Ofgem encourages revised proposals for Scottish Isles transmission links
Ofgem is unable to approve a proposal by Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) to build a 600MW subsea electricity transmission link from Shetland to mainland Scotland.
- Planned wind farms on the islands fail to win subsidies in recent government auction
- Ofgem would welcome revised proposals from SSEN including providing greater certainty on the future of the windfarms that underpin the need for links.
- Ofgem’s priority is to help deliver the most effective and fastest route to a net zero emissions economy at the lowest cost to consumers
For Shetland, the cable would connect planned windfarm projects on Shetland with mainland Scotland allowing them to export electricity to the rest of Great Britain.
In March 2019 Ofgem said it was minded to approve the estimated £709 million link.
The proposal from SSEN for a 600MW transmission link was based on the largest planned project, Viking Energy Wind Farm, securing subsidies through the UK Government’s Autumn Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction.
The award of these subsidies would have provided confidence that the wind farm is likely to progress, and protection for consumers from the risk of paying for an underutilised transmission link to the Shetland Isles.
However, the wind farm was not successful in securing these subsidies in last month’s auction.
For the Western Isles , Ofgem is unable to approve SSEN’s proposal to build a 600MW transmission link to connect the Western Isles to mainland Scotland.
In March 2019 Ofgem said it was minded not to approve the estimated £623 million link, but would approve a revised submission for a 450MW link or consider the case for a 600MW link if consumers were more appropriately protected from the risk of paying for an oversized link.
The proposal from SSEN for a 600MW transmission link was based on the two largest planned projects, Stornoway and Uisenis Wind Farms (formerly both Lewis Wind Power projects), securing subsidies in the recent auction.
Only one of the projects was successful, increasing the risk that consumers would be paying for a significantly underutilised transmission link.
Ofgem’s committed to helping deliver most effective and fastest route to a net zero emissions economy at the lowest cost to consumers.
It encourages SSEN to submit revised proposals for both transmission links, including establishing more certainty for consumers that the windfarm projects will go ahead. Ofgem is engaging with SSEN to secure evidenced and realistic proposals from them and will endeavour to consider them as soon as possible.
Ofgem regulates network companies including Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN), a subsidiary of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). All energy consumers pay for the cost of investment in new capacity through their energy bills and the regulator ensures that it obtains the best deal possible for them.
Notes to editors
- Update on Western Isles: The Uisenis and Stornoway wind farm projects have an estimated combined capacity of 340-369MW, depending on planning consents secured.
- Update on Shetland: The Viking Energy Wind Farm project has an estimated capacity of 412-457MW, depending on planning consents secured.
- In December 2018 Ofgem published a consultation on SSEN’s needs case to build a transmission link to connect Orkney to mainland Scotland. Ofgem announced its decision in September to give the go-ahead to a 220MW transmission link, subject to conditions which ensure value for money for all consumers.
For media queries contact
Ofgem media manager Ruth Somerville
0207 901 7460/ 07766 511 470
For investor queries contact
Ofgem head of investor relations John Bolitho
Latest News from
Ofgem appoints Bulb to take on customers of Gnergy Ltd23/03/2020 13:15:00
Ofgem has appointed Bulb to take on supplying Gnergy Limited’s 9,000 domestic customers and small number of non-domestic customers. This follows a competitive process run by Ofgem to get the best deal possible for customers.
Ofgem protects customers of failed supplier Gnergy Ltd19/03/2020 12:15:00
Gnergy Ltd, a gas and electricity supplier with around 9,000 domestic customers and a small number of non-domestic customers is ceasing to trade.
Ofgem issues five suppliers with final orders to become DCC users09/03/2020 13:15:00
Ofgem has issued final orders to five suppliers, which ban them from taking on new customers until they become Data Communications Company (DCC) users.
Myriam Madden appointed as Ofgem Non-Executive Director25/02/2020 15:32:00
Myriam Madden confirmed as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).
Investigation into Western Power Distribution’s priority service register obligations21/02/2020 10:15:00
Ofgem yesterday launched an investigation into whether Western Power Distribution (WPD) is in compliance with rules around updating and providing information to vulnerable customers on its Priority Services Register.
New customer compensation payments to further improve switching13/02/2020 12:15:00
Customers will receive an automatic £30 payment from suppliers if they are switched by mistake, if their switch takes longer than 15 working days, or if their final bill doesn’t arrive within 6 weeks.
Ofgem orders Outfox the Market to make Feed-in Tariffs payment11/02/2020 13:15:00
Ofgem is issuing Outfox the Market (Foxglove Energy Supply Ltd) with a provisional order, compelling the supplier to pay £602,930 in full for the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme by Wednesday 12 February 2020.
Energy network company annual reports 2018-1910/02/2020 12:15:00
Ofgem recently (07 February 2020) published the performance and financial annual reports for the 2018-2019 year for electricity distribution, gas distribution, electricity transmission and gas transmission network companies.