of offshore wind projects. It brings together:

• Siemens, the market leader in offshore wind technology including design, production and service for offshore wind turbines; 

• Siemens Transmission and Distribution Limited, the UK's leading transmission substation and offshore grid connections contractor; 

• Subsea 7, a leading seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services company; 

• Burntisland Fabrications Ltd, a leading provider of fabrications for the offshore energy industry;

• Atkins, one of the world's leading engineering and design consultancies; and 

• SSE, the largest generator of electricity from renewable sources in the UK and Ireland. 

In due course, the companies will co-locate activities covered by the new agreement in the Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy established by SSE and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. 

Jim Smith, Director of Offshore Renewables for SSE said, "The energy potential of offshore wind is vast, and in a resource- and carbon-constrained world it is a potential we need to fulfil. In doing so, we need to make sure we maximise value and create a sustainable supply chain. 

This innovative alliance brings together leading players in offshore wind and offshore oil and gas, with vast experience in energy, engineering and construction. It should result in the kind of collaborative approach to the big issues that is necessary to make offshore wind the long-term success it can and should be."

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