SSE takes FID on GBP-580m wind park in Shetland

The Stronelairg wind farm. Image by SSE (www.sse.com)

June 17 (Renewables Now) - UK utility SSE plc (LON:SSE) said today it has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the 443-MW Viking onshore wind farm project in Shetland.

The project, wholly owned by SSE Renewables and developed together with Viking Energy Shetland, is expected to become the UK’s largest onshore wind farm in terms of annual generation. The excellent wind conditions in Shetland will help it reach a load factor of some 48% and an annual output of 1.9 TWh, SSE said.

“This decision is of sufficient scale to act as the trigger to unlock the much anticipated major investment in a high voltage connection from Shetland to mainland Scotland, subject to a final decision by Ofgem which we expect shortly,” said Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Energy Minister. 

Viking is considered the anchor project which commercially underpins the 600-MW subsea electricity transmission link from Shetland to mainland Scotland, proposed by Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN). In April, UK energy market regulator Ofgem said it was minded to approve the link, but it needed sufficient evidence that the giant wind project was “likely to go ahead”. 

SSE today stressed that the transmission connection is critical for the wind project to proceed. Works on the wind farm are planned to start in late summer, while construction on the enabling works for the transmission link have already commenced.

The capital expenditure on Viking is estimated to be roughly GBP 580 million (USD 731.7m/EUR 647.2m).

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