Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), operating under licence as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, has successfully connected Beinneun wind farm to the electricity transmission network, almost two months ahead of its contracted connection date.
Blue Energy, the developer of the 109MW wind farm, was offered an accelerated grid connection date of 31 March 2017 to ensure the wind farm qualifies for the Renewable Obligations (RO) scheme before it closes at the end of the financial year. The early connection means the developer can start exporting to the grid two months before schedule, providing an earlier expected return on investment.
The accelerated connection to the grid was helped by SSEN utilising an innovative ACCC (Aluminium Conductor Composite Core) Monte Carlo conductor to provide the connection. The use of this technology, the first of its kind on SSEN’s overhead transmission infrastructure, allowed SSEN to reduce costs, timescales and reduce the visual and environmental impact as the connection has been provided by reconductoring and strengthening the existing 132kV steel towers instead of erecting new additional trident wood poles.
Lead Project Manager, Archie Munro, said: “I am very proud that our team were able to connect the Beinneun wind farm almost two months ahead of schedule.
“This would not have been possible had we not utilised the ACCC Monte Carlo conductor. This type of conductor can carry up to twice the amount of conventional conductors due to its high temperature capability.
“It is the first time that we have used these types of conductor on steel towers and we had to develop and adapt our usual installation techniques.
“We are using the same technology to connect the nearby Bhlaraidh wind farm to the network which we are now in the final stages of delivering. We are working closely with the developer to ensure that the close interfaces are properly managed to enable a smooth conclusion to the works.”
To find out more about the Beinneun wind farm connection project, please visit the dedicated project page.