Caithness-Moray transmission project has kicked off its 2017 offshore campaign with clearance of rocks and boulders along the proposed subsea cable route.
The route for the cable was cleared by the Siem Ruby vessel utilising a subsea boulder clearance plough to clear the route of boulders along the seabed. The same vessel will subsequently be used to create a trench to lay the cables within it. The cables will then be installed from a purpose-built cable laying vessel in two campaigns – the first from Noss to the midpoint of the cable route and the second from Portgordon to the end of the previously laid cable.
Following the installation of the cables the plough will be brought back and reconfigured to backfill the trench using the seabed material previously excavated during the trenching operation.
Lead project manager, Brian Mitchell, said: “This is a significant milestone for the Caithness-Moray project as the plough has literally cleared the way to allow our team to start laying the cables that will enable electricity to be transported between Caithness and Moray.
“Once complete, the Caithness Moray subsea link will significantly reinforce the north of Scotland transmission network and aid our transition to a low-carbon economy.”
The Caithness-Moray project is on schedule for completion in 2018, enabling a further 1,200MW of renewable generation capacity to connect to the grid.