Thursday 16 July 2020 8:23 am

SSE sticks to low-carbon plan despite £250m coronavirus hit

Energy firm SSE today said that it expected to take a £150m to £250m profit hit from the coronavirus crisis, which has sent power demand tumbling.

Despite the hit, the FTSE 100 firm said it was continuing with its £7.5bn programme of investments in low-carbon energy sources.

Read more: Total acquires 51 per cent stake in Scotland’s largest wind farm

It added that it would continue to pay its dividend as planned until 2023.

Shares in SSE were trading over one per cent up as markets opened.

The Perth-headquartered firm also announced that it had issued over £1bn in hybrid bonds at a rate of 3.8 per cent per year.

Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Although the key months of our financial year are still ahead of us, the steps we are taking leave us well placed to deliver on our financial objectives of promoting the long-term success of the company and paying dividends”.

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Over the last three months, SSE has produced 1,988 gigawatts of renewable energy, around 15 per cent down on its estimated.

The firm, which earlier this year sold off its household energy supply business to Ovo for £500m, said this was down to weather conditions.

SSE divested the business in order to focus wholly on the growing renewable energy market.

Read more: Bulb bolsters senior team as energy firm targets 100m customers worldwide

Last month French oil giant Total paid £70m a 51 per cent stake in SSE’s 1 gigawatt Seagreen wind farm, which has now been given the green light for construction.

The wind farm, located in the Firth of Forth, will be Scotland’s largest renewable energy project, with enough electricity to power 1m homes and will offset 1.6m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.