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Preparatory work commences at planned Kergord converter station

Photo: SSEN Transmission

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ground investigation works are getting under way at the site of the proposed converter station necessary to connect a number of local renewable energy projects including the Viking Energy wind farm.

SSEN Transmission said that Orkney-based specialist ORCA has been commissioned to undertake the work, which is commencing today (Monday) and is expected to take three weeks.

The converter station at the north end of the Kergord valley is a vital component of the proposed £700 million interconnector that would link Shetland to the national grid and would allow for the export of renewable energy from the isles.

SSEN Transmission lead environmental project manager Julie Tuck said that an archaeological assessment such as this was a key milestone in the project development process.

“We will be working closely with ORCA archaeology in the coming weeks,” she said.

“In the event of any archaeological discoveries SSEN Transmission is committed to ensure these are fully documented, preserved if possible, and our findings shared with interested parties.”

A final decision whether or not the interconnector cable will get the green light from energy regulator Ofgem is expected later this year.

It depends on whether Viking Energy/SSE decides to commit building its 103-turbine wind farm with no government subsidies, as well as the strength of the case for a cable to keep the lights on in Shetland once the Lerwick power station is switched off in 2025.