Scottish utility group SSE has said it hopes to build an offshore wind farm off Ireland by 2025. The company’s Arklow Bank project of at least 520 megawatts (MW) was recently added alongside a list of projects to be fast-tracked by the Irish Government.
SSE is also eyeing the growing area of floating offshore wind farms that could allow development in vast new areas of the world, such as Japan, Korea and the US west coast, where the seabed is too deep for traditional fixed installations.
“It’s inevitable floating wind will come to the fore,” said Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables.
SSE is planning an expansion of its renewable power business to compete globally for the growing market for massive wind farms. “I’d like to see us become a global supermajor,” Smith said. “Who wouldn’t if they were running our business?”
While it has become one of the biggest developers in the UK, the largest market for offshore wind farms, SSE has been slow to branch out of its home territory. With construction set to begin on a number of developments, the company is eyeing growth in a space where seasoned competitors like Denmark’s Orsted and Spain’s Iberdrola are already competing for market share.
SSE plans to expand its wind business into two more markets within the next five years.It’s looking at opportunities in northern Europe, the US and Japan.
With a record-low bid last year to build a giant wind farm off the coast of England, the company has shown that it knows how to win competitive government auctions to build the green power plants at sea.