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Energy / Lessons will be learned from ’geotechnical incident’, Viking liaison meeting hears

SSEN TRANSMISSION, the company building the new Kergord substation, has confirmed that last month’s peat slide in which 1,700 cubic metres of peat was disturbed was caused by an overload of material stored on that particular section of the hill.

Lead project manager Grant Smith told a meeting of the Viking community liaison meeting on Tuesday evening that the draft technical report on the ‘geotechnical incident’ of 7 May was now available internally.

Responding to a question from Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council, Smith said the incident, which was caught on camera, “wasn’t peat sliding itself”.

“The initial investigation indicates that the excavating materials that we stored in the section of the temporary access road had overloaded the road and slid down the peat,” he said.

“It wasn’t peat sliding itself, it was caused by something slightly different than that”.

Smith said work in the area had been stood down for two weeks to learn lessons from what happened.

“Our contractor implemented a new safe working procedure called ‘safe start’ which looks specifically at those areas of high risk,” he said.

Meanwhile, discussions with local contractors are ongoing to remove the materials and surface level peat that moved across the access road, and return the area to its previous state.

Last night’s meeting also heard that the commissioning process for all 103 turbines was ongoing and that the HVDC subsea cable connecting Shetland to the Scottish mainland will be handed over to National Grid by the end of July or early in August.

Fifty megawatts of power from renewable sources has already been exported to the UK mainland during June, the meeting heard, and this is expected to increase to 400MW during the final stages of commissioning.

Meanwhile the Kergord to Gremista project, linking Shetland to the new set-up, is on schedule to be completed during the last quarter of 2025, when the Lerwick power station will be switched to stand-by.


Milestone for SSE Renewables as Viking produces first power

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