I was delighted to mark the end of my first full year in post as Managing Director within SHE Transmission with notable success on our sustainability goals as we became the first electricity network company globally to have our science based carbon reduction targets accredited in line with the most ambitious pathway to net zero. With our network being home to some of the UK’s greatest resources of renewable energy, we have a critical role to play in helping the UK and Scottish Government achieve net zero emissions by connecting and transporting more renewable energy and by tackling our own emissions. This year we have continued to make significant progress in enabling more renewable generation, in 2019 we had transmission solutions in development to connect close to 3GWs of renewable generation. I am immensely proud of this and the many other achievements captured in this report.
Another of the stand out achievements of 2019/20 was the award of a ‘mature’ rating in the AA1000 health check for stakeholder engagement. Our engagement with stakeholders has grown significantly over the last year as we have continued to progress our projects in development and our strategic priorities.
In July 2020, following years of methodical engagement and project development, Ofgem granted approval to construct the Shetland Link which will provide an HVDC connection of 600MW. This project will land the dual goals of connecting renewable energy and security of supply for the island communities.
On safety, we brought our impactful 50by20 programme to a close. This programme, launched in 2016, set ambitious targets to reduce our safety incident rate by 50%, to have no life changing injuries, to have 50% of people active on health and to get everyone home safe. I am delighted to report that we met our target. I’m really proud of the work we have done during this time to reduce the number and the severity of safety incidents. We operate in some really challenging environments but we have made real strides to ensure that we get everyone home safe. This year we launch the ‘Safe Days’ initiative, further embedding a safety culture within the business.
In the space of a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed society and the economy. As well as maintaining security of supply, we have worked hard to minimise the impact of the pandemic on our projects in development and in construction. By moving our engagement online we have managed to keep development programmes on track for planning consents and while our teams have been working from home we have consistently delivered new connections offers on time. We have experienced only one event resulting in a loss of supply this year, demonstrating our continued commitment to network reliability.
Recent attention has rightly focused on coronavirus, but climate change hasn’t gone away and remains a critical challenge. The transition to net zero presents an opportunity for a green economic recovery and we are determined to play a leading role in this.
Read the full Annual Performance Report here