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.
The aim of the Shetland project is to 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.
The project proposal will consist of:
Following two sets of public events in July and October of last year, which allowed us to seek comment from a wide range of local stakeholders and consultees, SSEN Transmission has now submitted both a marine licence application to Marine Scotland for the HVDC subsea cable which will link Shetland to mainland Scotland and a works licence application to Shetland Islands Council for the installation of the link to Weisdale Voe.
The proposed subsea cable circuit is approximately 250km in length, between Weisdale Voe and Noss Head and 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.
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 www.ssen.co.uk/ShetlandEnergy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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