National Grid and Scottish Power have been confronted with an energy industry regulator investigation after the launch of a £ 1.3bn subsea power cable, backed by house energy accountants, has been repeatedly caught.
In late 2017, some six months behind schedule, the high-voltage cable began transmitting renewable energy from Scottish wind farms to the homes of British and Wales.
Since then, the cable, which operates from the west coast of Scotland to the north coast of Wales, has faulted several times and has spent the majority of this year offline.
Ofgem stated that it will examine whether the joint venture formed by National Grid and Scottish Power violated their cable license terms at a late date. It will also consider possible violations in connection with the operation of the cable.
The cable is a key component of Britain’s ambitions for the use of cleaner energy, as it will lead to moving Scotland’s rich energy sources to areas in the South with higher electricity demand.
When the wire does not operate, there is a higher risk of wind farms having to shut down the local grids with a cleaner energy supply, for millions of pounds, to pay energy bill payers every week.
The cable project allows Scotland to import electricity at low wind speeds from the rest of the country.
In a joint statement, the energy companies said they are confident that since it was launched two years ago, the project has been beneficial to consumers and will continue “to transport cleaner greener energy into our homes and businesses across the UK.”
Two weeks after a failure triggered by an earth failure close to the south end of the line the cable was offline.
“We are working hard to fix the current cable failure and we are confident that we will overcome this problem and connect it to customers in the long term,” said the joint venture.