Changes to overhead line project following consultations

SSEN Transmission has published Reports on Consultations for the proposed new 400kV overhead line between Beauly, Blackhillock, New Deer and Peterhead, which includes four new substations along its route, and new HVDC Converter Stations at both Beauly and Peterhead.

The project is part of a wider upgrade of the electricity transmission network across Great Britain that is required to deliver UK and Scottish Government energy security and climate change targets.

The Reports on Consultations provides a summary of the feedback received, how this has been considered and confirmation of which routes and proposed substation sites are now being taken forward to the next stage.

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Following the first round of consultation on potential substation locations and second overhead line route consultation, SSEN Transmission is taking forward several changes to its initial proposals. These include:

​The project is part of a wider upgrade of the network across Great Britain.​The project is part of a wider upgrade of the network across Great Britain.
​The project is part of a wider upgrade of the network across Great Britain.
  • At Blackhillock in Moray, the proposed new substation site is moving from that consulted on earlier this year to the east of Keith, to one of the other shortlisted sites to the south east of the existing Blackhillock substation, which now falls just over the local authority boundary in Aberdeenshire Council. This follows extensive local feedback and concerns around the impact of the initial site on Keith, including future development opportunities in the area which includes a potential new health centre.
  • Key sections of previously consulted on routes have been widened in places to reduce community impacts and present the opportunity to follow existing overhead electricity transmission infrastructure, where possible. This includes the proposed overhead line route as it passes the villages of Maud and Stuartfield.
  • All other route options and the proposed locations for Beauly, New Deer and Peterhead substations are being progressed in line with those options presented as ‘preferred’ when consulted on earlier this year.

In further recognition of community feedback, SSEN Transmission will seek to rationalise cumulative infrastructure impacts through the removal and undergrounding of existing transmission lines, where technically practical and appropriate, and subject to all necessary planning consents and landowner agreements.

Work to identify and assess potential sections of existing overhead line where their removal will reduce cumulative impacts is ongoing, with an update expected as part of the next round of public consultation.

Commenting on the Reports on Consultations, Catherine Swan, Senior Development Project Manager, said: “The overhead line routes we are now taking forward to route alignment and our proposed substation locations seek to balance environmental and technical constraints alongside minimising community impacts.

“We now look forward to further engagement with local communities and wider stakeholders in advance of our next round of public consultation in early 2024 and remain committed to work constructively with all stakeholders to help further inform the development of this critical national infrastructure.”