A PROPOSED interconnector cable between Shetland and Norway still remains under consideration, according to its developer.
The 600MW Maali link has been mooted for a number of years and a prerequisite of the project was the Caithness to Shetland interconnector going ahead.
With that link having received the green light after the Viking Energy wind farm got the go-ahead, the 400km HVDC Maali link could appear to be one step closer.
Norwegian developer Statkraft, which took on responsibility for the Maali project in 2018 when it acquired Element Power, said it still depends on “other factors” around renewables.
Statkraft is also developing the proposed 160MW Energy Isles wind farm in Yell.
“Maali is dependent on Shetland being connected to mainland Scotland which is now going ahead, but it also depends on other factors around developments in renewable generation, strategies for Net Zero and relevant policies,” a company spokesperson said.
“Maali is a long term project and is still being considered by relevant parties in Norway and UK.”
Documents connected to the project highlight that the Maali link could allow Shetland and Scotland to export energy to Norway during period of high winds and transmission constraints.
This would help to “reduce wind energy constraints and curtailments with associated system operation cost savings”.
It is also suggested that the Maali link could provide further energy security for Shetland if the Caithness-Kergord interconnector is out for maintenance or if there was a fault.
The developer also says that Maali would allow “low cost Norwegian hydro power to flow to Shetland and on to Scotland, Great Britain and through further interconnectors to Ireland, France and Belgium, especially when the wind generation on Shetland was below full output”.
This would then “enable the transmission connection from Shetland to Scotland to move from a load factor of up to 50 per cent to a load factor of 100 per cent”, it says.
The Maali link has been proposed to run from an existing substation in the Bergen region to the Kergord converter station, which is being part as part of the interconnector and Viking Energy project.
The team behind the Energy Isles wind farm have previously called for a larger interconnector to be constructed between the Scottish mainland and Shetland as a result of the potential wind power capacity in the isles.
The 600MW transmission link between the Scottish mainland and Shetland, meanwhile, is expected to become operational in 2024.
The diesel-fuelled Lerwick Power Station, meanwhile, is due to close in 2025.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 430 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News