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    Power generated at SSE Renewables’ Scottish wind farm

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    Electricity generation has commenced at the 443MW Viking wind farm located on Shetland island, Scotland, marking a significant milestone. This development coincides with Shetland’s preparation to connect fully to the GB electricity transmission grid for the first time.


    The connection is facilitated by the Shetland High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea cable project, spanning 260 km, which is being executed separately by SSEN Transmission and expected to be energized later this summer.


    Engineers are currently progressing with commissioning tasks, aiming for the wind farm to achieve full power and begin commercial operations in summer 2024. Once operational, it is anticipated to become the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm. Construction of the wind farm commenced in autumn 2020, with the final turbine installed in August 2023, totalling over 100 turbines on site.


    SSE Renewables’ Onshore Renewables Development and Construction Director, Heather Donald, said “This latest milestone is another step towards cleaner, more secure, homegrown power for Shetland, Scotland and the UK.”


    “Once again our expert teams have shown what can be achieved in the development, construction and operation of world-class renewable power assets as we look to lead the transition to a net zero future.”


    SSEN Transmission’s Programme Director, John Scott, added “The first flow of power from Shetland to the mainland on the Shetland HVDC link is a key moment for the Shetland community.”


    “Full energisation, linking Shetland to the GB transmission system for the first time will be crucial in delivering Shetland’s energy security as well as enabling extensive renewable generation development and export.”


    “A tremendous collective effort from our teams so far, we can now look forward to working through the remaining commissioning phases of the project before it is fully energised later this summer.”


    Once fully operational, the 103 Vestas turbines at Viking will each operate at a power mode of 4.3MW.


    In addition to advancing the Shetland HVDC Link project, efforts are ongoing to integrate Shetland’s current electricity distribution network into the transmission system. This will enable homes and businesses in Shetland to connect to the GB grid for the first time through the new grid supply point (GSP) being built at Gremista.


    Installation of the Kergord-Gremista 132kV overhead lines and underground cable circuits is underway, with a completion target set for 2025. Subsequently, the HVDC link will be linked to the new Gremista GSP. Both the Viking Wind Farm and the Shetland HVDC project are progressing as planned for completion in the second half of the year.


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