SSEN Transmission welcomes the publication by Ofgem, in which the energy regulator has approved the need for long-awaited and much-needed plans to provide a subsea electricity transmission link to Orkney. 

The Orkney Islands are home to some of the world’s greatest renewable electricity resources, from established onshore wind to emerging marine technologies, where Orkney is at the forefront of global developments in marine energy generation.

The Orkney transmission link will enable the connection of up to 220MW of new renewable electricity and consists of a new substation at Finstown in Orkney, and around 57km of subsea cable, connecting to a new substation at Dounreay in Caithness. 

All planning consents are in place for the point-to-point connection, with work underway to plan the on-island infrastructure required to connect and transport Orkney renewable generators to the Finstown substation before onward transmission to demand centres in the north of Scotland and beyond.  Public consultation on the potential onshore infrastructure requirements is planned for late summer/early autumn.

Following Ofgem’s final approval of the need for the project, SSEN Transmission and its contractors are planning to host a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event next month in Kirkwall, where local businesses and suppliers can meet the team to discuss potential opportunities to get involved in helping to deliver the project.   

Rob McDonald, Managing Director of SSEN Transmission, said: “Orkney is home to vast amounts of renewable energy, and we have long championed the need to provide a transmission connection to help unlock its abundant green energy potential. 

“We are delighted Ofgem has granted final approval for the need for the project, which will unlock Orkney’s renewable potential and is the final piece in the jigsaw in connecting Scotland’s three main island groups.

“As well as supporting 2030 Government targets, our future energy security and a pathway to net zero emissions, the Orkney transmission link and associated onshore infrastructure will deliver significant local and national socio-economic benefits, and we look forward to engaging with local businesses next month to try and maximise the benefits of this investment in the local economy.

“We would again like to thank Ofgem for its constructive engagement over recent weeks and months and we now look forward to working with all stakeholders and re-engaging with the local community to deliver this long-awaited and much-needed investment.”

Image source: Courtesy of SSEN Transmission

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