Work Completed On Power Cable Between Scilly And Mainland

The damaged cable. Images Courtesy of WPD.

The damaged cable. Images Courtesy of WPD.

Western Power Distribution has confirmed the sub-marine cable feeding the Isles of Scilly has been re-energised and residents on Scilly are back on mains electricity.

The cable as it was winched onto the repair vessel last week.

The cable as it was winched onto the repair vessel last week.

The 33,000 volt cable was damaged by the anchor of an unidentified boat causing catastrophic damage which subsequently caused a brief interruption to customers of around 3 minutes before back-up generators kicked in, restoring supplies. These generators maintained supplies throughout the repairs to the Islands 2,000 customers.

The sub-marine cable is 55 kilometres long and located at a depth of 70 metres on the sea bed. Over several days and using specialist cameras and equipment the cable damage was assessed then retrieved onto an adapted platform on the CS Sovereign so that the joint repairs could take place.

Jon Nesbitt, WPD’s Distribution Manager explained: “I cannot stress enough what a challenging task this has been over the past 4 weeks. Our staff and contractors have worked tirelessly in poor weather conditions and restricted tide times to get this repair back on track.

CS Sovereign – the repair vessel which carried out the work on the sub-marine cable.

CS Sovereign – the repair vessel which carried out the work on the sub-marine cable.

“Backed up by an experienced team on the Islands,  the contingency plan for supplies has always been the generators at the power station which has worked well throughout, but our priority was to complete the repair as quickly and safely as possible, which thankfully was confirmed yesterday evening by my team on the repair vessel.”

The CS Sovereign and its Crew have returned to its base in Portland but will return to carry out further surveys in the coming weeks. This work will not affect customers’ supplies.

Jon added: “I want to thank our customers for their patience and support over the past few weeks. Our team on the Island has a good relationship with customers and we know everyone’s efforts were appreciated.”