As many as 20,000 new skilled energy jobs will be created, a major transmission operator claims, following its pledge this week to plug 11GW of Scottish marine wind farms better into Britain’s backbone grid.

SSEN Transmission’s biggest ever programme of network investment linking ScotWind’s turbines to land has already made 400 new roles in 2022. It’s on track to make 500 more this year, the company says.

Centred in Scotland’s north, the posts are forerunners of SSEN’s planned 9,000-job expansion in the devolved nation, under the gridco’s ‘Pathway to 2030’ blueprint.  South of Hadrian’s Wall, a further 11,000 will follow.

The investment programme’s goals include connecting before 2030 as much as one fifth of Britain’s intended total 50GW of offshore wind, a target endorsed by Westminster & Holyrood.

Several subsea links and grid reinforcements onshore are the core of SSEN’s announced upgrades under the Pathway, needed to meet UK and Scottish government targets for energy security and to fight climate change.

Billions in added value to the UK’s regional and national economies are anticipated to flow from SSEN’s Pathway blueprint.   Analysis by consultancy BiGGAR Economics calculates total likely benefits at £6 billion, including £2.5 billion of direct benefit to Scotland.

Technical jobs at all levels will be created, many of them providing a route for workers shifting their skills out of legacy oil and gas operations.  Roles in customer and stakeholder engagement will accompany switches in  engineering skills.

Ministers either side of the border welcomed SSEN’s commitment.   Graham Stuart MP, Westminster’s energy security minister declared:  “SSEN Transmission’s Pathway to 2030 programme is a significant investment in the future of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“This £6.2 billion economic will deliver long-term and well-paid jobs, while helping Britain achieve home grown energy security and an electricity network fit for the future.”

The £10 billion of spending reinforces, says SSE Group, its Net Zero Acceleration Programme (NZAP), presaging still greater investment. As much as £40bn could materialise in the next decade, directly tackling climate change and alleviating the UK’s energy crisis.

Holyrood’s energy secretary Neil Gray MSP spoke up too for SSEN’s plan : “Scotland needs to invest in our grid infrastructure if we are to enable full utilisation of current renewable generation, and to realise the enormous potential of further deployment.

”Infrastructure must be s delivered at the most efficient cost to consumers. Local communities must be fully engaged to derive lasting benefits

“I look forward to the SSEN Transmission Pathway to 2030 Programme progressing at pace”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here