CAB - 7 Oct 2020 - 10 Oct 2020 - Advice

Energy / SSEN to press ahead with project to connect wind farms to converter station

Carmichael calls on government to invest in clean energy

The project's aim is to connects the various wind farms to proposed the sub-station at Kergord. Image: SSEN

WORK is about to get underway to provide the onshore infrastructure that would allow a number of local wind farm projects to connect to the proposed 600MW subsea cable between Shetland and the Scottish mainland via the proposed Kergord switching station and HVDC converter station.

SSEN Transmission has now initiated the Shetland Renewables Connection Project to tie in with the Shetland HVDC project, which is already at the so-called project refinement status.

In order to connect the Mossy Hill, Beaw Field and Energy Isles wind farms to the infrastructure originally planned for the Viking Energy wind farm, the transmission utility proposes to build the following:

  • A new 132 kV switching station on Yell to connect the Beaw Field and Energy Isles wind farms;
  • A mixture of new 132 kV land cable and overhead line to connect Energy Isles and Beaw Field to the Yell switching station;
  • A new 132 kV connection from the Yell switching station to the Kergord substation, consisting of a mixture of land cable, overhead line and subsea cable;
  • A mixture of a new 132 kV land cable and overhead line to connect Mossy Hill wind farm, outside Lerwick, to the Kergord sub station.

In a letter to interested parties, SSEN Transmission said that the start of site investigation works such as bird surveys was “imminent’.

The company added that the Shetland Renewables Connection Project was still at the early stages, and that a public consultation with further information would get underway later this spring.

More information about the project can be found at https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/shetland-renewable-connections/ 

Meanwhile, Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has called on the government to prioritise clean energy in its budget later this month.

In a letter to the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, Carmichael wrote: “In the past month, many people in the Northern Isles have contacted me to state their support for the government to prioritise clean energy in the coming budget.

“The isles have been at the forefront in renewables development and rollout, but there is strong support for further action.”

He added: “The government likes to talk about its net-zero target for 2050. A target is meaningless unless there is the political will to make it happen and there has been little evidence until now of meaningful change on the issue of green energy.

“If the government intends to keep the promises made on net-zero, the coming budget is their chance to prove it.”

Responding to the MP’s comments, the chairman of Sustainable Shetland, the group that opposes the development of large wind farms in the isles, said Carmichael had always supported the Viking wind farm without admitting to it.

Frank Hay said: “Once again he is choosing to listen to the wind farm lobby rather than those of his constituents who are going to have to live in close proximity to the abomination that is Viking Energy.

“There is much that is far from ‘green’ in the plans for Shetland that he chooses to ignore. The plans for Shetland have much to do with profiteering at the expense of consumers rather than any concern for the future of the planet.

“The implications of disturbing vast quantities of peat, quarrying and introducing vast concrete bases on delicate ecosystems clearly do not come into Carmichael’s considerations. Nor does he appear to accept that local residents are very concerned by the potential impacts on their health of living near to massive wind turbines.”