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Energy / Viking Energy to carry out road alterations

The existing Sandwater road, which would remain in place for use by the public until the wind farm construction is completed. Photo: Viking Energy

ALTERATIONS are set to be carried out by Viking Energy on the Sandwater road in the coming weeks in preparation for it being used by construction traffic.

The work on the B9075 is expected to start on Monday 20 January, and it is due to last up to eight weeks.

It will consist of constructing new passing places and extending existing ones in the view to improving safety and visibility, with Garriock Bros Ltd contracted to carry out the work.

The road – which starts at the junction at the halfway house – is due to be used by construction traffic during the building of an access track to the site of the proposed electricity convertor station at Upper Kergord.

Viking Energy said council road engineers are keen for vehicles to be able to pass each other more safely on the carriageway, and avoid having to reverse back to passing places when faced with oncoming traffic.

The Sandwater road is expected to remain open during most of the works, but there could be delays of up to 20 minutes.

Viking Energy said any road closures would be timed to avoid the busier periods before 9.30am and after 3pm.

The piece of road due to be affected by the work will stretch from the Sandwater junction to the Upper Kergord junction.

A Viking Energy spokesman said: “We are delighted to bring in Garriock for this job and we look forward to working with many more local contractors and suppliers in the years ahead.

“We would appeal to users of the Sandwater road to show patience during the works and to drive slowly to help ensure their own safety and that of the road workers.”

The road works come despite the proposed 600MW interconnector between Shetland and the Scottish mainland – which would give the green light to the 103-turbine Viking Energy wind farm and the convertor station – not having the go-ahead yet.

Energy regulator Ofgem recently invited SSE to provide a revised needs case for the interconnector after the Viking Energy project failed in a bid for government subsidy.

This week SSE, which is behind the Viking wind farm, said it was unable to provide an update on the progress of a revised submission.

Viking Energy also wants to build a new double-track Sandwater road later down the line which would initially be used for construction traffic during the construction of the wind farm.

If the wind farm goes ahead and the new road is built, the surface would be opened to the public.