SSE has agreed to sell its 25.1% non-operating stake in the Walney Offshore Wind Farm to Greencoat UK Wind for for $468m (£350m).
An SSE spokesperson said the divestiture of the 25.1% stake, which equates to 92MW of capacity, is in line with the company’s strategy to dispose of $2.7bn (£2bn) of assets by autumn 2021.
SSE finance director Gregor Alexander said: “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.
“This transaction is a key first step in our £2bn [$2.7bn] asset disposal programme announced in June and will enable SSE to build out its £7.5bn [$10bn] 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.”
Located nearly 15km from the coastline of Walney Island, the Walney wind farm has 367MW of capacity. Ørsted holds a majority stake of 50.1%, while PGGM holds a 24.8% interest.
The wind farm uses 102 3.6MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines. The first phase of the wind farm, Walney 1, entered commercial operations in July 2011, while Walney 2 came online in June 2012.
Currently, SSE’s offshore wind portfolio consists of the 504MW Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, half-owned by SSE, and the 588MW Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, in which it owns 40% stake. SSE operates these two facilities on behalf of its joint venture partners.
After the sale of Walney, SSE’s renewable capacity will fall to approximately 3.9GW. The earnings from the sale will support the company’s five-year capital expenditure plan. This focuses on investing in core strategic assets and moving toward net-zero emissions.
As part of this strategy, SSE aims to increase its investments in other projects including Seagreen, Dogger Bank and Viking onshore wind farms. SSE holds a 49% share in the 1.08GW Seagreen project, a 50% share in the 3.6GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm and a 100% share in the Viking onshore wind farm on Shetland.
For all these three projects, SSE is responsible for development and construction.
Last month, SSE Renewables ordered 443MW of capacity from Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas for the Viking Wind Farm in Shetland, UK.