A £709 million subsea electricity link to help Shetland export renewable energy to the mainland has moved a step closer. Ofgem said that it is likely to approve the project and will make a final decision this year. However, the regulator indicated it is likely to reject a £663 million link between the Western Isles and the mainland. The infrastructure projects are regarded as key to allowing more wind farms on the islands. The links are needed to ensure new projects can export the energy produced to the mainland grid as well as improving the security of supply to the islands. Both developments are being brought forward by Scottish and Southern Energy Networks. Ofgem said it is likely to approve the 600 megawatt Shetland-to-Caithness link if the Viking Energy wind farm, which will have a capacity of up to 457 megawatts, wins a subsidy through the UK government’s contracts for difference regime — the main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation.
Times 20th March 2019 read more »
Plans to lay a £709m subsea electricity cable from Shetland to the Scottish mainland have been provisionally approved by Ofgem. The energy regulator said it was minded to give the go-ahead for SSE Networks’ (SSEN) 600MW transmission link. It would allow new wind farms on Shetland to export electricity to the rest of the UK. However, Ofgem has rejected current proposals for a 600MW cable linking the Western Isles to the mainland. The energy regulator said it had concerns about the cost to consumers of having the cable constructed based on the link serving just two wind farm projects on the isles. Ofgem said it would instead support alternative proposals for a 450MW cable, or even a 600MW link but at a reduced cost. The regulator said the alternative projects would need to “more appropriately” protect consumers from additional costs of funding “a potentially significantly underutilised link”. SEN said it had managed to reduce the estimated costs of its proposed 600MW link from £662.9m to £623.8m, and the 450MW cable from £616.8m to about £596m. It had proposed having the Western Isles link laid by 2023.
BBC 19th March 2019 read more »
Scotsman 19th March 2019 read more »
The National 20th March 2019 read more »
SHETLAND is preparing for a second energy boom after regulators signalled approval for a £709 million subsea electricity cable linking the islands to the mainland, aimed at unlocking the power of wind. Ofgem said it is minded to green-light the Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) 600 megawatt link, which would allow new wind farms on Shetland to export renewable electricity to the rest of the UK and help ensure security of supply on the islands. But critics hit out after the regulator indicated it will reject similar plans in the Western Isles. It instead suggested a smaller, 450MW cable would better protect consumers than paying for a “significantly underutilised link” which would connect to two wind farms on Lewis. SNP MP Angus MacNeil, who represents the Outer Hebrides, said he was dismayed by the decision, adding: “It would be a mistake to build 450MW instead of 600MW. This would mean that the project would be unlikely to go ahead in an area which has the strongest wind resource in Europe.”
Herald 19th March 2019 read more »
SSE fury at expected ruling on Western Isles energy link.
Energy Voice 20th March 2019 read more »