SSEN restores supplies to customers on Colonsay

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) can confirm that supplies have been restored to all customers on Colonsay following a fault to the subsea cable that supplies the island.

The fault occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, affecting all 177 customers on the island.  Due to weather conditions, all ferry services were cancelled on Wednesday, meaning SSEN was unable to transport a mobile generator to the island to reconnect supplies.  As soon as it was safe to do so, a helicopter was deployed to transport a team of engineers to the island on Wednesday evening to carry out investigations and attempt to restore supplies.  As the fault was identified with the subsea cable that connects the island via Islay, mobile generation was required to temporarily reconnect supplies.  The first available ferry arrived on the island at around 7pm on Thursday evening, with SSEN’s teams quickly restoring supplies by mobile generation, with all customers back on before 10pm.

Throughout the course of the fault SSEN worked very closely with the Local Resilience Partnership to offer extra support to its customers, where possible.  This includes providing free meals and drinks from local businesses and ensuring the welfare of SSEN’s vulnerable customers on the island.

SSEN’s priority now is to carry out investigations into the cause of the fault and to carry out any necessary repairs to its subsea cable to bring the network back to normal operation and has applied to Marine Scotland for an emergency licence to carry out the necessary work.  The network will continue to be supported by mobile generation until such time the subsea cable is back in operation.

SSEN is also reviewing its resilience plans for Colonsay and will work closely with local stakeholders and the community, including the Local Resilience Partnership, as part of this process.

Dale Cargill, SSEN’s Director of Customer Operations, said:

“We would like to thank all our customers on Colonsay for their patience as we awaited the first scheduled ferry to transport a mobile generator to restore supplies.  We would also like to thank the Local Resilience Partnership for all their support during the fault, in particular the Coastguard for helping transport our teams from Islay to Colonsay and for the support they provided to our customers.  We are also extremely grateful to the Pantry in Scalasaig for providing our customers with meals and drinks throughout the duration of fault.

“We will now do everything we can to restore the network to normal operations as soon as possible and we look forward to working with the local community as part of our review of our resilience plans for the island.”

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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.

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