A study of the economic contribution made by the Caithness-Moray transmission project has found that it is supporting the equivalent of over 10,000 years of employment in the UK, around half of which are in Scotland.

Economic modelling included within a report published today found that:
• Of the £1.1 billion total investment, almost two thirds (£643.5m) will be spent with UK-based suppliers and contractors;
• Over a quarter of a billion pounds (£265.5m) in Gross Value Added will be contributed to the Scottish economy; and
• The project will support the equivalent of 10,971 years of employment in the UK, of which 4,975 are in Scotland.

The study also highlights the difference that the inclusion of a Living Wage clause in SHE Transmission’s major contracts has made to the recruitment and retention of local staff by small and medium-sized businesses in the project’s supply chain.

SHE Transmission is part of the SSE Group, one of the UK’s leading and largest Living Wage employers, a commitment that extends to SSE’s extensive supply chain. The Caithness-Moray project remains the largest Living Wage contract ever placed and is evidence of SSE’s strong commitment to ensure all employees working on its sites get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Commenting, SHE Transmission’s Director of Transmission David Gardner said:

“As a responsible developer we are committed to doing all we can to maximise the economic impact of our investments, both locally and nationally. We are extremely proud that today’s report clearly demonstrates the wider benefits of our activity and we remain committed to doing all we can to further the economic and social impact of our investments in the years ahead.

“We have worked hard with our major contractors to deliver real and tangible benefits to the local supply chain, starting on the ground in the Highlands and Moray. Our work with the Living Wage Foundation has helped to make sure that all employees working on our sites receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, supporting recruitment and retention of a committed local workforce. These initiatives are the right thing to do, but we believe they are also helping us to deliver real value for electricity consumers’ money.

“The contribution we are able to make directly through our investment and our supply chain is ultimately only the first part of the story. The purpose of our work is to enable development of the north’s renewable energy resources, bringing further economic opportunity and playing a vital part in meeting the energy challenge facing the country as a whole.”

The Caithness-Moray project is centred on a 100 mile underground and subsea cable running beneath the Moray Firth, using High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology. It enables around 1,200 Megawatts of additional renewable generation capacity to connect to the national grid.

Work on the project is progressing well, with onshore installation of the HVDC cable in Caithness now largely complete. Work to install the subsea cable is due to get under way next year, with the whole project on schedule for completion by the end of 2018.

The £1.1 billion investment is the largest single project that SHE Transmission has delivered to date, following swiftly on from the completion of the Beauly-Denny line last year. The major overhaul of the north of Scotland’s electricity network is needed to accommodate the rapid growth of renewable generation capacity in the north of Scotland, enhancing network resilience and security of supply in the process.


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