SSE Energy Solutions has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the West Midlands Combined Authority to deliver green energy projects in the region – including EV charging hubs, heat networks and large solar arrays.
The agreement was announced today (21 September) by West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, at the Energy Capital Conference in Coventry.
The MOU means the two bodies will ‘work collaboratively to identify, facilitate, encourage, and develop individual energy projects’.
SSE is already working on delivering several energy projects in the West Midlands and is creating a business hub in the region as part of its new regional energy strategy.
Planned projects include one of the UK’s first HGV electric vehicle (EV) refuelling hubs and the design of a Future Energy System in East Birmingham. In addition, five sites have been agreed for public ultra-rapid EV charging hubs with a further 65 planned. The hub to be built at Tyburn Road, in Birmingham will be SSE’s largest to date in England with 26 bays.
There are also plans for the creation of modern heat networks, large solar arrays, and the installation of energy storage facilities.
SSE is also exploring a partnership with the National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat (NCDH), collaborating with the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, which will bring together innovation, training, and delivery programmes.
SSE is spending almost £10m a day as part of plans to invest £18 billion in clean energy infrastructure across the UK by 2027.
The WMCA has ambitious plans for the region to reach net zero by 2041 while also supporting economic growth and a fair and just transition. The collaboration with SSE and wider activity by the WMCA’s local authority members will maximise the strengths of both public and private investment and capacity.
Neil Kirkby, Managing Director of Enterprise at SSE Energy Solutions, said: “At SSE we want to become the leading net zero infrastructure advisor to local government and local businesses and this MOU with the West Midlands is another example of our ambitions in this area.
“We believe strongly in a just and fair transition to net zero and our new Social Value strategy will drive that forward. Decarbonising the country presents opportunities to support communities with regeneration, economic investment, and the creation of sustainable, long-term jobs.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “Reaching our net zero goals is mission critical and to successfully achieve it was always going to rely on the public and the private sector working together to share an array of experience, investment and insights.
“This MOU that we’re announcing with SSE today is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with one of the UK’s major energy companies to help shape the major infrastructure we need to reach our net zero vision over the months and years ahead.”
Image courtesy of SSE Energy Solutions.