The proposed subsea cable, which will connect to onshore substations at Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock, near Keith in Moray, is one of a number of transmission network reinforcements being undertaken by SHETL. The cable will be capable of transmitting around 1200MW of electricity and will be developed using High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology.

Work is already being carried out by SHETL to reinforce the electricity transmission network in Caithness. This work includes replacing the existing electricity substation at Dounreay and installing new conductors on the existing power line between Dounreay and Beauly. Looking to the requirements of generators beyond those accommodated by these works, SHETL is proposing to develop the subsea cable and the necessary onshore network reconfigurations, upgrades and new substations required to support the cable.

There are a number of proposed electricity generation developments in the north of Scotland, including marine generation in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, major wind farm proposals on Shetland, offshore wind farm projects in the Moray Firth and further renewables on the Scottish mainland. The development of the subsea cable will support these proposed developments but is not dependent on any specific development. The proposal retains the flexibility to accommodate generation developments as and when the need to do so arises.

The relevant planning consent has been granted for a new substation at Spittal and a planning application will shortly be submitted to The Moray Council seeking consent to rebuild and extend the existing substation at Blackhillock. The next stage in the development of the subsea cable will be to carry out the relevant seabed survey work.