SSEN seeks views on new subsea cable in Pentland Firth

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is hosting three consultation events during September to seek feedback on its proposals to replace one of two subsea electricity cables supplying Orkney.

Routine inspections have identified that the Pentland Firth East cable is coming to the end of its operational life and needs replacing. More recently, two faults have occurred on the cable requiring emergency repairs. These repairs were successful, and the cable was re-energised, but a long-term solution is needed to maintain a safe, secure and reliable power supply to homes and businesses on the island

SSEN is now proposing to replace the cable and will shortly be applying to Marine Scotland for a licence to carry out these essential works.

A key part of SSEN’s pre-application work is a survey of the proposed cable route, which will be carried out by its specialist contractor, Global; work will start on 1 September and is scheduled to last for four weeks.

Ahead of the application to Marine Scotland, SSEN’s project team will be holding a series of open-door events to give local communities, the fishing and marine industries, environmental groups and other interested parties an opportunity to learn more about the plans and comment on the proposals.

The feedback received during these events will be used to develop and refine SSEN’s plans prior to submitting a Marine Licence Application during Winter 2019.

Kirstine Wood, SSEN’s Lead Stakeholder Manager, said:

“As a responsible network operator, we believe that good communications are an essential part of a successful project, and ahead of our application to Marine Scotland we want to share our plans with the local community, gather their thoughts and feedback and ensure our proposals meet their needs.

“We have developed our proposals based on a balance of environmental, engineering and economic considerations and we’re committed to consulting with everyone who has an interest - from the homes and businesses relying on the electricity the subsea cable delivers, to the marine industry who may be impacted by this essential work, and we look forward to welcoming everyone along to our forthcoming events.”

The events will take place at the following locations:

Tuesday, 10 September, 3-9pm
YM Community Hall, Longhope, KW16 3PG 

Thursday 12 September, 2-7pm
Stromness Library Warehouse Buildings, 2-12 Victoria Street KW16 3AA 

Tuesday 17 September, 2-7pm
Castletown Drill Hall, Main Street, Thurso KW14 8TU

For more information, please visit

The photo on the front page shows Murkle Bay in Caithness and the image above is of Rackwick Bay at Hoy.



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Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 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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