How come it’s so cheap? (Phil Smith)

Ofgem has rejected the inter-connector to the Western Isles on grounds that a document sent from Scottish and Southern Energy lacked information.

The cost of this 80km cable stands at £780 million.

How on earth can the connector proposed for Shetland, at 320km four times the length of the Western Isles one, be estimated at only £550 million?. I await your answer.

Phil Smith



Add Your Comment
  • James Mackenzie

    • July 3rd, 2013 4:52

    and answer came there none

  • john Irvine

    • July 4th, 2013 17:50

    Just look at the SIC`s previous estimating history and you`ll find the answer. If they say the cost will be £550 million the you can easy multiply that figure many times, if they can`t lay an 80km cable for £780 million then what on earth would the real cost to lay one from Shetland?

    This whole VE project is utter insanity in every aspect, if it wasn`t for a very, very small number of people who “hope” to make a quick buck then maybe that same individuals would stop trying to pull the wool over they eyes of the honest people of Shetland.

  • Rosa Steppanova

    • July 5th, 2013 9:29

    Don’t hold your breath Phil. The administrators of this community project have long since ceased communicating with the community.

  • Philip smith

    • July 5th, 2013 12:43

    Yes Rosa, quite correct.
    I also believe the term “community” should be deleted from the websites of anybody involved in renewable energy aka wind farms.
    Take away the subsides like Spain has done and more than likely Germany, and the whole thing falls down like a pack of cards!

  • Sandy McDonald

    • July 16th, 2013 18:56

    I can’t believe it would cost that much. How much would it cost to lay a cable across the Atlantic then? A trillion bucks?! And there are myriad cables all over the North Atlantic.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • July 17th, 2013 8:32

    Sandy, there are no power cables joining Europe to America, only communicating links (phone and data), minute in comparison. The proposed interconnector is for transmission of power, not a phone line or fibre optic. It involves a massive coaxial copper cable. Literally hundreds of tons of copper and huge amounts of non-carbon friendly insulating material. Its carbon footprint is massive and on present costs will be well over one billion pounds and rising. The cost in natural materials is huge, its manufacture is polluting and far from carbon friendly. VE and SSE do not publicise these facts, I so wonder why?

  • Johan Adamson

    • July 17th, 2013 9:27

    So delighted that the windfarm near Loch Ness has been refused. But how come Fergus does not think our landscape will be destroyed? And interesting that they did the right thing and had a public enquiry, and we were denied. I dont suppose that the government being on their best behaviour has anything to do with the judicial review?

  • Sandy McDonald

    • July 17th, 2013 10:28

    So it’s the cable that costs the earth rather than the process of laying it. I see!

  • Ian Tinkler

    • July 17th, 2013 11:44

    Both are very expensive and the cost has trebled over the last three years. No accurate costing is available for Shetland /Scotland. Scotland/ Outer Hebrides, on third the length, 2/3rds of a billion plus. It would make one wonder about our electricity bills if Scotland became independent. All financed by Scotland alone, if independent of the UK, heaven forbid!!

  • Ian Tinkler

    • July 17th, 2013 12:22

    Johan, its far more probably that Fergus is beginning to realise destroying the environment with wind farms is a real vote loser, Loch Ness is a bit too close to home. Shetland with its Councillors past and present showing a care for nothing but easy money, is an easy target. Let’s face it what has the SNP got too lose in Shetland. That is as long as the population remains so apathetic with regards their environment, Scottish independence and energy companies dominance. That is all but a few folk, a very precious few unfortunately.

  • John Tulloch

    • July 17th, 2013 15:56


    You’re dead right about the apathy and it’s worst among men of our age group.

    Take the attitude to the Shetland Times petition asking for the SIC’s oil boom housing debt to be written off:

    “Aa at you need is wan signature fae your hoose, an da wife’s duyn dat – I nivver budder wi’ yon internet hellery!”

  • David Spence

    • July 17th, 2013 23:31

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I was led to believe that if Shetland laid a fibre optic cable from Shetland-Fair Isle-Orkney-Mainland Scotland her Majesty’s Treasury were wanting £50,000 a year from the Shetland people/Business just for that cable laying on the sea bed, but because this cable was in British Waters, her Majesty’s Treasury had the right to charge, in affect, rent…..want for a better word.

    Any way, I would be interested to know, if it ever (which I hope it doesn’t, as John Irvine has said (not his words though but the meaning is the same) typical money greedy capitalists, short term thinking (quick buck) and screw the long term consequences) what would her Majesty’s Treasury be charging for an Inter-Connector Cable from Shetland to mainland Scotland and would Viking Energy foot the bill or would it be the Council or worse still the people of Shetland???????

    Before I get slated, yet again, for my outbursts against money orientated individuals who think nothing more than profits at all costs no matter what irreparable damage they may cause to the environment, eco-systems and planet Earth as long as they are sitting cosy on top of their little pile of money with their eyes bulging with pound signs lol look at the bigger picture and not the part that just pleases you.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.