SSEN begins Shetland ground investigations

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 24/10/2019 SSEN
SSEN Transmission is set to begin a programme of ground investigations for the Shetland HVDC Connection project along the proposed onshore cable route from Weisdale Voe to the site of the Kergord Converter Station. The work will be undertaken by contractor BAM Ritchies and local firm Frank L John (Shetland) Ltd and are slated to begin on 28 October. Work will last for approximately four weeks, dependent on weather.

Ground investigation works are a part of the project development process and the results of these investigations will inform the final design of the proposed onshore cable route, which connects the proposed subsea cable and converter station elements of the project.

A team of 30 will be undertaking the works, which will include drilling trial pits, as well as monitoring and conducting environmental and archaeological surveys. Overseeing the works will be a team of environmental and archaeological inspectors who aim to ensure any environmental impact is monitored and kept to a minimum.

The team will be based at a temporary compound to be constructed from 25 October near Setter, north of Lerwick, and may also use smaller additional compounds on site for supplies and equipment. To carry out the ground investigations around 30 bore holes will be drilled with rigs towed by specialised lightweight Hagglund vehicles with rubber tracks, which are valued for their low impact on peat lands. 

Project Liaison Manager Kelly Scott Said: “We held an information event at Sound Public Hall earlier this month where we provided updates on the project and shared information on our upcoming ground investigation works with members of the local community. We would like to thank everyone who came along to meet the team.

“Ahead of works we would like to thank the local community for their patience while we carry out our ground investigation works. We will work to keep disruption to a minimum and to apologise for any inconvenience which may be caused.”

The project was one of two Scottish Isles projects submitted by SSEN that Ofgem refused to approve yesterday (24 October 2019). Ofgem encouraged SSEN to submit revised proposals for both transmission links.

The progression of the Shetland HVDC project remains subject to regulatory approval from the Ofgem which in turn is subject to Shetland developers demonstrated commitment to take their projects forward.

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