This week the National Grid has confirmed the requirement for a 1.8GW subsea interconnector from the Western Isles to the mainland, replacing SSEN Transmission’s previous proposal for a smaller 600MW link.

SSEN Transmission’s subsea link had been due to be installed by 2027, with the new interconnector’s proposals having a pushed back completion date of 2030.

SSEN Transmission have expressed their hope that the work will be able to progress swiftly and be completed well in advance of then, but the SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has sought assurances about that, expressing concern about any potential for further delay.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan said:

“There is understandably disappointment about the delay to the islands’ interconnector. That said, I welcome the news that the interconnector now due to be installed will be significantly larger than originally planned to accommodate the energy generated from all known onshore and offshore wind in and around the Western Isles. The new bigger interconnector will also have additional capacity to support future renewable generation developments.

“I, along with the local authority, will continue to push for community benefit from all of our islands’ renewables projects to be maximised and want to see delay minimised.”

Allan has also welcomed this week’s news that the developer behind the Stornoway Wind Farm project has been successful in securing a Contract for Difference for 200MW capacity.

This brings the windfarm a step closer to construction, though the project does require the new 1.8GW interconnector to be in place before its renewable energy can begin to supply power to the National Grid.


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