SSE partners Mitsubishi for low-carbon projects

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) have entered into a strategic agreement to co-operate on low-carbon energy developments.

The partners will explore technologies including offshore wind farms, advanced technology for smart electricity grids and low-carbon vehicles, carbon capture and storage and high-efficiency power generation.

Mitsubishi and SSE are working together to become strategic partners in low-carbon electricity production and management and in low-carbon transport technology. They hope to establish joint development projects, ventures, investments and supply arrangements through this agreement.

SSE established a Centre of Engineering Excellence in Renewable Energy in partnership with Strathclyde University in 2009, with more than 300 skilled professional jobs to be created by SSE over three years.

The agreement with Mitsubishi will build on this and is expected to lead to up to 100 additional new engineering-based jobs being created at the centre.

Employment at the centre is expected to grow further as other suppliers of services and products related to offshore wind energy development and other partners join SSE and Mitsubishi in locating engineering-related jobs there. It is on course to reach around 1,000 jobs over the next five years.

Subject to the progress of the agreement, SSE and Mitsubishi intend to focus, in the first instance, on the delivery of renewable energy from offshore sites and the deployment of low-carbon vehicles.

In May 2010, the Offshore Valuation Group, a collaboration of government and industry organisations, said that the development of the UK’s offshore resource could generate the electricity equivalent of one billion barrels of oil per year, or the same as the average annual output of UK North Sea oil and gas over the past four decades.

Colin Hood, chief operating officer of SSE, said: ‘This agreement represents one of the most significant industrial partnerships to be established in Scotland since the heyday of North Sea oil – and low-carbon energy represents Scotland’s biggest economic opportunity since then.

‘As the UK’s broadest-based energy company, SSE has extensive interests and opportunities in low-carbon developments and our partnership with Mitsubishi should help us to make the most of them.’