SSEN Transmission’s £10 billion programme of investment into the transmission network across the north of Scotland will play a key role in enabling the connection of up to 11GW of new offshore wind capacity through ScotWind projects, enough to power more than ten million homes in the UK and supporting 20,000 jobs across the UK, 9,000 of which will be in Scotland.
Known as the ‘Pathway to 2030 programme’, the company’s huge investment in the north of Scotland will deliver billions in value to the UK economy whilst enabling connection of over one-fifth of the UK Government’s 50GW 2030 offshore wind goal. The projects include several new onshore reinforcements and subsea links. They are part of a major upgrade of the electricity transmission network across Great Britain that is required to meet UK and Scottish Government climate change and energy security targets.
A new analysis carried out by BiGGAR Economics has revealed the significant impact that the ‘Pathway to 2030 programme’ will have in delivering substantial economic benefit to Scotland and the UK – supporting thousands of high-value green jobs from early careers opportunities to technical roles, helping to accommodate those transitioning from the oil and gas sectors too.
The analysis revealed that the programme is expected to contribute over £6bn in additional value to the UK economy, including around £2.5bn of direct additional benefit in Scotland. And that could support more than 20,000 jobs right across the UK.
That’s on top of the 400 direct jobs created at the company in the full-year 2022/23 and a further 500 direct jobs that will be created in this coming financial year. Spread across Scotland, those 900 roles will include technical jobs at all levels to help facilitate some of the major development projects in the pipeline for the business and project management roles and teams to help with customer and stakeholder engagement.
SSEN Transmission’s projects will play a critical role in enabling the transition to a zero-carbon economy, building the transmission infrastructure necessary to transport renewable energy from the north of Scotland to demand centres further south. This investment will help to unlock the vast potential of the north of Scotland to meet the UK and Scottish Government’s 2030 targets, boosting grid capacity to enable the first phase of ScotWind projects to connect to the GB grid and helping to achieve homegrown energy security.
This significant investment in the north of Scotland’s critical grid infrastructure, and its associated and broader socio-economic benefits, will also help to support ambitions outlined in the UK Government’s British Energy Security Strategy as SSEN Transmission works to deliver a robust and resilient network for net zero.
UK Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart, said: “SSEN Transmission’s Pathway to 2030 programme is a significant investment into the future of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
“This is a £6.2 billion economic boost for the UK which will deliver long-term and well-paid jobs whilst helping Britain achieve homegrown energy security and an electricity network fit for the future.”
Speaking on the positive impact this work will have in Scotland, Energy Secretary Neil Gray said: “As our draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition sets out, we need to invest in our grid infrastructure if we are to enable the full utilisation of current renewable generation and to realise the enormous potential of further deployment. It is also vital that such infrastructure is delivered at the most efficient cost to consumers and that local communities are fully engaged and derive lasting benefits.”
“This report highlights the significant opportunities that such investment in our grid infrastructure will bring for our workforce, our supply chain, and our regional and national economies. I look forward to the SSEN Transmission Pathway to 2030 Programme progressing at pace to help realise the ambition set out in our draft Energy Strategy and deliver a fair and just energy transition in what is a decisive decade for action.”
Rob McDonald, Managing Director for SSEN Transmission, said: “This is a really exciting time for SSEN Transmission. The development and delivery of our Pathway to 2030 programme is critical to enable the deployment of homegrown and affordable, low-carbon power, with this £10bn investment in grid arguably the most important enabler to securing Scotland’s the UK’s future energy security and net zero ambitions.
“These investments will unleash the economic potential of the north of Scotland, supporting thousands of highly skilled jobs and delivering significant economic growth across the economy.
“We are committed to maximising the opportunities these projects will provide to communities and businesses across the north of Scotland, whilst also working closely with all stakeholders to develop these projects in a way that seeks to minimise and mitigates community and environmental impacts.”
Image source: Courtesy of SSEN Transmission
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