Energy has reported that a serious operational problem with the Moyle Interconnector
has arisen as the result of a fault with the high voltage conductor.
At 15.25pm on Saturday 18th of February the Southern high voltage
cable tripped. An initial
investigation indicated that there is a cable fault which is located offshore
in water of approximately 140m in depth. The Southern Cable has been disconnected
and Moyle is now operating at a reduced capacity of 250MW.
Mutual Energy explained that
further investigation is continuing in order to pinpoint the precise location
of the fault and to establish the cause of the problem.
"This is very much
an unexpected event in that the fault relates to the high voltage element
of the interconnector which is robust and well established technology.
It is regularly tested, passing all tests, and has operated without any
problems since installation over 15 years ago. The other elements of the
Moyle Interconnector, including the new Metallic Return Conductors which
were successfully installed last year are unaffected and continue to perform
in line with expectations.
It is too early to say if
the cable has been damaged on the seabed following some kind of strike
or if there is some other reason for the fault."
While investigations continue,
Mutual Energy will begin to source a specialist vessel, equipment and repair
teams necessary to deliver a full marine repair. Depending on the availability
of resources and the nature of the seabed a sea-based repair could take
up to six months the company said.