SSEN Distribution update on Skye-Harris subsea cable replacement

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution can confirm it has commenced its core work programme to replace the submarine electricity distribution cable between Skye and Harris.

The cable replacement project, which received marine licence approval from Marine Scotland on 23 July, sees the installation of a new 33 kilovolt (kV) cable from Ardmore, Skye to Beacravik, Harris following a subsea cable fault in October last year.

The subsea work is being undertaken by principal contractor, Global Offshore, using the specialist cable-laying vessel the Maersk Connector, which successfully completed a pre-installation cable survey from Skye towards Harris on Friday. Following completion of boulder removal on the cable route over the weekend, cable laying operations from Skye towards Harris have now commenced, alongside preparatory works to connect the new cable to the existing network at each shore-end.

Subject to suitable weather and tidal conditions, SSEN remains on track to connect and energise the new cable by the end of August, restoring the network to normal operation and removing restrictions on electricity generation export on Lewis and Harris.

During the fault period, Battery Point and Arnish Power Stations on Lewis have been running at full-duty operation to ensure a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity to homes and businesses. These stations will return to back-up operation following energisation of the new cable.

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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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