The Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, has visited Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission’s (SHE Transmission) new infrastructure at Crossaig substation, part of the recently completed Kintyre-Hunterston project.

Paul Wheelhouse, who was accompanied by Director of SHE Transmission, Dave Gardner and colleagues on site, took a tour of the site to see the flood mitigation works and learn about the replacement Carradale to Crossaig 132Kv overhead power line.

The multi-million pound project by SHE Transmission and SP Energy Networks to reinforce the electricity network on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll to Hunterston in North Ayrshire was completed in just under three years. In addition to providing a more secure electricity supply to the area by strengthening the transmission network it allows for additional capacity for generators of renewable energy to connect to the grid.

The majority of the £197 million project - which required two new grid substations, a replacement overhead line and the construction of an underground and subsea cable - was carried out by SHE Transmission with the final part of the works where 3.5km of land cable was needed to connect the line at Ardneil Bay to Hunterston, being carried out by SP Energy Networks. To reduce construction impacts, SP Energy Networks installed this section using the same route as the Western Link, a further subsea cable project currently being installed that will increase the flow of power between Scotland, England and Wales.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse commented:

“It’s been very interesting to see first-hand the hard work that’s been done by the SHE Transmission team at Crossaig substation for the Kintyre-Hunterston project to counter the effects of storms on more vulnerable parts of Scotland’s electricity network. As I recall from the Scottish Government resilience meetings at the time, the storm damage in spring 2013 saw Arran’s community and economy impacted severely for many days as a result of power cuts due to inadequate infrastructure. Measures like reinforcement of the Carradale to Crossaig circuit will undoubtedly mean power cuts are much more manageable in future which is good for local people who need a reliable electricity supply to go about their day to day lives, and of course Scotland’s rural economy.”

SHE Transmission’s Director, Dave Gardner added: “We’re extremely proud of this project and the skills of the workforce who worked together across SHE Transmission and SP Energy Networks to complete it. The local community was at the heart of this development and while this project gives renewable developers the capacity to build further generation in this area, more importantly, it builds a stronger power supply for those who live and work here.

“The storms that struck in March three years ago left thousands of our customers without power and gave us even greater need and drive to upgrade this network, making it stronger for the many householders and businesses that rely on it.”

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