Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ project to replace one of the two electricity subsea cables connecting Bute and Cumbrae is now complete.

Cumbrae receives its power from the mainland by two subsea cables, one of which was approaching the end of its operational life.

To ensure it could continue to deliver a safe and reliable supply, the company applied to Marine Scotland last autumn for a licence to install a replacement cable.

Following a successful public consultation, the licence was granted and work on the new 5.8km cable between Kerrylamont Bay in Bute and Bell Bay in Cumbrae began earlier this year.

The new subsea cable is now in place and energised, delivering power to homes and businesses from the mainland.

To further increase the reliability of supplies to the island, the company is set to introduce innovative monitoring devices on the new cable this year, giving SSEN real-time ‘health’ updates after £1.5m investment.

This new technology will give notification of any cable movements and collisions, providing them with a greater understanding of the conditions in which the cable operates.

This monitoring will also notify SSEN when there is an immediate concern of the health of the submarine cable or the safety of nearby marine users, enabling its teams to be proactive in responding to potential faults.

Mel Chisholm, Project Manager for the Bute-Cumbrae cable installation, said: “This essential project forms part of our ongoing commitment to deliver a safe and secure supply of electricity to Scotland’s island communities, and we’d like to thank everyone for their feedback and support throughout the consultation process and as installation works progressed.

“It will go a long way to delivering the power homes and businesses rely on for many years to come.”

The new technology will be able to see any damage or detect potential faults developing, which in turn allows us to carry out repairs quickly and effectively.