SSEN Transmission is set to begin a programme of ground investigations along the proposed onshore cable route from Weisdale Voe to the site of the Kergord Converter Station. As part of the Shetland HVDC Connection project, the work will be undertaken by specialist contractor BAM Ritchies and local firm Frank L John (Shetland) Ltd. The works will begin on 28 October and will last for approximately four weeks, dependent on weather.
Ground investigation works are a key part of the project development process and the results of these investigations will provide the project with valuable information to help inform the final design of the proposed onshore cable route, which connects the proposed subsea cable and converter station elements of the project.
A team of 30 will be undertaking the works, which will include drilling trial pits, as well as monitoring and conducting environmental and archaeological surveys. Overseeing the works will be a team of environmental and archaeological inspectors who will ensure any environmental impact is monitored and kept to a minimum.
The team will be based at a temporary compound to be constructed from 25 October near Setter, north of Lerwick, and may also use smaller additional compounds on site for supplies and equipment. To carry out the ground investigations around 30 bore holes will be drilled with rigs towed by specialised lightweight Hagglund vehicles with rubber tracks, which are valued for their low impact on peat lands.
To ensure the works are carried out safely a temporary lane closure will be required on the A971, these will be communicated via radio bulletins and kept to a maximum of 300m long to reduce delays to commuters.
Project Liaison Manager Kelly Scott Said:
“We held an information event at Sound Public Hall earlier this month where we provided updates on the project and shared information on our upcoming ground investigation works with members of the local community. We would like to thank everyone who came along to meet the team.
“Ahead of works we would like to thank the local community for their patience while we carry out our ground investigation works. We will work to keep disruption to a minimum and to apologise for any inconvenience which may be caused.”
The progression of the Shetland HVDC project remains subject to regulatory approval from Ofgem which in turn is subject to Shetland developers demonstrated commitment to take their projects forward.
Any relevant updates regarding these works will be posted to the dedicated project website: www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/Shetland