Ofgem rejects subsea power line for Shetland Islands

Posted: November 25, 2017 by oldbrew in Emissions, Energy
Tags: , , ,

Lerwick’s diesel power station [image credit: BBC]

The plan was to link a power cable to the UK mainland and have new diesel generators as back-up. But now they will rely on imported diesel and medium fuel oil as before, and wait to see if wind power appears on the scene.

Diesel plant will remain open until 2025 after EU emissions limits relaxed, reports Utility Week.

Ofgem has rejected plans to install a 60MW power line between the Shetland Islands and mainland Britain.

The regulator said the subsea cable is no longer needed as the loosening of emissions limits means the islands’ ageing diesel power plant can remain open for longer than previously anticipated.

SSE’s 67MW Lerwick Power Station was due to close by 2021 due to tougher emissions limits introduced under the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

In 2014, Ofgem instructed the system operator for the islands, Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN), to hold a competitive tender to ensure security of supply following the plant’s closure.

In May, SSEN selected proposals by National Grid Shetland Link and Aggreko to install a 60MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable to mainland Britain and build new backup diesel generation on the islands. Ofgem launched a consultation on the costs in July and concluded that the companies had presented a good business case to develop the link.

However, the regulator has now said that two major developments since then have undermined the case for the project.

Continued here

  1. Graeme No. 3 says:

    As I understand it, the solo wind farm outside Lerwick will send its output to heating large tanks of water. The resulting hot water would be circulated through houses and other premises under a local scheme to provide heating, that is required 12 months a year in Shetland. (How far the scheme would extend beyond the few towns isn’t yet clear).
    The logic is that this removes the disrupting effect on the generation ‘grid’ (despite the wind farm being the most ‘reliable’ in the UK) and reduces the demand for electricity for heating.
    So essential electricity has to be supplied well into the future by diesel generators. I wonder why this wasn’t highlighted in the press release?

  2. oldbrew says:

    The BBC report also doesn’t mention the existing power station runs on diesel.
    It just notes that ‘The cable was to be backed up by diesel generators.’


  3. JB says:

    And thus we see how policy is more discontinuous than wind and solar.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Shetland has masses of oil and gas.

    The Sullom Voe Terminal is located at the northern end of the largest of the Shetland Islands. It is one of the largest oil terminals in Europe.
    . . .
    Gas is also imported from West of Shetland fields via a 20-inch pipeline. Some of this gas is dried, treated to remove H2S and used as fuel in the Power Station.


    NB that’s the other power station on Shetland, not the one in this post.

  5. John PAK (Au) says:

    India is looking into augmenting their coal-fired stations with hydrogen and oxygen from water electrolysis as a means of upping the furnace temp and therefore its efficiency.
    Diesel combustion optimisation is pretty straight forward with only 2% of the intake air replaced with H & O and noxious exhaust gasses reduce significantly as does exhaust port temperature. In my Toyota Landcruiser 4.2 diesel 20% improvement in mpg is easily achievable.
    The trick is to split the water with minimal amps and with modern electronics there are ways to do this but conventional minds say it cannot be done so they do not look into it.
    Burt Rutan’s approach to space launches is a superb example of how to think outside the box. How can we clone that guys thinking and teach it in our schools so we do not see daft ideas like 60MW HVDC power cords to the mainland.