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Tenders invited to replace power station

FOURTEEN businesses have been invited to tender for a new energy solution for Shetland after the Lerwick power station comes to the end of its life in 2019.

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) said on Tuesday that bidders had until October to respond with detailed proposals.

The company hopes to be able to present industry regulator Ofgem with its preferred proposal in spring 2017. Ofgem will then consult again before a final decision is made.

It has taken SHEPD more than two years to get to this stage after its initial plans for a 90 megawatt ‘dual fuel’ power station to be built at Gremista, in Lerwick, was rejected by the regulator in April 2014.

With the islands not being connected to the national grid, the new energy solution needs to be capable of meeting local demand at all times, peaking in winter at around 47MW.

SHEPD said that tenders could include thermal power plants, renewable generators, demand side management systems, electricity storage devices or cable connections.

Project Manager Dan Pearson said by issuing the invitation to tender a key milestone in replacing the Lerwick power station had been reached.

“We have worked closely with Ofgem, our independent auditor and specialist consultants at each stage to reach this point in what is a complex procurement process.

“The level of engagement from the market has been very positive and we will be offering bidders an opportunity next month to obtain any final clarification they may need.

“We will receive bids in the autumn and the final stage of shaping Shetland’s future energy system can then begin.

“This process began with our customers in Shetland and we look forward to returning to present details of the outcome ahead of the final regulatory approval process next year,” he said.

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