Ofgem approves 600MW Shetland transmission link

Press release

Publication date

Industry sector

Transmission Network
  • Decision follows SSEN submitting revised proposals for the link
  • Ofgem approval subject to evidence that the Shetland Viking Wind Farm project will go ahead
  • Ofgem is committed to help deliver a net zero economy at the lowest cost to consumers

Ofgem has approved a proposal by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to build a 600MW subsea electricity transmission link from Shetland to mainland Scotland.

The link would allow new wind farms on Shetland to export renewable electricity to the rest of Great Britain and help ensure supply of electricity on the islands.

Ofgem’s approval is subject to receiving sufficient evidence by the end of 2020 that the 457MW Viking Energy Wind Farm project planned for Shetland is likely to go ahead.

Ofgem regulates network companies including SSEN, which is a subsidiary of SSE. All energy consumers pay for the cost of investment in new network capacity through their energy bills and the regulator ensures that it obtains the best deal possible for them.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: 

“Ofgem’s immediate focus is to support the energy industry so it can respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure consumers, especially the vulnerable, are protected.

“Today’s announcement will help stimulate economic growth as the economy recovers from COVID 19, as well as unlocking Shetland’s potential to supply low cost renewable electricity for consumers across Great Britain.” 

Notes to editors

  • See our consultation.
  • In October last year, Ofgem was unable to approve SSEN’s original proposal for the link because the Viking Energy Wind Farm project had failed to win a subsidy in the UK Government’s Contract for Difference Auction.
  • In January this year, SSEN submitted its revised proposal, taking account of updated progress of planned windfarms, as well as potentially increased electricity demand on the Shetland Isles. Ofgem will now carry out a final consultation on its minded to approval announced today.
  • Ofgem has given conditional approval to a transmission link in Orkney and has approved the Hinkley-Seabank and Caithness-Moray links.

Further information

For media, contact

Michael Anderson: 020 7901 7079

Media out of hours mobile: 07766 511470 (media calls only)

General enquiries (non-media)

If you are an energy customer looking for help and advice, including complaints about energy firms, please see our Household gas and electricity guide. Citizens Advice also provide a free, impartial helpline service across a range of issues on 0808 223 1133.

We also regularly share news and post general advice to help consumers get the most out of their energy services via our @Ofgem twitter and Facebook pages.If you have an enquiry or complaint relating to Ofgem’s policies or functions, contact us at consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk or on 020 7901 7295.

For all other non-media related enquiries, please visit our Contact us page.

About Ofgem

Ofgem is the independent energy regulator for Great Britain. Its priority is to make a positive difference for consumers by promoting competition in the energy markets and regulating networks.

For facts, figures and information about Ofgem’s work, see Energy facts and figures or visit the Ofgem Data Portal.

For energy insights and updates straight to your inbox from Ofgem, please subscribe.

Follow us on Twitter @ofgemLinkedIn and Facebook.