Ofgem to Review New Proposal for Shetland Subsea Link

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN Transmission) has resubmitted its needs case to the energy regulator Ofgem for the proposed Shetland interconnector.

For Shetland, the cable would connect planned wind farm projects on Shetland with mainland Scotland allowing them to export electricity to the rest of Great Britain.

SSEN says that it should also help secure Shetland’s future electricity security of supply, with Lerwick Power Station, Shetland’s main current power source, expected to cease full operations in 2025.

The link is scheduled to be energised and operational by April 2024.

The 600MW transmission link is conditional on the main driver for the link, Viking Wind farm (457MW), reaching a positive final investment decision.

To remind, SSEN was invited to resubmit proposals after the 103-turbine wind farm failed to win government subsidy last year.

Rob McDonald, managing director for Transmission, said:

“We have submitted a robust investment case to Ofgem which makes it clear that a 600MW link remains the most economic, efficient and timely option to secure Shetland’s future energy needs.

“As well as providing a connection for Shetland’s renewables, the link will also help address Shetland’s security of supply needs as well as offering Shetland’s oil and gas sector a unique opportunity to decarbonise its operational electricity requirements, delivering a whole system approach to support the transition to net zero emissions.

“Whilst we have listened to calls to consider delaying investment to develop a bigger link, our analysis shows that a bigger link would not be economic or efficient and would create a delay of at least two years, jeopardising the potential of any transmission link to Shetland proceeding.

“We now look forward to working constructively with Ofgem, our contracted developers and other stakeholders to progress the transmission link in a timely manner.”