SSEN seeks developer feedback to support Shetland Transmission reinforcements “Needs Case”

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is inviting generation developers on Shetland to a town hall style meeting to discuss and seek input on its proposed transmission reinforcement from Shetland to the GB mainland.

SSEN has been developing proposals to provide a transmission connection to Shetland for over a decade but due to several factors over this time, including financial barriers, changes in government policy or the readiness of renewable developers across the archipelago, it has not been possible to proceed with the transmission connection to date. 

Following the UK Government’s decision to allow remote island wind projects to compete for support in the next subsidy allocation (Contracts for Difference) in spring 2019, this has opened up the potential for significant volumes of new renewable generation looking to connect in Shetland, both at transmission and distribution level.  SSEN is therefore taking forward proposals to provide a transmission connection to the main GB transmission system, subject to developer commitment, which is likely to depend on the successful award of a CfD or some other form of policy support or route to market.  The transmission connection would also be subject to the necessary planning and regulatory approvals.

SSEN’s proposal would see a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea transmission link connecting from Shetland to the main GB transmission system enabling renewable generation seeking to connect to the GB market.  SSEN is currently analysing the economics of the link based on a range of generation profiles to justify the investment. This will be covered in more detail as part of SSEN’s Needs Case to Ofgem, which is part of the regulatory approval process and is expected to be submitted in Autumn 2018.

The town hall meeting, to be held on Wednesday 23 May in Lerwick, will engage with pre-invited developers and other parties with an interest in connecting to the network. This event will provide an update on the proposed connection project and the process for securing regulatory approval from industry regulator Ofgem.  In addition, it will provide a forum for developers to update SSEN on their plans for projects that may come forward as a result of the proposed GB mainland transmission connection (via a notice of interest form) and confirm any blockers that have historically held projects back from progressing connection applications.

Daryn Lucas, Project Manager for the Shetland link, explains more:

“We look forward to engaging with and seeking input from local developers and wider stakeholders as we progress with our proposed transmission reinforcement plans on Shetland. SSEN remains fully committed to taking forward proposals to provide a transmission connection, subject to developer commitment, regulatory approval and planning consent.

“Customer feedback will be vital throughout the development process and as we gather evidence to shape a Needs Case submission for regulatory scrutiny and approval we welcome all views and input from local stakeholders.”

If you are a developer interested in attending the Town Hall session, please contact us directly to confirm your place at the event Shetland.policy@sse.com

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

Read more articles by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks