The company that runs the power distribution network in the north of Scotland will be seeking bids in the spring to provide Shetland’s power supply after Lerwick Power Station comes to the end of its operational life.
A year ago, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) received over 300 responses to a major consultation with the public, stakeholders and the supply chain on the structure of an innovative procurement process.
This process came about after energy regulator Ofgem ordered SHEPD to widen the scope of its tendering process in the hope of identifying the most cost effective solution for the future of the islands’ network.
A pre-qualification process was completed during the summer and autumn of 2015 through which potential suppliers were invited to come forward. The process of preparing the technical information upon which detailed bids will be based has been extended to take account of the level of interest received and the range of technologies potentially involved.
According to SHEPD, this work is now well advanced and on course to be completed by the end of April 2016.
A new project manager, Dan Pearson, recently joined the SHEPD team delivering the competitive process. Mr Pearson previously led the development of the Meygen tidal generation project in Caithness.
Mr Pearson said: “A lot of work has already gone in to the preparation of what is a new process for Shetland to reflect the unique circumstances of the island network.
“The process is unavoidably complex in order to make it as open as possible to all technologies, so that the most economic overall solution can be identified. We are making good progress and will be working hard with Ofgem over the coming months to ensure that the tender documents establish a strong foundation for the future of Shetland’s electricity supply.
“We have been very pleased with the level of engagement we have had to date from the supply chain and from the community. I would like to thank all concerned for their interest and their patience while our team prepares the crucial next stage.”