Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has submitted a “final needs” case for a subsea cable linking renewable energy generation from the Western Isles to the grid.
The Western Isles Radial Connector from Arnish on Lewis to Dundonnell would deliver around 600MW of new capacity, which if given the go-ahead by Ofgem, could be laid by 2023.
This would connect to SSEN’s Beauly substation near Inverness via underground cables.
SSEN has presented a “comprehensive analysis” of the investment options to Ofgem, available to meet “a range of credible future generation scenarios” on the Western isles.
The project is, however, dependent on two planned large-scale wind projects securing subsidy support from the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference auction next year.
Dave Gardner, SSEN’s Director of Transmission said: “Today marks a significant milestone in providing a transmission connection to the Western isles. We believe our proposal represents a robust, economic case for reinforcement and provides the best possible opportunity to unlock the renewable potential of the Western isles.
“There are still many hurdles to overcome, not least the requirement for sufficient volumes of renewable generation capacity securing a CfD contract to underpin the investment case.”