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Two subsea cables in the Pentland Firth supply electricity from the mainland to the Orkney Islands via the island of Hoy.Routine inspections have identified that the Pentland Firth East cable is nearing the end of its operational life. More recently, two faults have occurred on the cable requiring emergency repairs. The repairs were successful, and the cable continues to supply electricity, however, a longer-term solution is needed to maintain electricity supplies to homes and businesses.The same inspections revealed that the Pentland Firth West cable is in good condition and no further action is required at this time.
Investigations to assess potential routes for a replacement 33kV Pentland Firth East subsea electricity cable and associated shore end landing points are ongoing. Surveys to confirm the route of the replacement cable are due to take place during September and will take 4 weeks to complete. For more information about the surveys download the Notice to Mariners.A wide search corridor will be surveyed to find the optimum cable route. Key considerations include:• Identifying suitable coastal locations to achieve the most effective shore end burial whilst avoiding or minimising any environmental impacts• Consideration of the international importance of Hoy for breeding birds and habitats and its National Scenic value• Protecting the cable from the strong currents of the Pentland Firth• Ensuring the operational safety of both existing cables until the new cable is installed and energised.
The map shows the existing Pentland Firth cables (West and East) and the indicative route corridor for the replacement cable
Ahead of our application to Marine Scotland for a licence to carry out the works, we will be holding a series of consultation events to give local communities, fishermen, environmental groups and other interested parties an opportunity to speak to our team and comment on the proposals and provide feedback.These pre-consultation events will be held on: