Saturday 13 July 2024
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Energy / Viking wind farm hit by cabling setback

SSE Renewables confident setback will not impact on wind farm’s progress

Cabling on top of the Mid Kames ridge for the Viking Energy wind farm. Photo: Dave Donaldson for Viking Energy

THE INSTALLATION of the cabling for the Viking Energy wind farm project has been suspended after “anomalies” were detected on parts of the “underground medium-voltage cable”.

Contractors have been involved in laying a complex network of cables to connect the wind farm to the converter station at Kergord for the last few months.

French cable manufacturer Nexans has now confirmed what local rumours have been suggesting for some time.

A company spokesperson said installation had been suspended by joint decision.

“In consultation with SSE, we have decided to perform an on-site quality checking of the cables, and potential affected cables will be repaired or replaced,” they said.

“We are in very close contact with our client, and the success of this project, important for everyone and the whole Shetland community, is our priority.”

Critics of the project however have been suggesting that the cables supplied might be of inferior quality.

Chairperson of Sustainable Shetland Frank Hay said: “Perhaps quality should have had a higher priority in the tendering process for the cable, cheapest is not always the best option.

“Once again resources for the wind farm have been sourced from abroad where manufacturing standards may not be as high as in the UK

“Viking’s recent boast that the project is on time and on budget is maybe a case of counting chickens before they are hatched.”

However, project owner SSE Renewables said on Tuesday morning that remedial work is not expected to affect the overall progression of the project.

“We remain on course to commence operations in 2024,” a company spokesperson said.

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