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News / SSE stages event about interconnector cable

A map showing (in red) the route the cable from Shetland to Caithness would take.

THE COMPANY that wants to lay an interconnector cable between Shetland and Caithness to allow energy from the proposed Viking Energy windfarm to be transmitted to the mainland is to stage an open event in Lerwick later this month.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), operating under licence as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, is seeking feedback on its plans to install the 600MW cable between Weisdale Voe and a landfall north of Wick in Caithness.

The event was originally planned for August but had to be postponed after fog disruption at Sumburgh Airport prevented SSEN’s team from travelling to the islands.

The open event will take place on Thursday 27 October between 2pm-7.30pm at Mareel in Lerwick.

Anyone interested in the consultation can also find information online here and submit comments or questions to SSEN liaison manager Neil Anderson at neil.anderson@sse.com.

Viking Energy’s 103-turbine windfarm, which was granted planning consent by the Scottish Government in April 2012, is dependent on the cable being laid, as are plans for wind turbines in the North Isles.

The UK Government has cut subsidies for renewable energy in many areas but its plans for Scotland’s islands remain unclear.

If the hotly-disputed Viking project does go ahead, a converter station at Weisdale would be used to transmit energy down the cable so the wind can provide power to tens of thousands of homes in Scotland.

Commenting on the new consultation event Anderson said it formed part of the work leading up to an application for the marine licence required to install and operate the transmission cable.

“The consultation is an opportunity to review the marine cable route corridor, to consider the proposed installation method, and also to explore how we can minimise any potential impacts on other users of the seabed and the marine environment,” he said.

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“We would like to apologise to anyone who was inconvenienced by the postponement of our original event in August, but we very much look forward to the opportunity to discuss our proposals with all interested parties at Mareel on Thursday 27 October.

SHE Transmission is preparing to apply for the marine licence so that it can be ready to install the proposed cable if it is required.

It is also preparing to send a funding request to industry regulator Ofgem “subject to confirmation of UK Government policy regarding island generators’ participation in a future Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction”. 

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