Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) has begun the formal process to obtain a new solution to keep the lights on in Shetland after 2019.

SHEPD has been working with the energy regulator Ofgem to deliver an open, competitive process to ensure the most economic and efficient option is taken forward when Lerwick Power Station comes to the end of its operational life. Consultation took place with customers, communities and market participants over the winter to help shape the process.

Potential bidders are now being asked to submit Expressions of Interest and to complete a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire by 12 noon on Friday 8 May 2015.  Full details are available online from www.ssepd.co.uk/ShetlandEnergy. Subject to agreement with Ofgem and the Independent Auditor overseeing the process, those that show they have the capabilities required will be invited to tender for the available contracts in June 2015.

The Shetland Islands are located about 200km north east of mainland Scotland – and are not currently connected to the Great Britain electricity system.  They offer high potential for the development of renewable energy resources – wind, wave and tidal – with innovative smart grid solutions to manage their contribution to the network.  A trial project called Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) is already delivering some energy storage and domestic demand side management measures.

Commenting, SHEPD’s Project Manager Heather Fleming said:

“We welcome the informal interest which a diverse range of businesses and organisations have already shown in this exciting opportunity. We have now published further details of the electricity demand on our network in Shetland over recent years and the basic requirements that have been agreed following consultation.

“We would ask those with an interest in bidding to provide all or part of the future solution for Shetland to complete the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire before 12 noon on Friday 8 May 2015. Bidders must complete this stage to be considered in the next part of the process. Our team will endeavour to help with any queries or requests for clarification which are received at least 5 working days before the closing date.”