Higher Physics students from Invergordon Academy were given the rare opportunity to tour a key transmission substation - that is supporting Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy - prior to being energised.
Fyrish Substation, near Alness, is being constructed by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) as part of the £1.1billion Caithness-Moray project, a major reinforcement of the transmission network serving the north of Scotland to enable proposed wind, wave and tidal generation sites to connect.
There are four main elements to the project, which will encompass work at eight substation sites, two converter stations and two overhead line reinforcement projects – as well as the installation of the HVDC cable itself in the Moray Firth. The Fyrish site will be one of the final pieces of the puzzle to be energised - giving the pupils a unique chance to see the substation before it is made live.
SSEN Project Manager, Andrew McLaren, explains more:
“We were proud to be able to provide the potential engineers of tomorrow with an insight into the substation prior to energisation. Even though the site is almost fully constructed, Fyrish will not be energised until the middle of 2018. This enabled us to safely demonstrate how substations work and how they fit into the wider electricity network.”
The pupils were given presentations on the environmental and technical aspects of delivering a large scale project, followed by an environmental quiz and then a walk around the site.
Sixteen-year-old, Michael Silva from Invergordon Academy attended the site, he said:
“I thought the trip was quite interesting. I personally learnt a lot from the trip and got a better insight into possible jobs I might pursue.”
SSEN has been building the new Fyrish substation, near Alness since 2015. The site won a gold Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) award earlier this year as a result of several initiatives deployed by the project team. These have included the installation of electrical vehicle charging points, gritting the local public road, providing a staff library and hosting nature walks with the local community. The annual awards recognise the highest levels of consideration and care demonstrated by construction sites towards their local neighbourhoods, the general public, their workforce and the environment.
To find out more about the Fyrish project, visit the dedicated project page here.