Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) has approved £1.1 billion funding for a new subsea link in the north of Scotland. The regulator’s decision is £105 million less than the funding request from Scottish Hydro Electricity Transmission (SHE Transmission) to ensure consumers pay no more than necessary.
The new link will connect 1.2 GW of new renewable electricity generation following completion in 2018. This additional capacity will increase the resilience of Britain’s energy infrastructure. It will connect the electricity grid on either side of the Moray Firth.
About the Caithness Moray project
The generation of electricity from renewable sources in the north of Scotland has been growing fast in recent years. That growth is forecast to continue in the years ahead, with proposed wind, wave and tidal generators contracted to connect.
To provide the capacity needed to accommodate this significant new generation capacity, a major reinforcement of the transmission network serving the north of Scotland is needed.
Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) is proposing the installation of a subsea cable, capable of carrying up to 1200 MW of electricity between Caithness and Moray. With associated reinforcement of the existing onshore network, the project would represent the largest investment in the North's electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s.
The cable at the center of SHE Transmission's plan uses High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology to transport power between converter stations at Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray. This well established technology allows the efficient transmission of large volumes of electricity across long distances.
Reinforcement of the onshore transmission network between Dounreay and Mybster in the north; and between Loch Buidhe and Beauly further south will improve the use of the existing network in combination with the cable.
The map shows the proposed reinforcement as a whole. Detailed information on the individual sites is available via the Project Elements page.