Shetland to mainland subsea power link approved

Energy regulator Ofgem has approved the 600MW HVDC subsea transmission link connecting Shetland to the Scottish mainland.

The link, advanced by SSEN Transmission, will facilitate the connection of renewable electricity developments on Shetland.

This includes SSE Renewables’ 443 MW Viking wind farm which reached a final investment decision (FID) in June 2020.

The link will support Shetland’s future security of supply needs.

It will also connect Shetland to the main GB electricity system for the first time.

Approval is specifically conditional on satisfying Ofgem, by the end of 2020, that Viking wind farm is likely to go ahead.

Ofgem rejected the project last year, but changed its mind in April this year, conditional to Viking wind farm FID.

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These investments are part of SSE’s £7.5 billion low carbon investment programme over the next 5 years.

The link will enable a ‘whole system’ approach to decarbonising Shetland’s economy.

It will also allow Shetland’s oil and gas sector to decarbonise its operational electricity requirements.

With all necessary regulatory and planning approvals now in place, construction of the subsea link, all associated onshore transmission infrastructure and Viking wind farm will scale up in the coming weeks.

SSE’s chief executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said:

“It has been a long journey, but with a combined investment in excess of £1bn, the construction of the subsea transmission link, all associated onshore infrastructure and the Viking Energy wind farm will deliver substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits to Shetland’s, Scotland’s and the UK’s economy, supporting hundreds of skilled jobs in the process.”

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