Hebrides wire due end-2020
SSE transmission arm preparing ground for Western Isles connection
SSE’s transmission arm is on course to build a long-awaited interconnector between the Western Isles and the Scottish mainland before the end of 2020.
A recent briefing between the utility and local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's energy working group said the first step in the delayed process, submission of a ‘needs case’ to Ofgem, would take place before the end of the year.
That could be followed by final project assessments in July 2017 before award of contracts as well as commencement of construction later that same summer. Work to link the Outer Hebrides would be wrapped up December 2020.
Comhairle leader Angus Campbell said: “I was hugely heartened by the meeting with SSE and their outlined work programme for the roll-out of the interconnector. For the first time in a long number of years we have a clear and concise timetable that sets goals and milestones for the completion of this essential grid link.”
He added: “In my view this new timetable offers the very best chance for the future of renewable energy in the islands. We have a set of commercial developers who have fully consented projects that are at a size and scale to afford the huge level of securities and under-writing that are required to fund an interconnector project, which carries a capital cost in the region of £800m.”
Image: the Hebridean islands (Mi9)