Nov 2011
Electricity Distribution
Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES)
Nov 2011
Dec 2013
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
SSEN Future Networks Team
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LCN Fund Tier 2
Energy Storage and Demand Response
Shetland is not connected to the main electricity network in GB. This means that the islands rely entirely on local sources of generation, and the supply and demand on the islands must be balanced locally. At any given time there cannot be more generation than demand, or vice versa, meaning that a significant percentage of the generation must have a reliable and controllable output.

At present, there is significant interest from wind generators to exploit the excellent wind resource on the islands. However, it is not possible to offer any new connections to these renewable generators as there is insufficient demand to utilise this type of generation. The NINES project is a three year project in which Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution will test a number of initiatives aimed, in particular, at reducing the maximum electrical demand on the islands, increasing the amount of wind generation able to connect, and therefore reducing the amount of electricity generated by fossil fuels. This should enable the existing Lerwick Power Station (LPS) to be replaced with a smaller and cheaper unit, whilst harnessing the local renewable energy potential and fostering energy efficiency.

Peak demand on the island is currently 48MW. The total capacity of LPS is 67MW providing a margin over maximum demand sufficient to ensure a secure supply taking account of planned and unplanned outages.Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution predicts that the NINES trials could deliver solutions that would reduce the capacity required from LPSs replacement by up to 20MW.

Specifically, in the NINES proposal, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution seek to:

  • Understand how best to accommodate Shetland's significant wind and marine potential on a small distribution network and ensure that the islands benefit from it

  • Increase understanding of how the existing and known future demand on the island can be best managed, and peak demand reduced, on a constrained, isolated system.