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OIC and OREF call for end to electricity network logjam

New figures show that a major upgrade of the power transmission network in the north of Scotland – which will help unlock Orkney’s huge renewable energy potential – can be achieved at an average annual cost of just 92p for electricity consumers.

In response, the OIC and OREF, the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum, are calling for immediate action to remove the logjam blocking investment in new power infrastructure for the north of Scotland.

According to a new draft business plan from SHETL, the transmission arm of Scottish and Southern Energy, upgrading the electricity transmission network would cost £3-£5 billion over the next eight years.

The plan shows that, for consumers across the UK, funding this would add 92p (0.2 per cent) annually to the average electricity bill.

The Crown Estate believes that Orkney could be producing 1,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020, from renewable sources. But this can only be achieved if the transmission network is strengthened to allow the export of renewable energy.

Councillor Johnstone, chairman of the OIC’s development and regeneration Committee, said: “For electricity users, the investment involved amounts to a modest insurance premium in a world of increasingly uncertain and expensive energy supplies.

“The transmission network is the basic highway for electricity and if that highway between Orkney and the mainland is strengthened substantially, it would be a huge boost to the development potential of the area.”

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