Even though it has more than 600 wind turbines, Orkney – the ‘wind farm capital of Britain’ – can’t export excess electricity to the UK because of lack of inter-connector links

Orkney seeks new inter-connectors to UK to export excess reneweable energy
TEN YEARS AFTER… Orkney is still seeking new inter-connectors to UK to export excess reneweable energy

WORLD EXCLUSIVE report by Scottish-UK-Energy-News

The Orkney isles are generating so much electricity from renewable sources that they cannot export it all to mainland because of a lack of HVDC connections that it is ‘forced’ to look at ways to use up the excess (see chart)

Yet – as Neil Kermode, managing director of the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre who ‘double-jobbed’ to deliver the presentation from the Orkney Renewables Energy Forum  (OREF) – the islands first highlighted the need for a UK mainland connector 10 years ago in 2006.

And they’re still waiting.

Kermode explained: “In Orkney, we have more than 660 turbines installed – which is the most turbines of any county in UK

“Interestingly, Orkney has 1/8th of UK’s domestic turbines (0.07% of UK’s solar)

Orkney's renewable electricity generation exceeds demand
Orkney’s renewable electricity generation (green column, right) exceeds demand (blue column, left)

“The cost to Orkney consumers is £9 each  – about £90k/yr while this brings income to the Orkney economy  of more than £4 million a year. So we need

  • Offshore connection hubs for marine projects
  • New subsea connections from marine projects
  • New overland connections from wind projects
  • New and expanded substations
  • Buffer storage capacity
  • New 132 kV overland connections
  • New converter stations locations
  • New cable landfalls, and
  • New HVDC subsea connections and
  • Subsea protection of cables

In conclusion, Kermode told MPs: “ To paraphrase Churchill, give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

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