SSEN submits needs case to Ofgem for Western Isles transmission link

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has submitted a final needs case to Ofgem for a subsea cable transmission link from Western Isles to the Scottish mainland.

SSEN submits needs case to Ofgem for Western Isles transmission link

SSEN says that the network reinforcement is required to enable renewable generation seeking to connect on Western Isles access to the GB market.

The existing Western Isles electricity network is at full capacity meaning no further generation can connect without significant network reinforcements.

Following confirmation from the UK Government to allow remote island onshore wind to compete in the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction in May 2019, there is now an opportunity to progress with the transmission reinforcement, subject to the success of Western Isles renewable developers in the CfD auction and regulatory approval.

SSEN’s proposed solution would deliver a single 600MW subsea circuit from Arnish on Lewis to Dundonnell on the Scottish mainland. This would then connect to SSEN’s Beauly substation near Inverness via underground cables.

Dave Gardner, SSEN’s director of transmission, said: “We believe our proposal represents a robust, economic case for reinforcement and provides the best possible opportunity to unlock the renewable potential of the Western Isles.

“There are still many hurdles to overcome, not least the requirement for sufficient volumes of renewable generation capacity securing a CfD contract to underpin the investment case.

“We would like to thank our generation customers and wider stakeholders who have helped inform the development of the Needs Case and we now look forward to working constructively with Ofgem as they review our submission.”


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