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SSEN selects major contractors for 600 MW link to Scottish mainland [free access]

August 4, 2020

SSE Networks Transmission (SSEN Transmission)—the transmission business of the Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) company—has selected Hitachi ABB Power Grids and Siemens/BAM (joint venture led by Siemens and BAM Nutall) as the main contractors for the 600 MW subsea link between the Scottish mainland and the Shetland Islands.


The Shetland high voltage direct current (HVDC) link project aims to export renewable energy from the new wind farms on Shetland to the rest of Great Britain and ensure energy security on the islands. It includes a 600 MW HVDC line stretching from Kergord on Shetland to Noss Head in Caithness on the Scottish mainland. It will run about 270 km, all but 10 km of which will be undersea. The project consists of a new substation and HVDC convertor station proposed at Kergord on Shetland, which is necessary to facilitate connection to the existing transmission system at Noss Head. The power will then be transported via the Caithness Moray HVDC link to meet the electricity demand requirements across the north of Scotland and beyond.


As part of the project, Hitachi ABB Power Grids will deliver and commission an innovative HVDC system; while Siemens/BAM will deliver the 132 kV Kergord gas insulated switchgear (GIS) substation through their JV. In addition, earlier in July 2020, the Danish supplier of power cable solutions, NKT, bagged an approximately EUR235 million contract comprising the manufacturing of about 2x260 km, 320 kV HVDC onshore and offshore power cables, along with their installation and protection.


The major contract awards follow the recent decision by the energy regulator, Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), to grant final approval for the transmission link, with main construction works expected to start in late August 2020.


All the construction works of the Shetland HVDC link are scheduled for completion in December 2023, while energisation and full commissioning are expected to complete by July 2024. Presently, the Shetland Islands are not connected to the UK’s national grid and operate as an island network.


In another development, SSEN recently also completed the GBP2.2 million work to install and energise over 16 km of new underground cables (UGC) between Dyce and Kingseat to ensure secure and reliable power supply to over 11,500 local homes and businesses. The works formed part of the GBP10 million investment programme by SSEN to overhaul power lines, substations and UGCs across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.


(EUR1=USD1.187); (GBP1=USD1.315)