Top table change at SSE Renewables

Stephen Wheeler

STEPHEN Wheeler has been appointed to take over the role as managing director of SSE Renewables when incumbent Jim Smith retires early next year.

Currently managing director of SSE Thermal, he was previously managing director of SSE Ireland and before that was general manager (Ireland) of SSE Renewables.

Wheeler (48) was part of the successful management team that grew the Airtricity renewable energy platform before SSE acquired it in 2008.

Before joining Airtricity, he spent more than 10 years working with ABB and Siemens internationally, specialising in the development and construction of generation assets.

A graduate of Electrical Engineering at University College Dublin, with an MBA from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, he is a past chairman of Wind Energy Ireland (WEI).


Wheeler will become part of the SSE Group Executive Committee and will report to board director Martin Pibworth, group energy and commercial director. He will take up his role in January 2022.


He said: “I'm immensely proud that I will be leading SSE Renewables. We have a fantastic platform to build from with the business currently leading the construction of more offshore wind energy than anybody else in the world, including developing and building the largest offshore wind farm in the world at Dogger Bank.

“I’m excited to be building on the excellent job Jim has done in establishing SSE Renewables as a leading player in the sector, and I look forward to a smooth transition with the highly talented renewables team in order to deliver our domestic and international ambitions, and in doing so accelerating into growth and helping reach net zero.”


Martin Pibworth said: “These are exciting times for the SSE group and Stephen will bring both international and domestic experience of developing and operating low carbon electricity to help propel the renewables business further still.

“Jim Smith’s contribution to SSE and the wider energy sector has been immense over a number of years.

“However, in Stephen we have a fully able successor and I look forward to working with him to build on our already enviable pipeline and enter a new era of renewables growth as we seek to build on our position as the UK and Ireland’s national energy champion and expand internationally.”

Part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, SSE Renewables has a portfolio of around 4GW of onshore wind, offshore wind and hydro.

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