Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is disappointed in today’s decision by Ofgem on the Orkney Needs Case, in which the energy regulator has maintained several challenging conditions that need to be met before funding approval for the proposed transmission link from Orkney to Caithness is granted.
In its final decision, Ofgem has maintained its position that 135MW of new renewable electricity generation needs to secure planning permission and demonstrate financial viability prior to granting approval for the construction of the link to proceed.
Ofgem has extended the date in which developers need to meet these conditions from December 2019 to December 2021. This means, in turn, that the construction of the transmission link may be delayed for at least a two year period, if the full time is required to secure the 135MW target, or shorter if the need is met at an earlier stage.
SSEN’s Transmission and Distribution businesses now intend to consult with Orkney developers and other stakeholders to help establish the optimal ‘whole system’ solution to unlock Orkney’s renewable potential.
Commenting on the decision, Rob McDonald, Managing Director for Transmission, said:
“Whilst we are clearly disappointed with today’s decision, our commitment to work with Orkney developers and other stakeholders to unlock Orkney’s vast renewable potential has not changed.
“With both the UK and Scottish Government committed to net zero emissions, we firmly believe Orkney and Scotland’s other two major island groups will have a key role to play in the fight to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
“We now look forward to working with developers and other stakeholders on Orkney to collectively explore the best way forward to unlock Orkney’s renewable potential.”