Western Isles subsea cable work could start in summer
A subsidiary of energy giant SSE says it could begin work this summer on a subsea cable linking Western Isles renewable projects with the mainland.
But Scottish Hydro Electric (SHE) added that the interconnector would only go ahead if developers, the National Grid and regulator Ofgem supported it.
The firm had previously warned that plans to lay the cable in 2015 could be delayed for 12 months or longer.
This was after its cost rose by 75% to about £700m.
David Gardner, director of transmission, told BBC Radio Scotland that work could begin on the cable as soon as July or August.
"But we need to have developers, need to have the National Grid and Ofgem on board before we can do that," he added.
Local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been seeking a swift start to work on the cable, which would supply electricity generated by renewable projects on the isles to the Scottish mainland.