Energy regulator Ofgem has been “unable to approve” plans for two huge subsea cables to take energy from the Scottish islands to the mainland. The transmission links from Shetland and the Western Isles were proposed to connect planned new wind farms on the islands to the national grid. Ofgem said the failure of the projects to secure subsidies meant it was not able to approve the subsea links. However the energy regulator said it would welcome “revised proposals”. In March, Ofgem had said it was minded to approve the Shetland proposals from Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN). The regulator said in a statement: “Ofgem is unable to approve a proposal by Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) to build a 600MW subsea electricity transmission link from Shetland to mainland Scotland. “For the Western Isles, Ofgem is unable to approve SSEN’s proposal to build a 600MW transmission link.”
BBC 23rd Oct 2019 read more »
Times 24th Oct 2019 read more »
Scotsman 23rd Oct 2019 read more »
Former energy minister Brian Wilson recently noted island projects that have won official support under the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme might not be built because they did not generate enough power to justify installing an inter-connector. Ofgem’s decision regarding the £709 million inter-connector SSE proposed to install off Shetland could put pressure on the firm to increase its total investment. The regulator had said in March it was minded to approve the link, on the assumption the Viking windfarm planned by SSE went ahead. Viking failed to win CfD support. SSE noted yesterday: “The potential that remote island wind developers may be able to progress without a CfD has already been publicly acknowledged.” The company may be expecting Ofgem to give ground.
Herald 24th Oct 2019 read more »