Orkney Powerhouse Left High and Dry by UK Government

February 19, 2020 10:52 PM
Originally published by West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

First High Voltage DC ConnectorThe Orkneys are one of the best places in the world for wind, wave and tidal power - and in fact several advanced technology innovations have been proved practical on and close by the islands.

The islands now produce 20% more energy than they can use but can export this small surplus to the mainland through two old, low capacity cables laid in 1982 and 1988.

However, there is potential there for 10 time the current generating capacity and the new developments are compromised by insufficient local use and the lack of a high capacity connector to Caithness to connect to the grid.

The picture shows the first High Voltage DC connector which was installed between Sweden and Gotland - a distance of 96 km - and completed in 1954, nearly 70 years ago.

Now, despite the project having been first proposed about 15 years ago, prevarication and lack of interest from successive UK governments, have meant that the Orkney-Caithness Connector Project has only just reached it first review stage.

There would be 50 km of cable between Caithness and Orkney with another 20 km of various undersea cables connecting all the islands around Scapa Flow.

The lack of this cable has really caused an embarrassing delay to further developments in the islands and is depriving Scotland in particular of a very important green energy resource.

Perhaps this should have been a Scottish project - not a UK one.