SSE eyes more Irish projects as owners of Airtricity

British energy supplier SSE — which has agreed to merge its British UK retail energy supply business with Germany’s N-Power to create Britain’s second largest energy supplier — has said it is exploring future development options for onshore wind projects in Ireland as part of the recent consultation process around the design of a new renewable electricity support scheme put forward by the Government.

SSE, which owns Airtricity here, delivered two onshore wind projects — in Galway and Tyrone — earlier this year and is constructing an 18 megawatt project in Kerry, which is due to be completed early next year.

The company is also continuing to advance its planning application for the Doraville wind development in Tyrone, after a new design layout including a reduction in turbine numbers.

“We have a strong customer base, an excellent portfolio of assets and an exciting range of investment opportunities across Ireland in energy supply and services, generation and generation development, and wholesale telecoms. Our commitment to operate as a responsible and sustainable company across all our business units in Ireland remains unchanged,” said SSE Ireland managing director Stephen Wheeler, SSE Ireland managing director.

SSE has also reported an 8% drop in its first-half group profit, hurt by weakness in its networks business. The company said it expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to be in line with a company-compiled consensus of 116p. It reported earnings of 125.7p per share in the full year to the end of last March.

SSE said its adjusted operating profit, for the six months to the end of September, fell to £586.2m (€662.8m) from £637.2m. Operating profit at its networks business fell 22.1% to £355.1m.

The merger of the company’s retail energy business in Britain the UK, with N-Power, will see the formation of a new independent company, which will be held by SSE shareholders with minority participation by Innogy, the German owner of N-Power.

Combined, the two companies have around 11.5m customers in Britain, making the new company second only to Centrica’s British Gas, which has more than 14 million customer accounts.

Additional reporting Reuters

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