After over 40 years of long service Stornoway Substation is reaching the end of its operational working life and is being replaced to maintain a secure and reliable supply of electricity to end users in Lewis and across the wider Western Isles network. The new substation, once complete, will form a vital part of the electrical infrastructure on the Western Isles as well as being a hub for all existing electrical connections on the Isle of Lewis
Since the start of 2019 SSEN Transmission have been working to build the new substation on the outskirts of Stornoway. Following 15 months of hard work the project has reached major milestone, as the project team took delivery of the substation’s new transformer.
The transformer had made quite the journey to get to its new home on Lewis, travelling from the factory where it was manufactured in Linz Austria, 1500 miles across land and sea, with the final leg of its journey sailing round the top of Scotland into Stornoway harbour.
Project Manager, Ivan Murphy said: “This project is critical to make sure we maintain security of supply to Lewis and the wider Western Isles network. The team have been working hard over the last months, in very challenging circumstances,, to make sure we meet our deadline to complete the build ahead of the winter storm season.
“There were definitely some sleepless nights as we planned the delivery, coordinating all the different parties involved, including the German authorities. This was coupled with the challenge of doing everything remotely, as I am currently working from home in the Highlands, following Government guidelines on social distancing.
“The new transformer will make a huge difference to the reliability of the electricity network on the Western Isles and, I am delighted it made it here safely. With the transformer now onsite and most of the primary plant now installed, we are well on track for the new substation to be complete and operational ready for winter.”
The project team are now focused on the final push to complete all the electrical works on site and also carry out essential upgrades at Harris substation to allow the energisation the new substation later this year.