SSE sells Walney wind farm share to Greencoat
SSE announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to sell its 25.1% non-operating state in the Walney Offshore Wind Farm to Greencoat UK Wind.
The FTSE 100 company said the deal was in line with its intention, as stated in June, to dispose of £2bn of assets by the autumn of 2021.
It said the stake equated to 92 megawatts of capacity, with total consideration for the sale of £350m.
The sale of Walney marked the first stage of SSE's disposal plans, the board explained, adding that a “significant part” of those would be non-core assets.
Being what it described as “essentially a financial investment”, Walney fell into that category.
Following the disposal of its stake in Walney, SSE's renewable generation capacity would be around 3.9 gigawatts.
Its current offshore wind portfolio comprised Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm at 504 megawatts, with SSE’s share being 50%, and Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm at 588 megawatts, with SSE holding 40%, both of which it operates on behalf of its joint venture partners.
SSE said that securing value and cash proceeds from “timely disposals” would support its £7.5bn five-year capital expenditure plans to invest in core strategic assets, that would support the ongoing transition to net zero emissions.
As part of that, its renewable capacity was set to grow, with investments in Seagreen and Dogger Bank offshore wind farms, as well as the Viking onshore wind farm on Shetland.
SSE said it was leading on the development and construction of all three projects.
“Walney has been a good financial investment for SSE but we see it as a non-core asset as we are not the principal operator,” said SSE’s finance director Gregor Alexander.
“This transaction is a key first step in our £2bn asset disposal programme announced in June and will enable SSE to build out its £7.5bn low carbon investment programme over the next five years, helping the UK to reach net zero emissions, stimulating a green economic recovery and creating value for shareholders and society.”
Shonaid Jemmett-Page, chairman of Greencoat UK Wind, added that the company was “delighted” to acquire SSE's interest in Walney.
“The acquisition is our third offshore wind farm investment since listing in 2013, following our investments in Rhyl Flats and North Hoyle.
“Walney is a natural addition to our portfolio of operating UK wind farms and increases our net generating capacity to over 1GW for the first time.”
At 1158 BST, shares in SSE were down 0.2% at 1,256.5p, while those in Greencoat UK Wind were down 1.25% at 141.61p.