Letters / Interconnector not just a ‘business opportunity’

I read with interest your article on the developers’ response to the power link approval of 23 April 2020 (Developers respond to Ofgem power link approval; SN, 23 April 2020).


I am surprised to see Viking describe their wind farm as the “anchor project” to the interconnector; surely the anchor project are the 23,000 residents of Shetland that will need electricity once our oil fired power station is switched off.

This may be in 2025 or it may be a little later but, as the high court ruling on the third runway at Heathrow has demonstrated, we are legally committed to the 2050 net zero target and as the only oil fired power station in the UK we have no choice.

Shetland residents need an interconnector with or without onshore wind or a demand from the offshore industry for renewable power for their installations.


Our need for electricity will only grow as more and more cars, vans, buses and quad bikes become battery powered. The same applies to our homes and all our power needs. The constant conflation of onshore wind and our need for an interconnector is unhelpful and inaccurate.

We are the justification for the interconnector; it is not just a business opportunity. The Islands Act placed a duty on our own Scottish Government to island proof all decisions.

Ensuring that we have a reliable supply of electricity into the future that enables the Scottish Government to meet its 2045 net zero target is a good example of islands proofing.

I was equally surprised to see Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem chief executive, citing Covid-19 as part of the reason for their decision.

Hopefully we will be out the other side of the pandemic by the time the first amps flow through the cable.

Mat Roberts

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