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Consultation launched on subsea cable replacement

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has launched a consultation into plans to replace a subsea cable in the Pentland Firth.

According to the company, 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 island

SSEN is now proposing to replace the cable and will shortly be applying to Marine Scotland for a licence to carry out these essential 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 will start on September 1 and is scheduled to last for four weeks.

Ahead of the application to Marine Scotland, SSEN’s project team will be holding a series of open-door events to give local 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 received during these events will be used to develop and refine SSEN’s plans prior to submitting a Marine Licence Application during Winter 2019.

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, and we look forward to welcoming everyone along to our forthcoming events.”

The events will take place at the following locations:

Tuesday, September 10, 3-9pm
YM Community Hall, Longhope

Thursday, September 12, 2-7pm
Stromness Library Warehouse Buildings

Tuesday, September 17, 2-7pm
Castletown Drill Hall, Main Street, Thurso

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