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Energy / Power station could be kept as part of cable back-up solution

Lerwick power station is set to produce electricity well into the next decade.
Lerwick power station is due to cease full operations by 2025.

RUNNING Lerwick Power Station on a standby-only basis is one option being considered for a back-up solution once Shetland is connected to the national grid by a subsea transmission link.

The power station, which runs on medium and heavy fuel oil, is due to stop full duty operations in 2025 after the 600MW interconnector links Shetland to the Scottish mainland as the Viking Energy wind farm kicks into life.

The two-way cable will be able to export and import power.

Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) has still not decided on a back-up solution for Shetland’s energy needs should problems arise with the cable.

However, it has confirmed that keeping the Lerwick station for standby purposes is an option on the table.

A spokesperson from SSEN Distribution said “As the distribution network operator for Shetland, SSEN has been working to identify the future security of supply solution for Shetland for a decade in anticipation of the closure of Lerwick Power Station, which is expected to cease full duty operations in 2025.

“We are currently working through options for a cost-effective backup solution to support security of supply to Shetland and are engaging with the regulator, Ofgem, before further stakeholder and market engagement later this year.

“Options under review to support security of supply to Shetland include the potential to run Lerwick Power Station on a standby-only basis. We will provide an update as soon as possible.”

Earlier this year power station operator SSE confirmed it was bringing in a new 8MW battery energy storage system to the power station, which could be used in a back-up solution.

The 67MW Lerwick Power Station was commissioned in 1953, and SSE says the facility is nearing the end of its operational life.