SSEN taps NBO for new Skye and Harris subsea cable

Ningbo Orient Cable (NBO) said it has secured a contract from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution to manufacture the cable for the Skye – Harris subsea cable replacement project.

SSEN recently confirmed its decision to proceed with replacement of the 33kV cable which runs from Ardmore, Skye to Beacravik, Harris.

Specifically, On 16 October SSEN received an alert to a fault on its network which temporarily interrupted power supplies to 13,600 customers on Lewis and Harris.

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Investigations confirmed a fault on the 32-kilometre cable around 15 kilometres from the shore on Skye.

Based on the depth of the water at the fault location (over 100 metres), SSEN ruled out the repair option, and went for a full cable replacement.

SSEN expects that the replacement cable will be operational by end August 2021. 

The replacement 33kV cable, which will provide increased capacity of between 8 and 10MW compared to the existing link, should arrive in the UK in late May.

The decision to proceed with the replacement at 33kV also avoids up to 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from the back-up stations during the timescale projected for larger cable option.  

In addition, NBO said that a special cable design will be applied for the condition with water depth of 200 metres.

NBO has not disclosed the financial details of the contract.