Scottish & Southern Energy Seek Orkney Participants for a Liaison Group

Lisa Marchi, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN’s) Community Liaison Manager for Orkney, will be in the  Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall on Wednesday 19th April 9am to 12pm . SSEN wants to establish a Community Liaison Group (CLG) to provide regular updates in relation to a future transmission connection between Orkney and the Scottish mainland.

Consultation meetings with the public in Orkney held in the beginning of the year were about developing a transmission infrastructure for Orkney. This would include subsea cabling, underground cabling, substation construction and a variety of sizes of overhead power lines. They were attended by over 300 people

It is thought that 5 renewable developments wishing to go ahead in Orkney would be unable to do so if SSEN’s proposed infrastructure does not happen. These are:

  • Westray South Tidal 60MW
  • Brims Tidal 30MW
  • Hesta Head Wind Farm 20.4 MW
  • Costa Head Wind Farm 20.4 MW
  • SHEPD (Finstown/Stenness) 50 MW

There is no capacity left in Orkney’s existing network for future developments. If Orkney wishes to produce renewable energy for the National Grid the transmission infrastructure would need to be in place.

An existing substation at Dounreay and a future substation planned for Gills Bay are possible connection points for a subsea cable running from Orkney to link into the National Grid.

Once on land in Orkney a  variety of overhead lines and underground cables would be required to traverse the landscape. The overhead lines would vary in height from 11m up to 30m depending on what was required or permitted. New substations at  Finstown including one at either Stenness/Orphir  or South Ronaldsay  would also be required.

SSEN is seeking to establish the liason group to provide the general public with an additional opportunity to shape the design of the project from the initial planning stage and to ensure the local community is kept fully updated at all stages of the projects development.

 Lisa Marchi, SSEN said:

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend our consultation events and all those who have subsequently provided formal feedback.”

“Throughout the life of our projects, we aim to work positively with local communities and keep people informed about what we are doing. This is particularly important when we are developing a proposal and we want to understand what local people think about our plans.”

“The creation of a Community Liaison Group allows us to engage with the wider community on a regular basis, up to and during the construction phase of the project.  The valuable local feedback obtained through the Community Liaison Group will ultimately help shape our plans and approach to the development of the project and I would encourage anyone interested in being considered for the Community Liaison Group to get in touch.”

SSEN is looking for two representatives from each of the following community council areas:

  • Birsay
  • Evie and Rendall
  • Firth and Stenness
  • Flotta
  • Harray
  • Graemsay, Hoy and Walls
  • Orphir
  • Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay
  • South Ronaldsay and Burray
  • Stromness

Contact:  email with the following details:

  • Community Council Area (you do not need to be a member of the community council)
  •  Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email

or visit:  https://www.ssen-transmission.

A UK Government consultation on the future treatment of non-mainland onshore wind projects closed on 31 January 2017 and confirmation of policy for these generators is expected in the coming months.  Any changes in the current contracted position of generators may impact on the design and ultimate need for the proposed reinforcement.

Related story: Critical Times Ahead for Renewables in Orkney

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