SSEN Transmission is hosting pre-application public consultation events in Wick and Lerwick to share its proposals for the installation of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) link between Shetland and the Scottish mainland. 

The transmission link is required to facilitate renewable electricity generators on Shetland looking to connect to the main GB transmission.  If the link progresses, it would be the first time that Shetland has been connected to the main GB transmission network.

The two consultation events will give local communities and any other interested stakeholders the opportunity to learn more about the proposed subsea cable and provide feedback to the project team ahead of SSEN Transmission’s application for a marine licence.

The proposed cable between Weisdale Voe in Shetland and Noss Head in Caithness would be approximately 260km long, with all but 10km installed beneath the seabed. 

As the licenced transmission network operator for the north of Scotland, SSEN Transmission has an obligation to provide connections to generators looking to connect to the transmission system.  Significant new renewable generation is proposed for Shetland and the HVDC cable is key to enabling these renewable generators to export their power to the rest of the country.

In addition, the transmission link could also be used to provide power to help support Shetland’s every day electricity requirements and address its future security of supply needs.  The islands’ current electricity requirements are predominately met by Lerwick Power Station, which is nearing the end of its operational life and is expected to cease operations no later than 2025.  The transmission link is currently scheduled to be energised in March 2024.

Kelly Scott, SSEN Transmission’s Community Liaison Manager, said:

"As a responsible developer we want to keep the local community updated on our proposals and are committed to consider any feedback provided prior to submitting our marine planning application.

“I’d encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about these proposals to come along, meet the team and ask any questions they may have."  

The events are being held at the following venues:

  • 23 July: Wick Community Campus (Wick High School): 15:00-1930
  • 25 July: Mareel, Lerwick: 15:00-1930

To learn more about SSEN Transmission’s proposals for Shetland and the HVDC link, please visit the dedicated project page:  https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/shetland/

The progress of the transmission link remains subject to all planning and regulatory approvals as well as commitment from Shetland’s renewable developers that their projects will be progressing.

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