Engineers battle to restore power to homes in Shetland

Teams of engineers have been battling to restore electricity to homes in Shetland, with around 2,400 people still without a supply.

Energy company Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said its engineers needed to rebuild the “critical backbone” of the network to allow more homes to be connected.

So far more than 60 schools are closed in Aberdeenshire due to snow.

And many roads in the region have been hit by snow drifts.

A yellow weather warning is in place across northern Scotland, with the central belt expected to be hit with snow and ice on Friday morning.

Heavy snowstorms disrupted Shetland’s electricity supply, and many went without power for days.

SSEN said power was successfully restored to customers in Out Skerries, parts of Voe, parts north of Whalsay and clusters elsewhere in Shetland on Wednesday.

As of 10:45 p.m., around 2,400 properties remained out of supply in Voe, Brae, Yell and the West Mainland.

The company said it had replaced damaged core infrastructure and points at Voe and Yell and replaced miles of overhead lines.

On Wednesday evening, Mark Macdonald, Region Manager at SSEN Distribution, said: “Today was about rebuilding the backbone of the network. After three days of significant travel constraints, severe access issues and of persistent adverse weather conditions, we are making up for lost time with engineers working since dawn today.”

He said a team of 125 people would continue to work on the reconstruction, while “reconnecting homes by rerouting the grid and connecting large-scale mobile generation to restore power”.

Fifteen SSEN crew arrived in Lerwick by ferry on Wednesday to help with reconnection efforts, which have been hampered by persistent bad weather.

The power cuts were caused by “extensive” damage to the network due to line icing, where snow and ice accumulate on overhead power lines and the extra weight causes them to snap.

Customers are entitled to claim up to £30 per person for every 24 hours without electricity.

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