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United Kingdom

SSE's profits fall due to lower winds

UK: Utility SSE partly blamed low output from its renewable energy projects for its expected £80 million (€89.5 million) profit shortfall.

SSE's 108MW Bhlaraidh project (above) in Scotland
SSE's 108MW Bhlaraidh project (above) in Scotland

The company’s wind farms generated 979GWh in the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year — down 11% from the same period one year earlier.

Its onshore projects generated 766GWh, down 10% year-on-year, while its offshore sites produced 213GWh, a fall of 16% from year-on-year.

In a trading statement released ahead of full Q1 results, SSE stated it expected wind power output to be 15% higher than the eventual outcome.

By comparison, its hydropower output was about 20% lower than planned, SSE added.

It also blamed "dry, still and warm weather", "persistently high gas prices", and "lower volumes of energy being consumed" for the £80 million drop in profit.

SSE added it expects its 288MW Stronelairg project in the Scottish Highlands, and the 588MW Beatrice project, in which it owns a 40% stake, to be completed in 2019.

First power was generated at the Beatrice project in Scottish waters in mid-July 2018.

The utility anticipates capital expenditure for the 2018/19 financial year to be about £1.7 billion, and roughly £6 billion over the next five years.

SSE said it plans to "reshape" the company around its regulated networks and renewables business once it has completed the merger of its household energy supply business with fellow utility and Innogy-subsidiary Npower.

The utility has a stake in 2,474MW of installed onshore wind farms and in 919MW of operational offshore projects, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

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