Monday was another important milestone in Scotland’s, and the UK’s, journey towards a cleaner and more secure energy system as Crown Estate Scotland confirmed who has been selected to lead the way in developing the next generation of offshore wind farms in Scottish waters.

The ScotWind auction process has awarded lease option agreements that can deliver 25GW of clean, green electricity - enough to power an incredible 40 million British homes, helping not only to cut carbon emissions but also to reduce the country’s dependence on volatile fossil fuels.

As Scotland’s largest headquartered energy firm we’re delighted our partnership with Marubeni and CIP has been successful in winning the rights to our preferred site which will see up to 2.6GW build off the coast of Scotland.

At COP26, in Glasgow, we and others told the world how wind and renewables must form the backbone of efforts to fight climate change.

READ MORE: Oil and gas workers 'given confidence for future' after £700m wind power contracts

Scottish waters are some of the windiest in the world, so it isn’t surprising that many are being drawn here to develop in them.

But for all the competition, no-one anywhere in the world is building more offshore wind than Scottish headquartered SSE.

That is something we should all be incredibly proud of.

Employees at our Glasgow and Perth renewables hubs of excellence, alongside others across the country, are developing, planning and engineering some of the most groundbreaking projects in the world, including the world’s largest and deepest offshore wind farms. We paved the path on this net zero journey.

SSE is set to be a Scottish record breaker for the largest offshore wind farm in our seas with our Seagreen project as we were for our previous Beatrice project, supporting local jobs and investing in communities.

The £2.5bn Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, off the coast of Caithness, has been transformative for the town of Wick, supporting local jobs and upgrading the harbour side. It is a fantastic example of how offshore wind projects can support a just transition, with over two thirds of its control room staff having previously worked in oil and gas.

Down the coast, we’re developing the £3bn, 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm, which will provide enough green energy to power more than 1.6 million homes. And in the Firth of Forth, Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm is in the early stages of development with the potential to deliver up to 4.1GW of installed capacity.

READ MORE: ScotWind auction success for oil firms and Scottish energy giants

Further down the coast and even further out to sea we’re developing the world leading Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm.

But these incredible projects will generate much more than just electricity. For people and communities across Scotland, the impact will be huge.

US power giant GE and the Global Energy Group have separately launched plans for massive new offshore wind manufacturing facilities on Teesside and the Port of Nigg in Scotland respectively. Investments like these will create hundreds of skilled, green jobs in the UK and provide real opportunities for the supply chain and for workers to make the transition from oil and gas to renewables.

Today’s news is the next step in our £12.5bn Net Zero Acceleration Programme which will see us investing right across the energy value chain.

We’re building on our renewables pedigree and exporting our skills internationally – taking Scotland’s engineering prowess across the world.

But the SSE Group benefits from being a multi-skilled business with interests across low-carbon assets and infrastructure. It’s this breadth and scale that means we can invest £7 million every single day in some of the biggest and most ambitious net zero projects in the world. Just as SSE Renewables is leading the way in Scottish seas, our networks businesses are delivering net zero across the hills and mountains of the north of Scotland as well.

We’ve huge electricity transmission networks investment planned to transport renewable electricity to Scottish homes as well as exporting it to the rest of the UK. We will need to work collaboratively with the Regulator and communities to enable the timely investment necessary to meet UK government 2030 offshore wind targets, whilst also accommodating all of the proposed Scotwind projects.

At the same time our SSEN distribution business is also investing big to bring that renewable power right to homes and support the electrification of heat and transport over the next decade. Areas where huge investment and growth is needed and huge potential is to be had.

Our heritage in clean power means we’re well positioned to invest in new technologies, too.

We’re looking to develop carbon capture and storage technology which would see Scotland’s last gas-fired power station – a station critical for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine – redeveloped with clean, low-carbon, flexible technology that would slash emissions and provide the balance needed to support more renewables. That technology is cutting edge and will see skills honed over years in the north east, stay in the north east. We’re working with the Scottish and UK Governments to progress it as quickly as possible.

SSE is the UK's clean energy champion because we are a business investing in the assets and infrastructure needed to electrify the economy to reach net zero. In offshore and onshore wind, in hydro, in pylons and wires, in distribution and EV infrastructure, in the grid to support lower carbon homes and in the new technologies to get us there.

Investments like these will create hundreds of skilled, green jobs in the UK, provide real opportunities for the supply chain and are the route to delivering the COP26’s promise to build a cleaner, greener, net zero world.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE