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Newcastle City Council and SSE Energy Solutions announce collaboration to drive net zero innovation and job creation

May 22, 2024

A photograph of three people standing alongside each other - Nick Kemp, Pam Smith and Neil Kirkby
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SSE Energy Solutions has announced its intention to establish a regional headquarters in Newcastle, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at advancing decarbonisation, innovation and job creation initiatives across the city.

The news follows the signing of an MoU between Newcastle City Council and SSE to accelerate the delivery of Newcastle’s Net Zero Action Plan and foster a green skills workforce of the future.

The MOU will look to provide more long-term, high-quality careers for local people in the £2.7bn low carbon economy by leveraging the city’s position at the forefront of the green industrial revolution.

As a major hub for global energy companies, Newcastle and the River Tyne Economic Corridor have been designated as a priority area for the £160m North East Investment Zone, which will drive investment and innovation in clean energy.

North East England has the highest concentration of energy-related businesses of any English region and is recognised by the Department for Business and Trade as a High Potential Opportunity (HPO) for heat decarbonisation, a key focus for SSE.

SSE Energy Solutions is a leading provider of local energy infrastructure and supports the decarbonisation efforts of local authorities and businesses throughout the UK and Ireland.

The company is committed to fostering strong regional relationships and through its intention to have a physical footprint in Newcastle will contribute to local economic growth and sustainable urban development. This includes constructing the world’s biggest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, where SSE has committed to investing £1m to local communities during the construction of its world-leading wind farm and working with education providers to support the development of skills for the future of green energy.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said:

“SSE’s commitment to Newcastle marks a significant step towards the realisation of our net zero ambitions and will help foster inclusive economic growth in communities across the city.

“Newcastle holds the distinction of being the first city in the world where the city council, university and hospital trust each declared a climate emergency and committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 and by joining forces with SSE, we intend to show we are serious about building a more sustainable future for our city and region.”

Neil Kirkby, Managing Director of Enterprise at SSE Energy Solutions, said:

“Our partnership with Newcastle City Council is a testament to SSE’s unwavering commitment to supporting the North East’s transition to a sustainable future. By combining our expertise in decarbonisation and renewable energy with Newcastle’s position as a hub for innovation, we aim to create a powerful model for accelerating the net zero transition – one that can be replicated across regions throughout the UK and Ireland.

“This collaboration is a prime example of how SSE is investing in the communities where we operate, driving local economic growth, and championing a fair and just energy transition. Together with Newcastle City Council, we will work to unlock the potential of low-carbon technologies, foster the development of a skilled green workforce, and ultimately, build a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.”

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