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Viking Energy update

SHE Transmission projects.

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission continues working on plans to connect Shetland to the national electricity grid.

Wind farm developer Viking Energy said an announcement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on Thursday on the end of subsidies for onshore wind farms has no bearing on the Shetland project.

The company is waiting for news as to the future of the Contract for Difference (CfD) auction, the subsidy scheme for large renewable energy projects.

Earlier this week SHE Transmission said it had revised the proposed interconnector’s underground cable route between its landfall in Weisdale Voe and the planned converter station at Upper Kergord.

Lead project manager David Inglis said: “Following further development work, we have confirmed that we will be able to re-route the cable in Shetland higher on the hillside after it comes ashore.

A map of the revised Kergord underground cable route - Map: SHE Transmission

“The cable route now largely follows one of the wind farm access tracks, which will reduce disruption during the construction period for the local community and other land users.”

SHE Transmission has also just completed a consultation on a proposed switching station near Wick where the planned Shetland High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea cable would come ashore to be connected to the 1,200MW Caithness – Moray subsea cable, currently under construction.

SHE Transmission said the switching station would allow the flow of electricity to be managed between three underground HVDC circuits – one from a converter station at Spittal in Caithness, one from a converter station at Kergord, and one to a converter station at Blackhillock in Moray.

Meanwhile, Viking Energy said it had missed out on the first round of the CfD auction, when 27 projects received more than £315 million in funding, this February.

Following the May election, the second CfD round, originally due this month, was postponed until next year leaving renewable energy companies in the dark over future funding.

New energy minister Amber Rudd is on record saying that she would make an announcement on the future of the CfD scheme this autumn.