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HV Offshore Caithness Moray Link project NKT Victoria

CMS, Scotland

The Caithness-Moray project represents a £1.1bn capital investment by SSEN, centred on a submarine cable capable of carrying up to 1,200MW beneath the Moray Firth.

Key Facts


Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN)

Total cable route length

160 km

Location of the project

Moray Firth, Scotland


2014 - 2019

Quantity of order

Turnkey HVDC 320 kV cable system solution with a 1,200 MW power rating


  • HVDC extruded cable system, including 2x113 km of submarine and 2x20 + 2x28 km of underground XLPE cables
  • Cable system design and engineering
  • Manufacturing and testing
  • Marine engineering, installation and commissioning
  • Cable service agreement

The project

The Caithness-Moray project is a major investment in Scottish infrastructure that will enable the transition to a low carbon economy.

Investment in the renewable energy sector in Scotland has increased significantly over the past ten years. In 2015, Scottish renewables generated 57.7% of Scotland’s total electricity consumption, in comparison to just 14.1% in 2004. At the end of 2015, Scotland had a total installed renewable electricity generation capacity of 7.7GW with an additional 13GW in planning, consented or in construction.
To accommodate this newly constructed generation capacity and ensure the future security of energy supply across the UK, a major reinforcement of the transmission network serving the north of Scotland is required.
The Caithness-Moray project represents a £1.1bn capital investment by SSEN, centred on a submarine cable capable of carrying up to 1,200MW beneath the Moray Firth. With associated reinforcement of the existing onshore transmission network, the project will represent the largest investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s.
Reference Map CMS

The solution

NKT plays a key role in the project by designing, manufacturing and installing the 320 kV HVDC submarine and underground cable system covering a total transmission length of 160 kilometers.

The link connects the electricity grid on either side of the Moray Firth using world-leading and well established HVDC cable technology from NKT with a minimal visual impact. It has the capacity to carry up to 1,200 MW (megawatt) of electricity – equivalent to the electricity needs of about two million people.
The installation of the 113 km long submarine cable system in the ploughed trench in the seabed was the maiden project of our purpose-built cablelaying vessel NKT Victoria. It can hold 9,000 tons of power cable and offers state-of-the-art cable-laying capability. In-house marine engineering and cable technology engineering facilitated an efficient installation operation with the cable integrity in focus and thereby reducing risks. The vessel´s dynamic positioning (DP3) and remotely operated vehicles featuring cameras and sonar enabled high-precision installation of the cable in the trench. The successful first installation was a true milestone both for the project and for us.
The transmission link benefits from our five-year cable service agreement, including for example 24/7 phone support, training, remote access and spare parts and facility management.
It is fulfilling for us at NKT to support this major transmission project that will enable the integration of more renewable energy and supply clean, emissionfree electricity to millions of people.
“One specific aspect which stands out is the excellent attitudes towards the safety management, coordination and performance of the works during the offshore campaigns considering the numerous levels of subcontracting and the challenges that this presents. SHET’s high expectations were met and set the standard going forward for future subsea projects.” Victor Stirling, Project Director - SHET
HV Offshore Caithness Moray Link project cable storage

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