Smart City technology has the capacity to enhance lives across the UK – but it’s not only inhabitants of towns and cities who can benefit.

In 2018, Fair Isle, the remote island halfway between Orkney and Shetland, finally got a reliable electricity supply 24 hours a day. Previously, residents on the island had been forced to turn their lights off between 11.30pm and 7.30am every day.

Now it has 24-hour energy supply, which has in turn raised hopes among locals that more people will move to the island, which has a population of less than 60.

SSE Enterprise Contracting played a key role in helping to install a new renewable energy system that replaced polluting diesel generators. It also won the won the Judges Award for Fair Isle Low Carbon Energy System at the Scottish Green Energy Awards in Edinburgh.

The three-mile long remote Scottish island has used a combination of wind and diesel power since the 1980s, but it has been lights out between 11.30pm and 7.30am on nights when there is no wind.

But all that changed thanks in part to the hard work of engineers and electricians from SSE Enterprise Contracting, who completed a six-month project to power up Fair Isle.​

SSE Contracting’s involvement was led by Mike Ferrier, who described it as one of the most logistically challenging projects he had ever led but eased by the warm welcome from islanders.

This is the fifth Scottish Island that SSE Contracting has helped power up with round the clock electricity,” explained engineer and project manager Mike.​

Without doubt it’s been one of the trickiest to pull off because of Fair Isle’s remoteness. Simply getting the equipment on site was a challenge because we had to charter vessels from Orkney and contend with the different weather conditions.

“But what has made this project such plain sailing otherwise has been the warmth and hospitality of the locals who have welcomed our guys with open arms. The National Trust provided our small team with accommodation and the locals have been cooking for them so we’d all sit down and eat together like a Scottish version of the Waltons you might say!


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