Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Shetland, Highland

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Sharon Powell
Mobile: 07918305099
Address: Lerwick Power Station, Gremista, Lerwick, Shetland, ZE1 0PS

Land Manager

Ali MacLeod
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07500 912996
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN
Status: Construction Phase

About the project

The weather in and around the Shetland Isles is considered to be very productive for renewable energy generation. There is currently >600MW of generation proposed that would require a mainland connection if constructed and recent developments in relation to available government funding for generators on islands has increased the possibility that these projects will be progressed. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has a transmission licence requirement to provide connection to the UK’s network when requested by a generator.

Once complete the Shetland project will allow for the export of renewable energy generation from Shetland to the UK mainland, connecting Shetland to the Nation’s Electricity Transmission System for the first time.

The project proposal will consist of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) link. including approximately 260km of cabling, all but 10km of which will be in the sea. A 320/132kV substation and HVDC convertor station will be required, proposed at Upper Kergord on Shetland. An HVDC Switching Station will also be necessary to facilitate connection to the existing Transmission system at Noss Head in Caithness.



Project Elements 

The project proposal will consist of:

  • A high voltage direct current (HVDC) link including approximately 260km of cabling, all but 10km of which will be in the sea;
  • A 320/132kV substation and HVDC convertor station, proposed at Upper Kergord on Shetland and;
  • A Caithness HVDC Switching Station, required to facilitate connection to the existing Transmission system at Noss Head in Caithness.



Marine HVDC Cable

A 257km subsea cable will link Shetland to mainland Scotland, the submarine cable will use High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology to transmit power beneath the seabed between converter stations at Weisdale Voe on Shetland and Noss Head in Caithness. This well established technology allows the efficient transmission of large volumes of electricity across long distances, in both directions.

The cable bundle will consist of two conductor cables and one fibre optic communications cable, to allow control of the substation and HVDC converter station. Global marine cable solution provider, NKT, will be responsible for the manufacture and installation of the subsea cable; with BAM Nuttall delivering all civil engineering works, including the construction of all buildings; and leading HVDC technology provider, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, delivering and commissioning the HVDC system.

Further Information

In late February, we launched a project webpage for a new transmission project which aims to allow for the supply and export of renewable generation on Yell and Mainland Shetland, by developing and constructing transmission connections to the Kergord substation and HVDC Converter Station, where they will export via the proposed Shetland HVDC Link and on to the UK Mainland. We’ve called this the Shetland Renewable Connections Project and more information can be accessed via the project webpage 


For the latest information about the process to deliver a new energy solution on Shetland’s distribution network, please go to

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 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.

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.

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. 

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.

Shetland HVDC Link Marine Stakeholder Forum

We have set up a forum where the Shetland HVDC Link Project can share updates on the project activities with Shetland Marine Stakeholders. The Shetland Marine Stakeholders Forum is targeted at all those engaged in the marine environment, both recreationally and commercially and particularly those with interests in the Weisdale Voe and southern approaches to Shetland. In advance of further scheduled meetings then we are keen to maintain ongoing dialogue and communication and should there be any questions then we would encourage people to direct these towards our project Community Liaison Manager in the first instance. The information that was shared at the inaugural meeting can be downloaded from the Project Documentation section of this website.

Shetland firm awarded multimillion pound contract on Shetland HVDC link project

Along with our principal contractor for the manufacture and installation of the Shetland link HVDC subsea cable, NKT, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Shetland based civil and marine engineering firm Tulloch Developments, to deliver the civil engineering works for the Shetland HVDC link onshore cable installation. The multimillion pound contract will see Tulloch Developments deliver all the cable installation civil engineering works from where the cable makes land fall in Shetland to the new switching station at Kergord. The works will include the creation of haul roads, new access points, local road improvements and the cable transportation.
Find out more

Contract Awards

SSEN Transmission has appointed the main contractors for the construction of the Shetland HVDC link and all associated infrastructure. The major contract awards follows the recent decision by the energy regulator, Ofgem, to grant final approval for the transmission link, with everything now in place for the start of main construction in late August. Global marine cable solution provider, NKT, will be responsible for the manufacture and installation of the subsea cable; with BAM Nuttall delivering all civil engineering works, including the construction of all buildings; and leading HVDC technology provider, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, delivering and commissioning the HVDC system.
Find out more

Approval of Shetland transmission link

SSEN Transmission welcomes today’s decision by Ofgem to approve the 600MW HVDC transmission link connecting Shetland to the GB mainland.
Find out more

Ground Investigation Works Completed

The Ground Investigation Works carried out on our behalf by our civils contractor BAM RItchies and local firm Frank L John (Shetland) Ltd. have now been completed. We would like to thank local community members for their patience whilst the traffic management enabling these works to take place was implemented. The temporary site area has now been demobilised and removed.

Ground Investigation Works

SSEN Transmission is set to begin a programme of ground investigations along the proposed onshore cable route from Weisdale Voe to the site of the Kergord Converter Station. As part of the Shetland HVDC Connection project, the work will be undertaken by specialist contractor BAM Ritchies and local firm Frank L John (Shetland) Ltd. The works will begin on 28 October and will last for approximately four weeks, dependent on weather. Ground investigation works are a key part of the project development process and the results of these investigations will provide the project with valuable information to help inform the final design of the proposed onshore cable route, which connects the proposed subsea cable and converter station elements of the project.

Marine Licence Consultation Response Events

In July 2019, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission held two consultation events in Lerwick and Wick to consult on our plans to install a subsea HVDC cable between Weisdale Voe on Shetland and Noss Head in Caithness as part of the wider Shetland HVDC connection project. Prior to submitting an application for a marine license to Marine Scotland and an application for a marine works license to Shetland Islands Council, we will be holding two additional events to present responses to comments received during our consultaton. 08 Oct 2019 - Sound Public Hall, Lerwick - 4.30pm - 7.30pm. 10 Oct 2019 - Wick Assembly Rooms, Caithness - 4.30 - 7.30pm. We welcome all local stakeholders and interested parties to attend our open-door events and meet with the project team to discuss our plans. For more information, please come along to an event. If you are unable to attend an event, further information is also available from the project webpage or can be obtained via the project Community Liaison Manager

Consultation Close

SHE Transmission would like to extend thanks to those who took the time to attend either our Wick or Lerwick marine licence consultation events last month to find our more about our proposals. The consultation period closes this Friday 23rd August and we will be now taking the opportunity to collate and review all feedback recieved ahead of preparing to submit our application for a HVDC cable between Weisdale Voe on Shetland and Noss Head in Wick, Caithness later this year.

Marine License Consultation Events

We are holding public consultation events regarding proposals to install a subsea high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable between Weisdale Voe in Shetland and Noss Head near Wick in Caithness to enable the connection of renewable energy on Shetland. The events will be held as follows: Tuesday 23 July 2019 Wick Community Campus (Wick High School) 15:00 - 19:30 and Thursday 25 July 2019 Mareel Lerwick, Shetland 15:00 - 19:30. We would like to extend an invitation to local people and interested parties to attend our open-door events to discuss our plans with the project team and to let us know their views prior to a submission of a marine licence application to Marine Scotland. As part of the Caithness Moray project marine safety initiative, we have a number of copies of the UKHO chart of the Moray firth that will be available to local boat owners on a first come basis For more information and to provide comment, please come along to an event. If you are unable to attend an event, further information is also available from the project webpage or can be obtained via the project Community Liaison Manager.

Subsea Surveys

We have recently completed a detailed geophysical and geotechnical survey of a Subsea route between Wick in the North East of Scotland and the Shetland Isles. The survey, conducted by our survey contractor MMT, utilised several vessels working in harsh North Sea winter conditions to deliver high quality data on the 253km long route and elements such as seabed features, sub-bottom conditions and soil analysis. The information from the study will be used to inform a Marine Licence Application for a subsea cable which will be submitted to Marine Scotland later this year, following public consultation events due to be held in both Wick and Lerwick this Spring.

Shetland Renewables Supply Chain Event

Last week, representatives from our development team supported a renewables focused supply chain event and networking lunch organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in Lerwick. Around 80 representatives from local businesses attended the event to find out further information about the expected economic and social opportunities that proposed renewable projects could bring to Shetland should developers be successful in bidding into next year’s CfD auction. We welcomed the opportunity to engage with attendees and answer questions regarding the needs case process and would encourage all local contractors who are interested in potential opportunities with SSEN to sign up for project updates on our Shetland webpage.

HVDC Cable Tender

SHE Transmission has now begun the tendering process to appoint a cable supplier for the land and subsea HVDC element of the project. Industry leading suppliers were provided with the opportunity to bid for the contract to both supply and install the 600MW cable. The tendering process involves site visits to both Caithness and Shetland, so that potential contractors can assess how the cable will be installed and subsequently costed whilst also identifying any potential challenges and solutions to the installation. This process will continue throughout this year with the aim of having project costs available for submission to Ofgem in January 2019.

Customer Engagement Event

On 23 May, SSEN held a customer engagement event at the Shetland Hotel designed to update stakeholders on the proposed HVDC connection project and the process involved for securing regulatory approval. This forum also afforded developers an opportunity to update SSEN on their plans for projects that may come forward as a result of the proposed connection to the Scottish Mainland. Developers interested in attending the event were encouraged to contact SSEN to confirm their place in advance and the event was well attended with 35 attendees joining the team in discussion. Key themes and issues which emerged from the discussions included the future security of demand on Shetland, with many attendees raising questions in regards to this. The team explained that Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) have identified that with targeted investment, security of supply can be maintained through the existing power station out to 2025 when a more enduring solution will be required. SHEPD has confirmed its allowance requirements to Ofgem for the extension period, and Ofgem is currently consulting on the allowances. In the meantime, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission will continue to progress the case for a transmission link based on the contracted requirements of generators. SSEN were also afforded the opportunity to further test the principles of the alternative approach applied in Orkney on the issues faced by generators in Shetland. Overall, attendees welcomed the principles of ensuring that projects that are ready to connect can access available capacity on the network and welcomed further opportunity to engage on the detail of these proposals; setting out their ambition to take forward generation development should the capacity become available. SSEN will be consulting on the ‘alternative approach’ later in the summer (when more details will be shared via this website) and encourages all parties that are considering development to update us via a Notice of Interest form by close of play 30 June. A number of attendees from Local Suppliers also joined the event to find out more about engaging in any supply chain opportunities that may arise. Whilst the event was primarily focussed on generation activity, the project team are considering holding a ‘meet the buyer’ event in 2019 once the SSEN tender process is concluded due to the high level of local supply chain interest. In the meantime, interested local suppliers can register on SSE’s online procurement portal, Open4Business, for future tender opportunities. Details about the portal can be found here: Information slides shown at the event are available to download from the ‘Project Documents’ tab.

Team Site Visit - February 2018

Having recently introduced some fresh faces to our Shetland Project Team, we arranged a site visit earlier this week to introduce ourselves and to provide an update to local stakeholders, Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council and our colleagues in Operations based in Lerwick Power Station. We also took the opportunity to revisit the planned substation location at Upper Kergord, the proposed subsea cable landing point at Weisdale Voe and our engineers took full advantage of the sunny weather by walking the planned cable route between the two. If you would like a copy of the project update presented this week please see the 'Project Documentation' tab for a download of the Power Point.

Consultation on treatment of non-mainland GB onshore wind projects

We have today responded to the UK Government consultation on treatment of non-mainland GB onshore wind projects, to read our response please go to the ‘Project documentation’ section of the project website

Document downloads

Shetland Newsletter Issue 2
File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Apr 2021
Shetland HVDC Link Marine Stakeholder Forum

Related Projects: Shetland

File Type: pdf
Published: 04 Feb 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
Shetland HVDC Event - October 2019 - Info Boards
File Type: pdf
Published: 22 May 2020
Shetland HVDC Event - October 2019 - Poster
File Type: pdf
Published: 22 May 2020
Shetland HVDC Marine Licence Event - July 2019 - Information Boards
File Type: pdf
Published: 22 May 2020
Shetland HVDC Events - July 2019 - Poster
File Type: pdf
Published: 27 May 2020
Shetland Project Update Feb 2018
File Type: pdf
Published: 22 May 2020
Kergord - Convertor Building Drawing - Elevations North and South
File Type: pdf
Published: 27 May 2020
Kergord - Landscape Detail Drawing
File Type: pdf
Published: 27 May 2020

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