Green light for Bute to Cumbrae subsea cables

Bell Bay in Cumbrae, from where the underwater power cable runs from to Bute.
Bell Bay in Cumbrae, from where the underwater power cable runs from to Bute.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has been granted a marine licence to replace one of the two subsea power cables connecting Bute and Cumbrae.

As previously reported in the Buteman, the existing cable is approaching the end of its scheduled working life.

The replacement will be installed in the water between Kerrylamont Bay in Bute and Bell Bay in Cumbrae.

SSEN submitted an application to Marine Scotland last November, which has now been accepted.

Ahead of the new cable’s arrival, preparatory works on Cumbrae are well advanced with similar work starting here on Bute soon.

SSEN has said the subsea installation programme in February will have no impact on electricity supplies in the local communities.

Deborah Young, SSEN’s marine consents manager, said: “This essential project is part of our ongoing commitment to deliver the best possible service to our customers, and will go a long way to providing a safe, secure and reliable electricity supply across these local communities for many years to come.”

Around 90km of submarine cables connecting Scotland’s island communities will be replaced during the current Ofgem price control period (RIIO- ED1), which runs from 2015-2023.

Fishermen, marine users, residents and businesses on the islands had the opportunity to give their comments on the proposal during a 28 day consultation in November. For more information, visit