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SSE buys stake in Geothermal International

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has secured a 20 per cent stake in ground source heating and cooling specialist Geothermal International Ltd in a £15million deal.

With all energy companies under pressure to boost the amount of power generated by renewables SSE is keen to expand its portfolio and this is the biggest direct investment so far..

Following the announcement the company said it would be using the deal to develop a commercial offering in geothermal energy and hoped to benefit from a significant stake in a growing business with a European wide profile.

Ian Marchant (pictured), chief executive of SSE, said: 'SSE is rapidly building a strong portfolio of clean energy businesses that cover almost every part of the renewable and alternative energy market in the UK. Geothermal energy has been an obvious missing piece in this portfolio and this deal fills the gap very effectively.

'Geothermal International is a well established business with a proven capability and will play a major role in supporting our growing Energy Services business.

“It provides SSE with access to renewable heat technologies that compliment the renewable electricity technologies we have already invested in, and reinforces our commitment to offer customers a complete range of renewable energy solutions.”

SSE has now invested in nine renewable companies although this latest deal – phased over six months – is the biggest investment so far.

Geothermal International Ltd (GI) is a supplies ground source heating and cooling systems and operations throughout the UK and Ireland plus Europe. It is primarily active in the commercial building sector.

Since 2000 it has installed over 1,300 ground source heat pump systems, amounting to over 90MW of capacity, ranging in size from from 6kW to 10MW.

Brian Davidson, CEO of Geothermal International, said: 'Geothermal International has built a unique position within the ground source heat pump sector.

'The company offers a complete service to the commercial buildings market and has a reputation for pioneering ground loop design, as well as the capability and track record to install large systems for an array of commercial buildings.

'The investment and strategic partnership with SSE is a vote of confidence for the technology by one of the UK's leading utility companies.

“This partnership will provide numerous commercial and strategic opportunities for GI, and help to grow the business to the next stage of development.

“We look forward to working with SSE's other renewable energy partners, as well as providing ESCO solutions for developers, house builders and local authorities that deploy ground source heat pumps on a large scale.'