Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ Caithness-Moray transmission link has taken a significant step forward with the energisation of the first section of the line.

The 275kV overhead line circuit from Knocknagael to Kintore is now live and connected to the expanded Blackhillock substation, near Keith, Moray; the first key milestone on the £1.1 billion Caithness-Moray project and the result of almost three years of work by the project team.

Commissioning is also under way on the remaining 400kV and 132kV circuits, which are scheduled to complete by the summer of 2017. The Blackhillock substation, the largest in the UK, will link to the 1200MW DC cable from Caithness and work to install the 113km subsea cable, which uses High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology, is due to get under way next year.

Tony Scott, Project Director, Transmission Programmes East, said:

“Caithness-Moray represents the largest investment in the electricity network in the north of Scotland since hydro development in the 1950s. Once complete, it will significantly reinforce the country’s transmission network and aid our transition to a low-carbon economy.

“I’m delighted to mark this first milestone, particularly as it has been delivered exactly to the schedule we set out three years ago. This is testament to the operational excellence of our teams, who are now committed to building on this good start in future construction phases of the project.”

The Caithness-Moray project is on schedule for completion in 2018, enabling a further 1,200 MW of renewable generation capacity to connect to the grid, including the Beatrice offshore and Dorenell onshore windfarms. A recent study in to the economic contribution of the project showed that it will deliver a £634.5m boost to the UK economy, supporting over 10,000 years of employment.

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