Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has hosted a public consultation event at Pitlochry Visitor Centre, where stakeholders and members of the public were able to learn more about plans to reduce the visual impact of SSEN’s older transmission infrastructure in the Loch Tummel area.
The energy regulator, Ofgem, has established a £500m fund for GB electricity transmission owners to improve the visual impact of their existing infrastructure in nationally designated landscapes, such as National Parks and National Scenic Areas.
Loch Tummel, near Pitlochry, is famous for the stunning Queen’s View visitors’ attraction and the project there is one of the first that SSEN is hoping to take forward, subject to regulatory approval by Ofgem, as part of its wider Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets (VISTA) proposals If the project is approved, it will involve painting the towers in a shade which will reduce their visual potency, as well as landscaping around the equipment.
Speaking after the event, Euan Smith who leads SSEN’s VISTA team, said: “VISTA offers a unique opportunity to look again at our existing transmission assets and mitigate their impact in some of Scotland’s most precious landscapes. Over the last two years we have worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders to identify potential schemes to take forward, and we were delighted to present, display and discuss our finalised proposals for Loch Tummel with our stakeholders and members of the public before we submit an application to Ofgem this coming Autumn. Meeting with our stakeholders is one of the best ways we can get their feedback, and from a project perspective it has been very encouraging to hear so many positive comments about our proposals.”
If SSEN’s plans are approved by Ofgem, it hopes to deliver the project in 2019-20.
To learn more about the Loch Tummel proposals and VISTA in general, please visit our dedicated webpage: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/sustainability-and-environment/vista/