A key milestone to replace one of three subsea cables under the Solent, supplying the Isle of Wight with electricity, has been successfully completed. The €17,5 million deep sea bed cable installation project is being deliveredby a specialist joint venture between VolkerWessels companies VolkerInfra and Visser & Smit Marine Contracting (VSMC) and awarded by Scottish and Southern Energy. It is the first subsea electrical installation under the Solent waterway for 40 years.
With over 5600 meters of the 132 kV (extra high voltage) cable, weighing 600 tonnes now buried under the Solent, the project involves two primary phases. The first phase was completed in November last year, where a 930 metre horizontal directional drill was installed successfully from Thorness Bay in the Isle of Wight out into the sea bed of the Solent.
The second phase was completed this June, following the manufacturing of a single length bespoke cable and has now been installed between the Isle of Wight and the coast of Hampshire. This was achieved by using the expertise of VSMC and their specialist divers and marine installation vessels.
Before the residents and businesses of the Isle of Wight benefit from the new undersea cable, the project team must ready themselves for the final phase, which is to connect the new cable to the network in the Isle of Wight and Hampshirefollowed by carrying out a full testing and commissioning process for project conclusion in September this year.