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Views sought on plans to replace subsea electricity cable

By Staff Reporter- NOSN

A CONSULTATION session will take place in Castletown to seek feedback on plans to replace one of two subsea electricity cables supplying Orkney.

The open-door event in the Drill Hall on Tuesday, September 17 (2-7pm), is one of a series of three arranged by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to gather views on its proposals, with others being held in Longhope and Stromness.

SSEN says routine inspections have identified that the Pentland Firth East cable is coming to the end of its operational life and needs replacing. More recently, two faults have occurred on the cable requiring emergency repairs.

These repairs were successful, and the cable was re-energised, but a long-term solution is needed to maintain a safe, secure and reliable power supply to homes and businesses on the islands.

Murkle Bay. SSEN’s pre-application work will include a survey of the proposed cable route.
Murkle Bay. SSEN’s pre-application work will include a survey of the proposed cable route.

SSEN is now proposing to replace the cable and will shortly be applying to Marine Scotland for a licence to carry out these works.

A key part of SSEN’s pre-application work is a survey of the proposed cable route, which will be carried out by its specialist contractor, Global. Work began on September 1 and is scheduled to last for four weeks.

We want to share our plans with the local community.

Ahead of the application to Marine Scotland, SSEN’s project team will be holding a series of sessions to give communities, the fishing and marine industries, environmental groups and other interested parties an opportunity to learn more about the plans and comment on the proposals.

The feedback will be used to develop and refine SSEN’s plans prior to submitting a marine licence application this winter.

Kirstine Wood, SSEN’s lead stakeholder manager, said: “As a responsible network operator, we believe that good communications are an essential part of a successful project, and ahead of our application to Marine Scotland we want to share our plans with the local community, gather their thoughts and feedback and ensure our proposals meet their needs.

“We have developed our proposals based on a balance of environmental, engineering and economic considerations and we’re committed to consulting with everyone who has an interest – from the homes and businesses relying on the electricity the subsea cable delivers to the marine industry who may be impacted by this essential work. We look forward to welcoming everyone along to our forthcoming events.”

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