Shetland transmission link : SSE secures Ofgem’s approval for 600MW HVDC link

Scottish energy company SSE has secured approval from the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) for the Shetland transmission link project, a 600MW HVDC transmission link that will connect Shetland to the UK mainland.

The Shetland transmission project is being advanced by SSE’s transmission business – Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN Transmission). It is being proposed to enable the connection of renewable energy developments on Shetland, which include SSE Renewables’ 443MW Viking wind farm for which a final investment decision was taken last month.

According to SSE, the Shetland transmission link will also support the future security of supply requirements of the Shetland besides connecting the islands to the main UK electricity system for the first time, thereby giving scope for cost saving for consumers.

However, the Ofgem approval for the Shetland HVDC connection project is conditional on the British regulator being satisfied, by the end of this year, that the Viking wind farm is likely to move forward.

SSE Renewables said that it is working with Ofgem to present satisfactory evidence as set out in the needs case consultation.

SSE secures Ofgem's approval for the Shetland transmission link

SSE secures Ofgem’s approval for the Shetland transmission link. Photo courtesy of SSE.

Alistair Phillips-Davies – SSE Chief Executive, commenting on the approval of the Shetland transmission link, said: “Today’s decision marks a significant milestone in delivering a ‘whole system’ solution to meet Shetland’s future needs, as well supporting the transition to net zero emissions, and shows again that we are putting our money where our mouth is on driving the green recovery.

“It has been a long journey, but with a combined investment in excess of £1bn, the construction of the subsea transmission link, all associated onshore infrastructure and the Viking Energy wind farm will deliver substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits to Shetland’s, Scotland’s and the UK’s economy, supporting hundreds of skilled jobs in the process.”

The Shetland transmission link project will comprise a high voltage direct current (HVDC) link which includes nearly 260km of cabling, of which 10km will be in the sea. Also part of the transmission project is a 320/132kV substation and HVDC convertor station, proposed to be built at Upper Kergord on Shetland and a Caithness HVDC Switching Station, for enabling connection to the existing transmission system at Noss Head in Caithness.

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