Plans for large wind farms in Shetland have received a boost after energy regulator Ofgem announced that it has approved the proposed subsea transmission link between the isles and the Scottish mainland.

The Ofgem approval is subject to evidence that the Viking Energy project – which has been dependent on the cable getting the green light – will go ahead.

The 600MW link would allow new wind farms in Shetland to export renewable electricity to the rest of Great Britain and help ensure supply of electricity on the islands through the import of power if needed.

The cable will also allow for electricity to be imported to Shetland and as such will give the isles energy security once the power station in Lerwick has been switched off in 2025.

Ofgem last year asked Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) last year for revised plans for the cable after Viking Energy failed to secure government subsidy.

Ofgem’s approval is subject to receiving sufficient evidence by the end of 2020 that the 457MW Viking Energy project is likely to go ahead.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Ofgem’s immediate focus is to support the energy industry so it can respond effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure consumers, especially the vulnerable, are protected.

“Today’s announcement will help stimulate economic growth as the economy recovers from Covid-19, as well as unlocking Shetland’s potential to supply low cost renewable electricity for consumers across Great Britain.”

An Ofgem consultation on the transmission link is now open for eight weeks.

Source: Shetland News