SSE Networks (SSEN) yesterday submitted a ‘final needs case’ for the Shetland transmission licence to energy regulator Ofgem.
Operating as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission under the licence, the subsea cable will distribute generated energy from the Shetland Isles to the Scottish mainland.
Shetland’s current energy needs are met from a local island generation network.
The transmission licence would connect it to the UK, allowing it to export into that market.
Dave Gardner, SSEN’s director of transmission, said: “Today marks a significant milestone in providing a transmission connection to Shetland. We believe our proposal represents a robust, economic case for reinforcement and provides the best possible opportunity to unlock Shetland’s renewable potential.
“The submission marks an important first step in the process, however successful delivery will be dependent on sufficient volumes of renewable generation capacity securing a CfD contract to underpin the investment case, in addition to regulatory approval and relevant planning consents.”
SSEN’s proposed solution would deliver a deliver a single 600MW subsea circuit from Kergord on Shetland to Noss Head in Caithness on the Scottish mainland, connecting into the Caithness-Moray transmission link which is currently under construction.
Viking Energy Shetland’s head of development and strategy Aaron Priest said: “We have waited a long time to reach this significant milestone so it’s pleasing to see it happen today.
“Viking Wind Farm is an already consented ‘anchor’ project for the Shetland HVDC link, which would connect Shetland to the national electricity grid for the first time and provide an asset of long-term national strategic importance to the UK.
“Today’s announcement is a welcome boost for Viking Energy as it gears up to bid for a CfD power contract next May. If successful in the CfD auction, wind farm construction work could begin in spring 2020, bringing jobs and work for Shetland businesses.”