SSE plc

SSE plc (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy plc) is an energy company headquartered in Perth, Scotland.[2][3] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. SSE operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

It is involved in the generation and supply of electricity and gas, the operation of gas and telecoms networks and other energy related services such as gas storage, exploration and production, contracting, connections and metering. SSE is considered as one of the "Big Six" companies which dominate the energy market in the United Kingdom.

SSE plc
Public limited company
Traded asLSESSE
FTSE 100 Component
HeadquartersPerth, Scotland, UK
Area served
United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland
Key people
Richard Gillingwater CBE (Chairman)
Alistair Phillips-Davies (CEO)
ServicesPower generation and distribution, natural gas production, transportation, and distribution, telecommunications, metering
Revenue£31,226.4 million (2018)[1]
£1,678.9 million (2018)[1]
£920.1 million (2018)[1]
Number of employees
20,786 (2018)[1]



The company has its origins in two public sector electricity supply authorities. The former North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was founded in 1943 to design, construct and manage hydroelectricity projects in the Highlands of Scotland, and took over further generation and distribution responsibilities on the nationalisation of the electricity industry within the United Kingdom in 1948.[4]

The former Southern Electricity Board was created in 1948 to distribute electricity in Southern England.[4] Whilst the Southern Electricity Board was a distribution only authority, with no power generation capacity of its own, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric board was a broader spectrum organisation, with its own generating capabilities.[5]

Because of its history and location, the Hydro-Electric Board was responsible for most of the hydroelectric generating capacity in the United Kingdom.[6] Both authorities were privatised in 1990/91, initially retaining their pre privatisation geographic and functional bases. The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board became Scottish Hydro-Electric, whilst the Southern Electricity Board became Southern Electric.[7]

Post privatisation

Scottish and Southern Energy was formed in September 1998, following a merger between Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric.[8] In August 2000, Scottish and Southern Energy acquired the SWALEC energy supply business.[8] SWALEC operate exclusively in Wales while SSE operates in Scotland and England.[9]

In July 2004, the company acquired the Ferrybridge and Fiddlers Ferry Power Stations for £250million.[10] In January 2008, it went on to buy Airtricity Holdings, an Irish wind farm business.[11] In August 2009, it agreed to purchase Uskmouth power station from Welsh Power Group Limited.[12] In April 2010, the company purchased the natural gas exploration and production assets of Hess Corporation in three areas of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf – Everest/Lomond, Easington and Bacton.[13]

In January 2010, Scottish and Southern Energy changed the core company branding from Scottish and Southern Energy to SSE.[14]

Proposed separation of retail supply division

In November 2017, it was announced that SSE was looking to separate from its retail subsidiary which would then merge with the npower division of rival Innogy.[15] It is planned that SSE shareholders will own 65.6% of the demerged entity and Innogy would hold the remainder.[16] The resulting company would be listed on the London Stock Exchange and include npower's residential and business retail business, and SSE's residential energy supply and home services business, excluding its business in Ireland.

The merger received preliminary regulatory clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority on 30 August 2018,[17] and full clearance was given on 10 October 2018.[18] On 17 December 2018, the merger was abandoned, blaming "very challenging market conditions".[19]


Scottish and Southern Energy van 24 Feb 2011
A Scottish and Southern Energy van, 2011.

The company is the second largest supplier of electricity and natural gas in the United Kingdom, and the largest generator of renewable energy in the United Kingdom.[20]

Its subsidiaries are organised into the main businesses of generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity; storage and supply of gas; electrical and utility contracting, and domestic appliance retailing and telecoms. Grid connections are more difficult in North Scotland, which receives funding from the rest of the United Kingdom to reduce tariffs.[21]

In March 2016, SSE announced it would be closing all branches of its Scottish Hydro Electric shops and the accompanying online store, citing "changing shopping habits and more customer choice meant the shops have been loss-making for a number of years".[22]

Generation mix


SSE had 2,975MW of renewable capacity at 30 September 2016, including its share of joint ventures, with 2,731MW of this in Great Britain. The British portfolio comprised (net): 1,150MW conventional hydro, 900MW onshore wind, 344MW offshore wind, 300MW pumped storage and 37MW dedicated biomass.[23]


SSE had 8,069MW of thermal capacity at 30 September 2016, comprising (net): 5,305MW of gas fired and oil fired generation and 1,995MW of coal fired generation.[24]

Corporate affairs

Living wage

SSE is the largest officially accredited Living Wage Employer in the United Kingdom. Nearly 20,000 staff across the United Kingdom are guaranteed to receive the living wage rate of at least £7.85 an hour.[25]

Fair Tax Mark

In October 2014, SSE became the first company on the FTSE 100 to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark which is an independent accreditation process for identifying companies making an effort to be transparent about their tax affairs.[26]


The SSE Hydro is an arena located in Glasgow, Scotland, on the site of the Scottish Event Campus (SEC). The arena officially opened on 30 September 2013, and has a capacity of 13,000. It was designed by the London based architects Foster + Partners. The SSE Hydro hosts international musical stars, global entertainment and sporting events, with an aim to attract one million visitors each year.[27]

The Odyssey Arena located within the Odyssey Complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is known as The SSE Arena, Belfast and has a sponsorship agreement for ten years, which began in June 2015.[28]

Wembley Arena located in London, England, is also sponsored by SSE, and is known as The SSE Arena, Wembley since April 2014, and has a sponsorship agreement for ten years.[29]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). SSE. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Registered in Scotland No. 117119". Perth: Scottish and Southern Energy plc. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  3. ^ Brodie, Sophie (5 January 2008). "The Scottish utility". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b Katzarov, Konstantin (6 December 2012). Theory of Nationalization. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789401510554.
  5. ^ "In pictures: 70 years of Scottish hydro power". BBC. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  6. ^ Clegg, H. A.; Chester, T. E. (September 1953). "The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board". Public Administration. 31 (3): 213–234. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.1953.tb01689.x.
  7. ^ Osborne, Alistair (8 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher: one policy that led to more than 50 companies being sold or privatised". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b "SSE plc – The UK's broadest-based energy company". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) Contact Number". Utility Talk. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Scottish & Southern buys Fiddlers Ferry – Business News – Business – The Independent". The Independent. 30 July 2004. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. ^ Scottish & Southern to buy Irish Windfarm firm
  12. ^ "SSE plc – The UK's broadest-based energy company". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  13. ^ Kennedy, Simon (1 April 2010). "Scottish & Southern buys Hess assets for $423 mln". MarketWatch. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  14. ^ First press release with new branding Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Vaughan, Adam (7 November 2017). "SSE and npower in talks to create giant UK energy supplier". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  16. ^ Thomas, Nathalie (8 November 2017). "SSE and Npower agree to combine household supply businesses". Financial Times. The Nikkei. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  17. ^ Vaughan, Adam (30 August 2018). "Npower-SSE merger wins go-ahead from competition watchdog". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Competition watchdog clears SSE-Npower merger". BBC News. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Energy giants abandon merger plan". BBC News. 17 December 2018.
  20. ^ Scottish and Southern Energy Annual Report 2009
  21. ^ "Assistance for Areas with High Electricity Distribution Costs – National Grid". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  22. ^ "SSE to close remaining Scottish Hydro Electric shops". BBC News. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Renewables". SSE plc. Archived from the original on 14 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Thermal". SSE plc. Archived from the original on 14 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Energy firm SSE signs up as living wage employer". BBC. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  26. ^ "SSE leads way in campaign for fairer taxation". The Herald. 19 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Timeline – The SSE Hydro". June 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Odyssey complex becomes SSE Arena in cost cutting exercise". The Ulster Fry. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Wembley Arena to be renamed". The Guardian. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2018.

External links


SSE Airtricity (previously Eirtricity) was founded in Ireland in 1997 and is now an energy company owned by SSE plc. It is an international wind farm developer.

Alistair Phillips-Davies

Alistair Phillips-Davies (born July 1967) is a British businessman. He has been the chief executive officer (CEO) of SSE plc, a FTSE 100 electric utility company, since July 2013, succeeding Ian Marchant.


Cheekpoint (Irish: Pointe na Síge) is a village set on the confluence of the River Suir and the River Barrow. Lying beneath the 150-metre-high Minaun Hill (mountain meadow by a river) the village has panoramic views of Waterford Harbour, the 2131 ft. Barrow Bridge, which was once the longest bridge in Ireland, and Great Island Power Station now owned by Scottish Southern Energy SSE plc who purchased it from Endesa in 2012. The village is also surrounded by the Malting Woods which were planted by Cornelius Bolton.

Eluned Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Ely

Mair Eluned Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Ely (born 16 February 1967), is a Labour Assembly Member in the National Assembly of Wales and the Welsh Government Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language.From 2013 -2016 Eluned served as the Shadow Minister for Wales in the House of Lords, and from 2014-2016 she served as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and also as a whip. She was granted a peerage in 2011 and is formally known as Baroness Morgan of Ely. Eluned was responsible for leading for Labour in the Lords on the EU Referendum Bill and led for Labour on two Wales Bills.She is a former Member of the European Parliament who represented Wales for the Labour Party from 1994-2009. In this role she became the Labour spokesperson on industry, science and energy and spokesperson for the 200 strong Socialist Group on Budget Control matters. She authored the Green Paper on energy on behalf of the EP and led the Parliament's discussions on the Electricity Directive where she ensured new rights for consumers and demanded that Member States of the EU addressed the issue of fuel poverty.From late 2009 until July 2013 she worked as the Director of National Business Development in Wales for SSE (SWALEC) one of the UK's largest energy companies. She was responsible for the establishment of the SWALEC Smart Energy Centre in Treforest. She was also appointed as the Chair of the Cardiff Business Partnership.Her political career started at the age of 27 when she was elected as the youngest Member of the European Parliament in 1994. She was only the fifth woman elected to a full-time political position in the history of Wales, and the first full-time politician in Wales to have a baby whilst in office. Initially she represented the constituency of Mid and West Wales, and was subsequently re-elected in 1999 and 2004 under the new proportional representation system representing the whole of Wales.

Fair Tax Mark

The Fair Tax Mark is an independent accreditation awarded after an assessment based on "Transparency [and] tax rate, disclosure and avoidance"... As of January 2016, it is applicable to UK businesses. The process of assessing a company for the mark is intended to be initiated by the company that wants the mark.

The mark is awarded by the company Fair Tax Mark Limited, a not-for-profit community benefit society, incorporated 18 February 2014, company number IP032308. The Tax Justice Network assisted in raising initial funding, and it is supported by a number of other organisations including the Public and Commercial Services Union. Before the present company was formed, an "earlier incarnation" undertook a pilot study in June 2013.The company says that it is "a hybrid organisation that raises money through commercial activities (licensing the mark) but also raises money through grant fundraising and individual donations.".

Ferrybridge power stations

The Ferrybridge power stations are a series of three coal-fired power stations situated on the River Aire near Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire, England, next to the junction of the M62 and A1(M) motorways.

The first station on the site, Ferrybridge A power station, was constructed in the mid-1920s, and was closed in 1976; the main building has been retained as workshops. Ferrybridge B was brought into operation in the 1950s and closed in the early 1990s.

In the 1960s, Ferrybridge C power station was opened with a generating capacity of 2 GW from four 500 MW sets; constructed by Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) in 1965; on privatisation in 1989 ownership was passed to Powergen, then to Edison Mission Energy (1999), then to AEP Energy Services (American Electric Power) (2001) and to SSE plc (2004). C power station closed in March 2016.

Two of the four units were fitted with flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) plant in 2009. In 2013 SSE indicated that the power station would not comply with the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU) requiring the plant's closure by 2023 or earlier. It was later announced that the plant would be fully closed by March 2016.Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 is a 68 MW multi-fuel plant at the site which became operational in 2015.

Fiddlers Ferry power station

Fiddlers Ferry Power Station is a coal fired power station located in Widnes, Cheshire, in North West England, which is capable of co-firing biomass. It is situated on the north bank of the River Mersey between the towns of Widnes and Warrington. Opened in 1971, the station originally had a generating capacity of 1,989 megawatts (MW), which lowered to 1,510 MW in 2019. In a bid to combine efforts at the design and construction stages the Boiler and Turbo-generator plant were replicated at West Burton power station located between Retford and Gainsborough in North Nottinghamshire. Since the privatisation of the Central Electricity Generating Board in 1990, the station has been operated by various companies. Since 2004, Scottish and Southern Energy plc have operated the station. The power station is planned to be closed in March 2020.

With its eight 114-metre (374 ft) high cooling towers and 200-metre (660 ft) high chimney the station is a prominent landmark and can be seen from as far away as the Peak District and the Pennines.

Ian Marchant (businessman)

Ian Derek Marchant (born 9 February 1961) is an English accountant and businessman. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE plc) from 2002 until he left the position as of 30 June 2013.

List of onshore wind farms in the United Kingdom

This is a comprehensive list of onshore wind farms (more than 1 turbine) in the UK. This information is gathered from multiple Internet sources, primarily the UK Wind Energy Database from RenewableUK (formerly BWEA) and The Wind Power's database, and is current up to October 2010. The name of the wind farm is the name used by the energy company when referring to the farm and is usually related to the name of the physical location. E.g. hill, moor, fell, down etc. or the name of the agricultural farm for the smaller installations on property owned by farmers. The "wind farm" part is implied and hence removed for clarity in most cases.


The NorthConnect (also known as Scotland–Norway interconnector) is a proposed 650-kilometre (400 mi) 1,400 MW HVDC interconnector over the floor of the North Sea. The £1.75 billion project is being developed by NorthConnect, a Norwegian company specially set up by five electricity companies (Agder Energi, E-CO, Lyse, SSE plc and Vattenfall) to advance the scheme, with 2020 as the target start date. It is hoped that the connector will assist the growth of the Norwegian and Scottish renewable energy industries.It would be the first HVDC route to connect Scotland's electricity network directly to that of mainland Europe (though there are existing connections from England to mainland Europe), whereas Norway already has interconnectors to Denmark and the Netherlands, with an interconnector to Germany at the planning stage (see NORD.LINK and NorGer). The Scottish landfall is provisionally planned to be at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, where the connector will join the National Grid.

On 5 March 2013 it was announced that SSE has left the project. The Norwegian government ruled that only Statnett could own export cables. In 2016, Norway debates rules for export cables. In June 2016, Ofgem approved NorthConnect. Other approvals are still needed. The European Union put NorthConnect on the "Projects of Common Interest" list and supported its development with


Peterhead Power Station

Peterhead power station is a multi unit station owned and operated by SSE plc near Boddam and the A90, just south of Peterhead, in Aberdeenshire in the north east of Scotland.

Richard Gillingwater

Richard Dunnell Gillingwater CBE (born July 1956) is a British businessman, the chairman of SSE plc and Janus Henderson Group plc, and the pro-chancellor of the Open University

Richard Dunnell Gillingwater was born in July 1956.Gillingwater has a Law degree from Oxford University, and an MBA from IMD Lausanne.Gillingwater has been the chairman of SSE plc since July 2015, and a non-executive director since May 2007. He is the pro-chancellor of the Open University. He is the chairman of Janus Henderson Group plc, and a non-executive director of Helical Bar plc.

SSE Renewables

SSE Renewables is a renewable energy subsidiary of Airtricity (previously Eirtricity). Airtricity was founded in 1997 in Ireland and now is a renewable energy company owned by Scottish and Southern Energy. It is an international wind farm developer and is currently building, in partnership with RWE npower renewables, the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm which is the world's largest offshore wind farm under construction.


SWALEC (South Wales Electricity Board) was an electricity supply and distribution company which was bought out in 1996 for £872m following the de-regulation of the electricity supply industry in the UK.

Scottish Hydro Electric

Scottish Hydro plc (Scottish company number SC117119) was a public electricity supplier formed on 1 August 1989 after a change of name from North of Scotland Electricity plc on that date. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but merged with Southern Electric in 1998.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (trading name of Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission PLC, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution PLC and Southern Electric Power Distribution PLC), also known as SSEN, forms part of the SSE plc group, is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It is one of two energy companies in the UK to be involved both in electricity transmission and electricity distribution.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks manages two distribution networks and one transmission network. The company manages two of the fourteen distribution licenses in Great Britain. The company's electricity distribution and transmission networks carry electricity to over 3.7 million homes and businesses across the north of the Central Belt of Scotland, as well as Central Southern England. The company operates in the United Kingdom with head offices in Perth, Scotland and Reading, England.

Shetland HVDC Connection

Shetland HVDC Connection is a planned high-voltage direct current submarine power cable to connect the Shetland Islands to the Scottish mainland. It is being developed by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, a subsidiary of SSE plc.

Southern Electric

Southern Electric plc was a public limited energy company in the United Kingdom between 1990 and 1998, when it merged with Scottish Hydro-Electric plc to form Scottish and Southern Energy plc (now SSE plc). Since then, its "Southern Electric" name and logo have continued to be used by SSE as a brand name for retail distribution of gas and electricity in the south of England.

The company had its origins in the southern England region of the British nationalised electricity industry. Created in 1948 as the Southern Electricity Board, in 1990 it was privatised by being floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Viking Wind Farm

Viking Wind Farm is a proposed wind farm being developed by Viking Energy, a partnership between Shetland Islands Council and SSE plc.

Initially proposed as a 150 turbine 600 MW project in 2009, the scheme had significant opposition, on grounds including effects on wildlife, and the general environment; part of the wind farm was also removed because of a potential interference with equipment at Scatsta Airport.

A 370 MW wind farm received planning permission in 2012, but an objection by Sustainable Shetland was successful in Sep 2013 on the grounds of inadequate assessment of impact on the Whimbrel bird, and on licensing regulations relating to the 1989 Electricity Act. This decision was subsequently overturned by two higher courts in 2014 and 2015.


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