Rothienorman Substation teams advance to second phase of major construction work

SSEN Transmission teams have advanced to the second phase of major construction work in the ongoing Rothienorman Substation project.

Phase two of the Rothienorman Substation project is making good progress. (SSEN Transmission)
Phase two of the Rothienorman Substation project is making good progress. (SSEN Transmission)

Working with principal contractor Balfour Beatty, Phase Two involves upgrading the infrastructure at the development from 275 kilovolts (kV) to 400kV, allowing for increased capacity to flow through the substation which will accommodate more renewable generation from across the north of Scotland.

Construction of the substation, located around two miles west of Rothienorman, began with Phase one in 2019, and is part of a wider strategy to reinforce the transmission network in the North East and East Coast of Scotland to accommodate increased renewable energy generation, helping to deliver a network for net zero.

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As part of the upgrade to 400kV, two supergrid transformers – each weighing around 130 tonnes – will be installed at the substation, along with additional components to help facilitate the utilisation of the transformers. These specialist transformer units are being shipped to Aberdeen quay before being transported to their final location at Rothienorman substation.

The first transformer unit is expected to be delivered on Saturday, October 8, with the second due to arrive next month.

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To help minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and road users and ensure the transformer units can arrive safely, the manufacturer has appointed specialist haulier Rawcliffe to transport the units via convoy using a large 12-axle specialist vehicle. The transformer convoy will depart from Aberdeen quay at 8am on Saturday under Police Scotland escort and make its way to Rothienorman Substation via the A96, A920 and B992.

Due to their size, the delivery vehicles will be travelling at a reduced speed for safety, and the journey is expected to take between four and six hours. No road closures are required, and vehicles should be able to pass the convoy at regular opportunities on the road network under guidance from Police Scotland, when safe to do so.

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SSEN Transmission Project Manager Arthur Sinakov said: “Phase Two of the Rothienorman Substation development is making good progress, with our teams recently completing all necessary foundation works ahead of the arrival of two new supergrid transformers from our specialist manufacturer.

“The delivery of the first of two new supergrid transformer units marks a major milestone in the project, which will ultimately enable a greater capacity of energy to flow through the substation and accommodate increased renewable generation from across the north of Scotland.

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“The complex delivery has been carefully coordinated by our project teams, working with the specialist haulier, Rawcliffe, as well as Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland, to ensure disruption can be kept to a minimum for the local community and road users in the area.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community in advance for their patience and understanding while we transport these transformers onto their final location in Rothienorman.”

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To learn more about the Rothienorman Substation development visit ssen-transmission.co.uk