SSE to seek bids to generate electricity for Shetland islands

Lerwick's oil-fired power station
Lerwick’s oil-fired power station

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution is ‘on course’ to invite bids to secure the future of Shetland’s electricity supply after Lerwick power station stops generating.

Last year, Scottish Hydro received more than 300 responses to a consultation with the public, stakeholders and the supply chain on the structure of an innovative procurement process which it is conducting at the request of the energy regulator OFGEM to identify the most cost effective solution for the future of the islands’ network. 

 A pre-qualification process was completed during the summer and autumn of 2015 through which potential suppliers were invited to come forward. 

The process of preparing the technical information upon which detailed bids will be based has been extended to take account of the level of interest received and the range of technologies potentially involved. 

However, this work is now well advanced and on course to be completed by the end of April 2016.

SSE subsidiary Scottish Hydro owns and operates the electricity distribution network on Shetland.  As Shetland is not connected to the main GB electricity system, it also balances supply (generation) with demand from homes and businesses at all times, using Lerwick Power Station, Sullom Voe Terminal Power Station and the elements of the Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project.

The SSE team delivering the competitive process has recently been joined by a new project manager, Dan Pearson, who previously led the development of the Meygen tidal generation project in Caithness.

He said: “A lot of work has already gone in to the preparation of what is a new process for Shetland to reflect the unique circumstances of the island network.

 “The process is unavoidably complex in order to make it as open as possible to all technologies, so that the most economic overall solution can be identified.  We are making good progress and will be working hard with OFGEM over the coming months to ensure that the tender documents establish a strong foundation for the future of Shetland’s electricity supply.”

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