Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Orkney

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Lesley Dow
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Telephone: 01738 455115
Mobile: 07876 837490
Address: Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 3AQ

Land Manager

George Leggat
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07785 474512
Status: Early Development

Latest

Orkney Notice of Interest Form

If you are a local developer and would like to share details of your project plans (generation or demand) with us please fill out the notice of interest form using the link above. Please note that this is not a formal application for a connection. Alternatively if you wish to make a formal application to connect please visit: https://www.ssepd.co.uk/Connections/.

Existing Network

The existing electricity network is a distribution network operating at 33kV or below, and the Islands are connected to mainland Scotland by two 33kV subsea cables installed in 1982 and 1998 respectively between Rackwick Bay on Hoy, and Murkle Bay near Thurso. These cables have a total capacity of 40MW and the currently connected generation in Orkney uses all of the available export capacity in the existing 33kV cables.

Demand on the islands ranges from 7MW and 46MW and is secured in the event of a network fault with the assistance of a standby diesel generator installed at Kirkwall.

Why the project is required

A number of renewable energy developers in the Orkney Islands have requested a connection to the electricity network. The Orkney connection project would provide a new transmission connection between Caithness and the Orkney Islands, and associated onshore infrastructure required to support this connection.

Progress gallery

Please have a look through the progress gallery to view the development of the project in Orkney.

The data in this map is provided for indicative purposes only and may be subject to change. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc do not accept responsibility for its accuracy, completeness or validity. The data should not be copied, reproduced or utilised externally without permission.

Who is Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks?

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is the trading name of Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc and Southern Electric Power Distribution plc.

How are Transmission network upgrades paid for?

Investments in projects are made by SHE Transmission plc. Electricity transmission companies are authorised to recover the costs of such investments through 'use of system' charges which are levied by National Grid Electricity Transmission plc on generators and suppliers of electricity. Suppliers recover their costs from all electricity customers. In order to protect the interests of customers, the transmission companies have to demonstrate to the energy regulator, Ofgem (Office for Gas and Electricity Markets) that proposed investments are necessary, are efficient and are economical so that the charges which are ultimately levied on all electricity customers are justified.
This means SHE Transmission is subject to a funding mechanism established by Parliament and regulated by Ofgem. Cross subsidies between different businesses in the SSE group is not permitted.

How are our proposals scrutinised?

The Scottish Ministers are responsible for determination of applications submitted under Section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989. Both statutory consultees and members of the public have the right to submit their representations on the application. All representations will be considered by Scottish Ministers in their determination of the application.
The Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), as the regulator, has to approve all investment so project proposals are developed under license conditions.
Preferred route corridors chosen will comply with revised ‘Holford Rules’ which are the recognised industry approach to routeing overhead lines amended to reflect Scottish circumstances.

What are The Holford Rules?

The Holford Rules originated in 1959 as the result of work by Lord Holford, a part-time member of the Central Electricity Generating Board (National Grid's predecessor). The Holford Rules have been augmented by both National Grid and SHE Transmission plc to reflect environmental legislation and best practice in recent years. We have continued to use them as a valuable set of guidelines for reducing the impact of our assets on landscapes.
The guidance recommends appropriate application of the Holford Rules to inform routeing. These rules advocate the application of a hierarchical approach to routeing which first avoids major areas of highest amenity, then smaller areas of high amenity, and finally considers factors such as backdrop, woodland and orientation. The Holford Rules apply the term ‘amenity’ to refer to environmental designations and classifications such as Natura 2000 sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, National Parks.
The guidance also recognises that the key effect of overhead lines is visual and it advises that the routeing of overhead lines should consider the types of mitigation (screening) that could offset any visual effects.
In their National Policy Statement EN-5, the Government has stated that the Holford Rules “should be followed by developers when designing their proposals.” Their use is therefore Government policy, rather than a voluntary choice of SHE Transmission plc.

How and to what extent are electricity consumers' interests considered?

We are regulated by the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the regulator responsible for representing consumers' interests. Electricity consumer interests are therefore one of our key drivers and this is enshrined in our statutory duties under the Electricity Act.
In particular we have a statutory duty to develop, maintain and operate an efficient, economic and co-ordinated transmission system. Since the costs of these projects will ultimately be paid for by electricity consumers, we have a responsibility to take cost into account with due weighting in a comparison against other important factors.

What is the transmission network?

It’s the highest voltage electricity network in the UK – the ‘motorway network’ of the energy world. It transmits large quantities of electricity over long distances via wires carried on a system of mainly metal towers (pylons) and large substations. Transmission voltages in Scotland are 132kV, 275kV and 400kV. Larger generation schemes usually connect to the Transmission system.

The lower voltage parts of the system are called distribution networks. In Scotland, these local networks operate below 132kV whereas in England the distribution network includes 132kV. 

Project Documentation

Finstown Substation - Orkney Project Public Consultation Booklet

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File Type: pdf
Published: 10 Jul 2018
Unlocking Orkney's renewable potential - Consultation (July 2018)
A consultation to seek stakeholders’ views on the policy development required to implement the Alternative Approach commercial solution for Orkney.

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File Type: pdf
Published: 29 Jun 2018
Orkney - May 2018 Consultation booklet
Orkney - May 2018 Consultation booklet

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File Type: pdf
Published: 27 Apr 2018
Orkney - May 2018 Consultation boards
Orkney - May 2018 Consultation boards

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File Type: pdf
Published: 27 Apr 2018
Consultation feedback - Unlocking Orkney’s renewable potential (Consultation Report)
Consultation feedback - Unlocking Orkney’s renewable potential

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File Type: pdf
Published: 27 Apr 2018
SSEN consultation: Unlocking Orkney's renewable potential (Consultation Report)
An Alternative Approach

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File Type: pdf
Published: 12 Feb 2018
Unlocking Orkney's renewable potential

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File Type: pdf
Published: 22 Nov 2017
Orkney consultation boards - Nov 17

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File Type: pdf
Published: 22 Nov 2017
Orkney consultation booklet
February to March 2017

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File Type: pdf
Published: 23 Feb 2017
Orkney comments form
Downloadable/Printable version

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File Type: pdf
Published: 23 Feb 2017
Consultation on treatment of non-mainland GB onshore wind projects (Consultation Report)

Related Projects: Orkney, Western Isles, Shetland

File Type: pdf
Published: 31 Jan 2017
Stakeholder Consultation Response - August 2014 (Consultation Report)
Orkney Electricity Network Reinforcement

Related Projects: Orkney

File Type: pdf
Published: 05 Dec 2016
Stakeholder consultation - February 2014 (Consultation Report)
Orkney Electricity Network Reinforcement

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File Type: pdf
Published: 05 Dec 2016
Figure 1 - Substation Search Areas

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File Type: pdf
Published: 01 Mar 2017
Figure 2 - SHEPD Substation Areas

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File Type: pdf
Published: 01 Mar 2017
Figure 3 - Strategic Option A

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File Type: pdf
Published: 01 Mar 2017
Figure 4 - Strategic Option B

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File Type: pdf
Published: 01 Mar 2017
Figure 5 - Strategic Option C

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File Type: pdf
Published: 01 Mar 2017
Figure 6 - Strategic Option Story Board A

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File Type: pdf
Published: 01 Mar 2017
Figure 7 - Strategic Options Story Board B

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File Type: pdf
Published: 01 Mar 2017
Orkney report on consultation (Consultation Report)

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File Type: pdf
Published: 17 May 2017

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