The transmission link will allow new wind farms on Shetland to export renewable energy to the rest of Great Britain
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has given approval to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) for a 600MW subsea electricity transmission link from Shetland to mainland Scotland.
The transmission link is designed to allow new wind farms on Shetland to export renewable energy to the rest of Great Britain and help ensure supply of electricity on the islands.
The approval of SSEN’s revised proposals is subject to sufficient evidence by the end of 2020 that the Viking Energy wind project is likely to go ahead.
The wind farm is a joint venture between the Shetland community and the utility company SSE.
Consisting of 103 wind turbines, it is expected to provide enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 475,098 homes.
Ofgem did not approve original proposal from SSEN in October last year
In October last year, Ofgem did not give approval to the original proposal from SSEN to build the transmission link, as the 457MW Viking Energy Wind Farm was unsuccessful to secure a subsidy in the UK Government’s Contract for Difference Auction.
SSEN had again submitted its revised proposal in January this year, by considering the updated progress of planned wind projects and potentially increased electricity demand on the Shetland Isles.
Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley said: “Ofgem’s immediate focus is to support the energy industry so it can respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure consumers, especially the vulnerable, are protected.
“Today’s announcement will help stimulate economic growth as the economy recovers from COVID 19, as well as unlocking Shetland’s potential to supply low cost renewable electricity for consumers across Great Britain.”
Ofgem has given conditional approval to a 220MW transmission link from Orkney Islands in September last year and has approved the Hinkley-Seabank and Caithness-Moray links.