SSE, one of the UK’s biggest utilities, has revealed it has exceeded more than one gigawatt of onshore wind farm capacity for the first time, enough to power around a million homes.
The company, previously known as Scottish and Southern Energy, said in a statement yesterday that “good progress” made on sites in Northern Ireland and Scotland meant it had increased its capacity from just 40 megawatts (MW) six years ago.
The FTSE 100 firm said that wind has overtaken its conventional hydro electric capacity of 1,150MW for the first time and now represents just over a tenth of the energy giant’s generation capacity.
Ian Marchant, SSE’s chief executive, said: “The safe and timely delivery of new assets is a key priority for SSE and passing the one gigawatt milestone for onshore wind farm capacity is a very positive development as we start the New Year.
“With construction work continuing at sites in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, we expect that our operating onshore wind farm capacity will continue to grow significantly in the coming months,” he added.
Installed onshore wind capacity currently stands at 4.4GW or 5.9GW including offshore wind farms, according to figures from Renewable UK, the industry body.
“The government wants the industry to reach a total of 31 GW by 2020 and we are confident that we can achieve that, as long as the policy framework remains supportive and ministers continue to back the industry,” a spokesperson said.
The news from SSE came as more 100,000 homes lost their electricity supply yesterday following violent storms of up to 90 miles per hour.