By Nick Morrison
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks held a series of open days to explain the new power cables to Hoy.
Two subsea cables in the Pentland Firth supply electricity from the mainland to the Orkney Islands via the island of Hoy.
Routine inspections have identified that the Pentland Firth East cable is nearing the end of its operational life. More recently, two faults have occurred on the cable requiring emergency repairs. The repairs were successful, and the cable continues to supply electricity, however, a longer-term solution is needed to maintain electricity supplies to homes and businesses.
To clear up one potential misunderstanding these are not the new transmission cables to the islands but are replacement to the existing distribution cables running to Hoy .
The existing cables are now deemed to be at the end of the service life . The cables will be laid directly on the seabed between the existing cables .
The existing cables will be disconnected and left in place . Attempting to remove them would cause significant damage to marine life . This this is in fact the usual practice .
More about Subsea Cable Projects here: North Coast and Orkney