Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Highland

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Lisa Marchi-Grey
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Telephone: 01463 728072
Mobile: 07825 015507
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN

Land Manager

Nicola Ross
Title: Wayleaves Officer
Mobile: 07825 015057
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN
Status: Project assessment

 

Installation of new conductors complete

The 91 steel towers that have been in place between Beauly and Loch Buidhe since the 1960s have been given a new lease of life following the installation of new higher-capacity conductors and fittings which have increased the capacity of the local network by around 30% and enabled renewable generation to be transported from the north of Scotland.

 

Proposals for a new double circuit 275kV line

Since the summer of 2014 we have been developing proposals for a new double circuit, 275kV line that would reinforce the network to the north of Beauly.
As part of our licence responsibilities, we are required to continually assess the amount of forecast generation seeking to connect onto the network to ensure the proposed reinforcements are still the most efficient and cost effective solution. Along with National Grid, who operate the transmission network in Great Britain, we have carried out a number of studies including assessing the impact of:

  • Changes in the forecast generation - New wind farm developments can request a connection or existing developments can modify their capacity or even withdraw completely.
  • Government initiatives and subsidies, most relevantly, for renewable incentives can change leading to changes in the forecast generation

A Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) which compares the costs associated with developing and implementing the project, with the benefits this would provide to system capacity, and reduced operating costs. This ensures that consumers (who pay for this expenditure) are getting value for money

In light of the most recent assessments, we feel that it is right to postpone development of the current project pending further ongoing assessment.
As part of this further assessment, we will continue to review the need and timing for a range of alternative reinforcement options and will continue to work with National Grid to identify the most economic proposals to advance. Potential alternatives may include:

  • Examine the existing and developing network to identify any available spare capacity
  • Increasing the capacity of the existing network by the use of higher capacity conductors
  • Consider new technologies such as high temperature conductors
  • Review all options considered in the early development stages of the Beauly – Loch Buidhe project to gauge their potential effectiveness under the prevailing generation and demand background.

We remain committed to engaging with statutory authorities, landowners and communities on any potential developments at the earliest opportunity and would like to extend thanks to those who provided feedback on the Beauly – Loch Buidhe Project to date.

The data in this map is provided for indicative purposes only and may be subject to change. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc do not accept responsibility for its accuracy, completeness or validity. The data should not be copied, reproduced or utilised externally without permission.

Who is Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks?

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is the trading name of Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc and Southern Electric Power Distribution plc.

How are Transmission network upgrades paid for?

Investments in projects are made by SHE Transmission plc. Electricity transmission companies are authorised to recover the costs of such investments through 'use of system' charges which are levied by National Grid Electricity Transmission plc on generators and suppliers of electricity. Suppliers recover their costs from all electricity customers. In order to protect the interests of customers, the transmission companies have to demonstrate to the energy regulator, Ofgem (Office for Gas and Electricity Markets) that proposed investments are necessary, are efficient and are economical so that the charges which are ultimately levied on all electricity customers are justified.
This means SHE Transmission is subject to a funding mechanism established by Parliament and regulated by Ofgem. Cross subsidies between different businesses in the SSE group is not permitted.

How are our proposals scrutinised?

The Scottish Ministers are responsible for determination of applications submitted under Section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989. Both statutory consultees and members of the public have the right to submit their representations on the application. All representations will be considered by Scottish Ministers in their determination of the application.
The Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), as the regulator, has to approve all investment so project proposals are developed under license conditions.
Preferred route corridors chosen will comply with revised ‘Holford Rules’ which are the recognised industry approach to routeing overhead lines amended to reflect Scottish circumstances.

What are The Holford Rules?

The Holford Rules originated in 1959 as the result of work by Lord Holford, a part-time member of the Central Electricity Generating Board (National Grid's predecessor). The Holford Rules have been augmented by both National Grid and SHE Transmission plc to reflect environmental legislation and best practice in recent years. We have continued to use them as a valuable set of guidelines for reducing the impact of our assets on landscapes.
The guidance recommends appropriate application of the Holford Rules to inform routeing. These rules advocate the application of a hierarchical approach to routeing which first avoids major areas of highest amenity, then smaller areas of high amenity, and finally considers factors such as backdrop, woodland and orientation. The Holford Rules apply the term ‘amenity’ to refer to environmental designations and classifications such as Natura 2000 sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, National Parks.
The guidance also recognises that the key effect of overhead lines is visual and it advises that the routeing of overhead lines should consider the types of mitigation (screening) that could offset any visual effects.
In their National Policy Statement EN-5, the Government has stated that the Holford Rules “should be followed by developers when designing their proposals.” Their use is therefore Government policy, rather than a voluntary choice of SHE Transmission plc.

How and to what extent are electricity consumers' interests considered?

We are regulated by the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the regulator responsible for representing consumers' interests. Electricity consumer interests are therefore one of our key drivers and this is enshrined in our statutory duties under the Electricity Act.
In particular we have a statutory duty to develop, maintain and operate an efficient, economic and co-ordinated transmission system. Since the costs of these projects will ultimately be paid for by electricity consumers, we have a responsibility to take cost into account with due weighting in a comparison against other important factors.

What is the transmission network?

It’s the highest voltage electricity network in the UK – the ‘motorway network’ of the energy world. It transmits large quantities of electricity over long distances via wires carried on a system of mainly metal towers (pylons) and large substations. Transmission voltages in Scotland are 132kV, 275kV and 400kV. Larger generation schemes usually connect to the Transmission system.

The lower voltage parts of the system are called distribution networks. In Scotland, these local networks operate below 132kV whereas in England the distribution network includes 132kV. 

Project put on hold

We are advising communities between Beauly and Bonar Bridge that plans to develop the Beauly-Loch Buidhe overhead line reinforcement project are to be put on hold.

Document downloads

SSE Beauly multi project panels
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Poster 1
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Poster 2
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Poster 3
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 1
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Poster 4
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 2
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 3
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 4
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 5
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 6
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 7
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 8
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Information boards page 9
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 10
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 11
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards page 12
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
Map of route - Nov 2015 update
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

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Published: 18 Aug 2016
High resolution maps of preferred central corridor OHL route - Map 1
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
High resolution maps of preferred central corridor OHL route - Map 2
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
High resolution maps of preferred central corridor OHL route - Map 3
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Route corridor options - Map 1
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Route corridor options - Map 2
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Route corridor options - Map 3
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Beauly Loch Buidhe Statement
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Beauly - Loch Buidhe 275 kV Upgrade Summary of Consultation - January 2016
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Related Projects: Beauly - Loch Buidhe

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016

Local People

Lisa Marchi-Grey
  • Title: Community Liaison Manager
  • Email: lisa.marchi@sse.com
  • Telephone: 01463 728072
  • Mobile: 07825 015507
  • Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN

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