Energy giant SSE today showed how lucrative green energy speculation can be as it sold a stake in the planned Dogger windfarm for £202 million, resulting in a big upgrade to its profit forecasts.
SSE has been developing the world’s biggest windfarm 60 miles off the north east coast of England in the North Sea with Norwegian partner Equinor.
Today, the pair sold a 20% stake in the project to ENI of Italy, in a move that takes the ownership of the first two phases of the project to 40% each for the British and Norwegian companies.
They will retain 50-50 ownership of the third phase.
SSE said the move meant its profits per share for the current financial year would now be 85p to 90p rather than the 75p to 85p declared last month.
The company said the proceeds would help SSE fund other new green energy projects.
Dogger’s three phases of building are set to complete in March 2026, when it will generate some 18,000GWh - enough to supply 5% of the UK’s demand, or 6 million homes, SSE said.
The UK company’s strategy is to seed big projects with its money then seek new partners such as ENI in order to take out profits as soon as possible and spread the risk.
The approach is also targeted at keeping SSE’s debt down to manageable levels, SSE said.
Gregor Alexander, SSE's finance director, said: "The sale of a stake in Dogger Bank Wind Farm to Eni is another successful example of SSE's approach to partnering to create and secure value for shareholders.
"This transaction will enable us to fund further low carbon growth opportunities, helping to deliver governments' net zero ambitions and our own target to treble our renewable output by 2030."
SSE is also the 49% shareholder in the Seagreen offshore development project in Scotland and wholly owns the Viking windfarm project on the Shetland Islands.