British utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has completed its purchase of Airtricity, netting the Irish company's shareholders EUR 1.8 billion. The deal boosts SSE's operating wind farm capacity to nearly 480 MW and brings its portfolio of wind and hydro projects with consent or under construction to 550 MW, with a further 540 MW of consented offshore projects. Paul Dowling, the new CEO of Airtricity, a wind project developer and power retailer, says the deal with SSE fundamentally enhances the company's ability to deliver cost effective renewables to a wider audience. "The core values of Airtricity and SSE are very similar and make it easy to develop and grow Airtricity within the SSE group. Airtricity, as part of SSE, can now accelerate its business plans in Ireland, UK, Europe and China. The deal is good news for our staff, providing significant career development opportunities within our wind farm and customer supply businesses." He adds: "I am pleased to announce that the Airtricity brand will remain and will continue to be associated with the development of wind farms across Europe and the delivery of affordable renewable electricity." Dowling succeeds former Airtricity driving force Eddie O'Connor who quit the company shortly after the sale was announced and is believed to have secured EUR 50 million from the deal.