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UK regulator challenges SSEN’s Orkney power transmission project [free access]

December 18, 2018

The UK’s energy regulator Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has proposed changes to a plan brought forward by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) for the 220 MW Orkney–Scotland high voltage subsea power transmission project.

 

SSEN had asked Ofgem to approve the project on the condition that by the end of 2019, 70 MW of generation capacity on Orkney would be available for use. However, according to Ofgem the current plan does not protect consumers from the risks of paying much more than required. The regulator has revealed that it will approve the project only if, by no later than December 2019, at least 135 MW of new power generation capacity on Orkney has either secured planning consent and finance, or been awarded a Contract for Difference (CfD) in the government’s 2019 auction.

 

The 220 MW Orkney–Scotland link will comprise a single 220 kV subsea cable scheduled for completion in October 2022, followed by a second similar cable once further generation has been committed, and if it is labelled as economical. The link would help new wind parks and tidal power projects on the Orkney Island to send electricity to the British mainland.