Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been selected to supply and commission the HVDC system for the project
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Transmission has selected main contractors for the construction of the 600MW Shetland HVDC link and all associated infrastructure.
The works will be led by Siemens BAM, which has experience in constructing substations on behalf of SSEN Transmission across the north of Scotland.
The cable manufacturing and installation contract has been given to NKT, a marine cable-producer.
Bam Nuttall has been tasked with all the civil engineering works including the construction of all the buildings, while Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been selected to supply and commission the HVDC system.
The HVDC link will be operational in the middle of 2024
The announcement of contracts follows the UK energy regulator Ofgem’s final approval for the transmission link. Construction is expected to begin later this month.
The Shetland HVDC link will connect Shetland to the Great Britain transmission system for the first time.
The project includes an AC substation at Kergord on Shetland, which will receive all the energy generated from the renewable projects on Shetland.
The power will then be converted from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) at a HVDC converter station, before it is transmitted 270km via underground and subsea cable (257km) to a HVDC Switching Station at Noss Head, Caithness, in the north of Scotland.
Furthermore, the power will be transmitted via the Caithness Moray HVDC link before it is converted back to AC for onward transmission to meet the electricity demand of homes and business across the north of Scotland and beyond.
SSEN Transmission offshore delivery director Sandy Mactaggart said: “We are delighted to have finalised contracts with our supply chain partners for the Shetland HVDC link, building on the experience and strong track record we have collectively established over recent years following the construction and operation of the Caithness Moray link.
“All four contractors are leading specialists in their field, building the high quality and reliable infrastructure required to meet Shetland’s future energy needs and contribute to UK and Scottish net zero targets.
“The Shetland HVDC link will deliver substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits to Shetland’s, Scotland’s and the UK’s economy, supporting hundreds of skilled jobs in the process as part of the green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
All the construction works at Sheltand HVDC link are scheduled for completion in the December of 2023 and energization and full commissioning is expected to be completed by July 2024.
During the construction phase, the project could create nearly 250 jobs.