Energy giant SSE employs 450 people in Wexford

ENERGY giant SSE, owner of energy supplier Airtricity and a major investor and employer in County Wexford, has invested the equivalent of €1 million every day for the last five years, bringing its total investment in Ireland to over €2 billion since 2008.

This includes almost half a billion euro which SSE invested last year with its acquisition of the Great Island power station and an adjacent CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) construction project purchased from Endesa Ireland, among other Irish generating assets.

SSE also operates the 27MW Richfield Wind Farm at Bridgetown.

This week SSE celebrates its fifth birthday in Ireland with the acquisition of its new landmark corporate headquarters for Ireland in Co. Dublin.

Ian Marchant, SSE plc's outgoing chief executive and architect of SSE's significant Irish success over the last five years was joined by Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, at an event to mark SSE's investment and job creation in Ireland and to celebrate the acquisition of its new corporate headquarters.

SSE operates and invests in thermal and renewable energy generation, energy supply and related services across Ireland and currently has over 1,500 direct and indirect employees.

Over 450 of these 1,500 jobs are based in County Wexford, with employees currently working on the construction of SSE's CCGT power plant at Great Island, at SSE's existing operational power station at the same site, and at its Richfield Wind Farm.

SSE's €2 billion investment over the last five years establishes the company as Ireland's second largest energy provider. Its energy supply business Airtricity supplies gas and electricity to over 830,000 customers nationwide.

At Great Island, SSE currently operates a 240MW fuel oil power station whose principal function is to help maintain security of electricity supply in the all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM) by being available to respond to peaks in demand.

At the same site, SSE is currently constructing a 460MW CCGT which will generate enough electricity to power around half a million homes. Expected to be commissioned in 2014 this clean gas-fired power plant will replace the existing 240MW fuel oil unit at the site and will be one of the most modern, efficient and reliable CCGT plants on the Irish national grid.

As well as providing a significant contribution to estimated future peak energy demand, SSE's new clean gas power plant will significantly decarbonise electricity generation in Ireland.

Elsewhere in Co. Wexford, SSE's operates the 18-turbine Richfield Wind Farm at Bridgetown. Commissioned in December 2006, Richfield generates enough green energy to power around 13,000 homes. 'From small beginnings in 2008 when we acquired the renewable energy business, Airtricity, SSE's activities in Ireland have expanded rapidly to offer our customers a broad range of high quality customer services. Five years on our growth translates to €2 billion invested in Ireland or just over €1 million every day since 2008,' said Mr. Marchant.

Wexford People

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