The Beauly-Denny project has been recognised for its contribution to decarbonising electricity generation in Scotland with a special Judges Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2016.
The new 220km line has renewed the spine of the electricity transmission network between the Highlands and the Central Belt. It is supported by 615 steel lattice towers which were specifically designed to take account of latest engineering standards, as well as the challenging terrain and the extreme weather conditions experienced at over 2500 feet above sea level. Alongside simultaneous reinforcement of the main existing transmission line between the Highlands and Aberdeenshire, the project had enabled over 80 additional wind, hydro and solar power developments by the end of 2015, providing almost 1500MW of additional generation capacity. It also contributed £100m to the Scottish economy through its development and construction, supporting 1500 jobs.
Beauly-Denny was delivered jointly by the transmission teams at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and SP Energy Networks. Its full length was energised successfully a year ago.
Responding to the news, SSEN Director of Transmission David Gardner said:
“There will be very few people in our business who haven’t contributed in some way to the successful design and delivery of Beauly-Denny, not to mention our contractors who built the line and our counterparts at SPEN who worked with us.
“This award is well deserved recognition for a huge team effort. It recognises both the scale of our achievement and the critical significance of the project to the success of renewable energy in the north of Scotland. From Caithness-Moray to our customer connection projects and the challenges of operating our expanded network, our work today is no less important to our customers. We have exciting opportunities to build on this success in the years ahead.”
As well as replacing a pre-existing 132 kilovolt overhead line, work associated with Beauly-Denny has also enabled the removal of an additional 69km of transmission line, including 53km within the Cairngorms National Park. Work is set to begin before the end of the year to remove a further 40km of overhead line from the heart of the National Park between Boat of Garten and Kingussie.
A helicopter carrying out stringing works on the Beauly-Denny line near Fort Augustus (picture: Balfour Beatty)