Sector News

Norway power link could create 200 jobs

April 28, 2015
News
Plans have been tabled for a £2billion power link between Aberdeenshire and Scandinavia which could create 200 jobs.
 
The NorthConnect scheme would carry electricity generated in Scotland and Norway to both nations to meet demand.
 
The consortium involved wants to build an onshore converter station in the village of Boddam, south of Peterhead.
 
Electricity generated by Norwegian green energy schemes would be sent across the North Sea to Scotland via a 403-mile cable. It would also be taken from Peterhead’s gas-fired power station, windfarms and tidal energy developments and sent to Scandinavia.
 
The consortium hopes NorthConnect will lead to more stable household bills in the UK and encourage more investment in renewable energy projects.
 
The firms behind the ambitious scheme, Vattenfall, Adger Energi, E-Co Energi and Lyse, first unveiled proposals to link the two electricity grids four years ago. But their plans stalled when Scottish and Southern Energy, which owns Peterhead Power Station, pulled out.
 
The onshore converter station would be built at Boddam, and the cable would come ashore at nearby Longhaven. At the peak of construction up to 200 jobs would be created.
 
There would also be a handful of permanent jobs in Peterhead for the 30-plus years lifetime of the cable.
 
The consortium has had a series of discussions with villagers since last summer and has now formally lodged its plans for the converter station with Aberdeenshire Council.
 
Last night, Richard Blanchfield, the scheme’s project manager in the UK, said the new connection would lead to a “significant” cut in carbon emissions.
 
He added: “We have worked closely with the communities around Boddam and Longhaven for the past nine months so that we can put forward plans for a converter station and cables that minimises impact in the local area.
 
“NorthConnect, if built, will save Scottish and UK consumers money, help keep the lights on and contribute towards significant savings in carbon emissions as it would allow more renewables into the electricity mix.”
 
A planning application for the cable is expected to made later this year.
 
Elizabeth Moir, secretary of Boddam and District Community Council, said residents were broadly supportive. She said: “Nobody has raised any concerns with the community council. Everyone seems to be in favour of it.”
 
The firms chose the Peterhead area as the site for the converter station because of its location near existing and planned onshore and offshore windfarms and marine power developments in Caithness, Orkney and Shetland.
 
The resurrected plans were previously welcomed by Derek McCrindle, programme director at Energetica, a 30-mile corridor stretching from Bridge of Don, north to Peterhead and west to the airport, who said the connection would help meet renewable energy ambitions.
 
A spokesman for Scottish Renewables said: “More connections across Europe are key to the expansion of renewables and other clean forms of energy, as they allow different parts of the continent to play to their strengths.”
 
By Jamie Ross 
 
Source: Energy Voice

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