About the project

The aim of the project is to allow for the supply and export of renewable generation on Yell and Mainland Shetland, by developing and constructing transmission connections to the Kergord Switching Station and HVDC Converter Station, where they will export via the proposed Shetland HVDC Link and on to the UK Mainland.

To enable these connections, the following project elements are required:

  • A new 132 kV Switching Station located on Yell to connect Energy Isles and Beaw Field Windfarms 
  • A mixture of new 132 kV land cable and overhead line to connect the Energy Isles and Beaw Field windfarms to the Yell Switching Station
  • A new 132 kV transmission connection from Yell Switching Station to Kergord 132 kV Substation and HVDC Converter Station. This will consist of a mixture of 132 kV land cable, overhead line and a subsea cable between Yell and Mainland Shetland
  • A mixture of new 132 kV land cable and overhead line to connect Mossy Hill windfarm to Kergord Substation.


These works are required to connect the contracted wind generation on Shetland to the Scottish Mainland via the Shetland HVDC Connection project. To find out more about the HVDC project, please click here


Why is the Project Required?

As the transmission licence holder in the north of Scotland we have a duty under Section 9 of the Electricity Act 1989 to facilitate competition in the generation and supply of electricity. We have obligations to offer non-discriminatory terms for connection to the transmission system, both for new generation and for new sources of electricity demand.

The aim of the project is to enable renewable energy to connect to our transmission network. Under our Network Operators Licence this connection should be efficient, co-ordinated and economic, whilst having the least possible impact on the environment.

Our Approach

Throughout the life of our projects, we aim to work positively with local communities and keep people informed about what we are doing. This is particularly important when we are developing a project and we want to understand what local people think about our plans.

We endeavour to take the time to discuss our proposals with local community councils and the wider affected community and to carry out engagement at key stages, listening to feedback before finalising project plans.


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. 

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 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?

SHE Transmission 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.

Shetland Newsletter

SSEN Transmission have published its third project newsletter. This will give you an insight into what has been happening on the site and keep you updated with the project’s progress. The newsletter is available to be downloaded from the Project Documentation section of this website.

June 2021 Virtual Consultation Events

SSEN Transmission are holding four virtual consultation events to present our proposal for generators looking to connect to the GB transmission network. The virtual consultation events have been designed to be almost as interactive as face to face events, allowing for the presentation of key project information and plans, as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions about the project to team members. Visitors will be able to engage directly with the project team, via a live chat function, where they can ask any questions they might have about the project and share their feedback on the current proposals. To access our virtual consultation room please click on the link on the project overview page.
Project overview

Shetland Newsletter

To give you an insight into what has been happening on the site, SSEN Transmission have published its second project newsletter. The newsletter will share an overview of the works underway and keep you updated with the project’s progress over the next four years.

Consultation Closed

The Shetland Renewable Connections project team would like to thank all of those who took the time to access our virtual consultation, submit questions to the team and submit feedback. The consultation period has now closed, however any comments and queries regarding this project can still be directed to the Community Liaison Manager, and the Consultation Booklet will remain available to download from the Project Documentation tab.

Virtual Consultation Events

We will host three online consultation events to engage with stakeholders on our plans to provide connections for three new renewable electricity generators on Shetland; Energy Isles and Beaw Field windfarms located on Yell; and Mossy Hill windfarm located west of Lerwick. We are very early on in the development of this project and are keen to work closely with the local community to identify the best route for these new connections. The virtual consultation events will take place on 21 and 22 July. To facilitate the consultation events, we have developed an online consultation tool to enable the local community to experience the full exhibition from home on a computer, tablet or mobile device, whilst maintaining Government guidance on social distancing. The online exhibition has been designed to look and feel like a real consultation in a community hall, with exhibition boards, maps, interactive videos and the opportunity to share views on the proposals. We encourage anyone who might be interested in our proposals to view the consultation portal and join the virtual consultation events, where you will be able to engage directly with our project team, via a live chat function, to ask any questions you might have about the project and share feedback.
See the homepage for the link to our portal

Project Document Downloads

Shetland Newsletter Issue 3 July 2021

Related Projects: Shetland Renewable Connections

File Type: pdf
Published: 19 Jul 2021
Shetland Renewable Connections Consultation boards - June 2021
File Type: pdf
Published: 31 May 2021
Shetland Renewable Connections Consultation Maps
File Type: pdf
Published: 27 May 2021
Shetland Renewable Connections Virtual Events Poster
File Type: pdf
Published: 27 May 2021
Shetland Renewable Connections Booklet - June 2021
File Type: pdf
Published: 27 May 2021
Shetland Newsletter Issue 2
File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Apr 2021
Shetland Newsletter Issue 1
With the Shetland High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission link and Viking Wind Farm now in construction, both projects have come together to prepare this joint newsletter to keep the Shetland community updated as both projects progress throughout construction over the next four years.

Related Projects: Shetland

File Type: pdf
Published: 11 Dec 2020
Virtual Consultation - Information Booklet - July 2020
File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Jul 2020
July 2020 Consultation - Project Overview Map

Related Projects: Shetland Renewable Connections

File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Jul 2020
July 2020 Consultation - Kergord, Mossy Hill and Gremista Map
File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Jul 2020
July 2020 Consultation - Yell Switching Station Sites
File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Jul 2020
July 2020 Consultation - Yell - North Mainland Map
File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Jul 2020
July 2020 Consultation - Subsea Cable Survey Area Map

Related Projects: Shetland Renewable Connections

File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Jul 2020

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