22nd July 2020 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

SSE’s Shetland Interconnector has been approved by energy regulators, Ofgem.

The £600m Shetland Interconnector has been granted approval by Ofgem which will see the construction of a huge underwater power cable, linking the Shetland Isles to the Scottish mainland.

The Interconnector is said to be a crucial component for the future of SSE Renewable’s plans to build the 103-turbine, Viking Onshore Wind Farm on the Shetland Isles.

An initial proposal to build a 600MW underwater transmission link was submitted by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) in 2019, however, this bid was rejected.

The Viking wind farm then received a boost in April 2020, when Ofgem revealed it was ready to give the green light for an energy link to the Scottish mainland once the project had reached a final investment decision.

SSE missed out on government subsidy for the project last September and has had to seek alternative investment opportunities.

In June, the firm secured £580m worth on investment and following approval the expected completion date is 2024 – in terms of electricity output, Viking will become the largest onshore wind farm in the UK.

SSE’s chief executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said the decision marks a “significant milestone in delivering a ‘whole system’ solution to meet Shetland’s future needs”.

The scheme is expected to support around 400 jobs during the height of its construction, resulting in an additional 35 full-time jobs to manage its maintenance and operations.

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