Go-ahead for £1 billion Moray Firth subsea cable to connect 1.2GW of Scots renewable electricity to national grid

Moray Firth subsea connectorUK regulator Ofgem has approved £1.1 billion funding for a new subsea link in the north of Scotland to connect 1.2GW of new renewable electricity generation to the national grid following completion in 2018.

This additional capacity will increase the resilience of Britain’s energy infrastructure and will connect the electricity grid on either side of the Moray Firth.

The regulator’s decision is £105 million less than the funding request from Scottish Hydro Electricity Transmission (the licence-holding part of SSE) to ensure consumers pay no more than necessary. SSE is presently seeking to hire a £50,000 pa project manager for this work.

SHE Transmission is building the Caithness Moray project which will deliver an additional 795MW of transmission capacity across the transmission system boundary B0, and 850MW across boundary B1.

The project has two key parts: a high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable across the Moray Firth, and major re-development of the onshore network.

OFGEM will update SHE Transmission’s revenue allowance for the project in January next year. This will affect 2015/16 transmission charges and increase the annual electricity bill for domestic users by around £1.

Meanwhile Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the Ofgem approval of funding for the southern portion of the Beauly-Denny Overhead Line.

He said: “Scottish Ministers have also noted a positive approach to engaging with local communities in order to deliver mitigation by giving local people the opportunity to bring forward proposals to enhance their own landscape and visual amenity.”

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