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SSE heads new offshore wind alliance

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has entered into an alliance with five companies to make its offshore wind programme more efficient.

By Isabella Kaminski

SSE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens, Siemens Transmission and Distribution, Subsea 7, Burntisland Fabrications and Atkins to collaborate on its offshore wind programme.

The agreement is designed to reduce capital costs and improve supply chain sustainability in the development and construction of offshore wind projects. Over the next few months, the alliance will agree formal commercial arrangements before embarking on design activities.

Jim Smith, Director of Offshore Renewables at SSE, says: “This innovative alliance brings together leading players in offshore wind and offshore oil & gas with vast experience in energy, engineering and construction. It should result in the kind of collaborative approach to the big issues that is necessary to make offshore wind the long-term success it can and should be.”

The new alliance includes: Siemens, a provider of offshore wind technology; Siemens Transmission and Distribution, a transmission substation and offshore grid connections contractor; Subsea 7, a seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services company; Burntisland Fabrications, a provider of fabrications for the offshore energy industry; and Atkins, an engineering and design consultancy.

Martin Grant, Managing Director of Atkins' Energy Division, says: “The challenges faced are similar to those the oil industry dealt with when it started developing the North Sea as a major source of energy in the 1970s, and due to our long term involvement in that sector we have a wealth of expertise we can bring to the table. The economics of offshore wind are key to its long term future and SSE’s approach should deliver the right framework for success.”

In the future, alliance activities will be based at the Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy established by SSE and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

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