Shetland is gearing up to be fully connected to the GB electricity transmission grid for the first time, with the 260km Shetland High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea cable project transporting first power from Viking Wind Farm on Shetland to the GB mainland ahead of full energisation, which is expected later this summer.

The landmark moment comes after the final turbine was installed, and the first turbine turned, at SSE Renewables’ 443MW Viking Wind Farm on Shetland, which once fully operational will be the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm.

And, alongside progress with the Shetland HVDC Link project, work is continuing to connect Shetland’s existing electricity distribution network to the transmission network, connecting Shetland’s homes and businesses to the GB grid for the first time via the new Grid Supply Point being constructed at Gremista. The Kergord-Gremista 132kV overhead lines and underground cable circuits currently being installed, which are scheduled for completion in 2025, will then connect the HVDC link to the new Gremista Grid Supply Point.

John Scott, SSEN Transmission’s Programme Director, said: “The first flow of power from Shetland to the mainland on the Shetland HVDC link is a key moment for the Shetland community. Full energisation, linking Shetland to the GB transmission system for the first time will be crucial in delivering Shetland’s energy security as well as enabling extensive renewable generation development and export.

“A tremendous collective effort from our teams so far, we can now look forward to working through the remaining commissioning phases of the project before it is fully energised later this summer.”

Heather Donald, SSE Renewables’ Onshore Renewables Development and Construction Director, said: “This latest milestone is another step towards cleaner, more secure, homegrown power for Shetland, Scotland and the UK.

“Once again, our expert teams have shown what can be achieved in the development, construction and operation of world-class renewable power assets as we look to lead the transition to a net zero future.”

Viking Wind Farm and the Shetland HVDC project both remain on track for completion later this summer. 

Image source: Courtesy of SSEN Transmission

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