Perth power giant SSE to charge up net zero drive after £1.5bn stake sale

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Scottish energy giant SSE has reached agreement to sell a 25 per cent stake in its electricity transmission network business in a near-£1.5 billion deal.

The Perth-headquartered firm said the deal with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board would help unlock “significant” growth in both SSEN Transmission and across the wider SSE Group. The transaction follows the company’s announcement last November of its intention to extend the partnering approach that has been successful in SSE Renewables to its core electricity distribution and transmission network assets through the sale of minority stakes.

SSE said the transmission business had a central role to play in meeting net zero goals and bolstering the UK’s energy security by unlocking “vast” renewable resources in the north of Scotland and transporting that “homegrown” low carbon power further south. The transaction is based on an effective economic date of March 31, 2022, and total cash proceeds of £1.465bn for the 25 per cent stake are expected at completion.

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Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE, said: “As we set out in our net zero acceleration programme last year, due to the scale of potential growth and the associated investment required across SSE’s businesses, including in electricity networks, bringing in minority partners will balance capital allocation and support further growth, creating greater long-term value for all our stakeholders. In Ontario Teachers we have a strong long-term partner who we have worked with successfully over the past 18 years and, whilst we will retain operational control, they will be critical to SSEN Transmission’s ongoing future success.”

Rob McDonald, managing director of SSEN Transmission, said: “With the north of Scotland home to the UK’s greatest resources of renewable electricity we have a critical role to play in helping deliver the UK and Scottish governments’ net zero commitments. Our investments will also be key to securing the UK’s future energy independence through enabling the deployment of homegrown, affordable, low carbon power. With significant growth forecast in transmission, bringing in Ontario Teachers as a minority stake partner will help fund our ambitious investment plans as we continue to deliver a network for net zero emissions across the north of Scotland.”

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