The first element of the northern part of the Caithness-Moray transmission reinforcement has been energised successfully at Dounreay Substation.

An additional section of 275 kilovolt (kV) busbar has been added to the new indoor substation at Dounreay, which was originally installed in 2013 using gas insulated switchgear to reduce the space required. The extra equipment now added enables the connection of the upgraded overhead line that runs from Dounreay to Spittal, via the new Thurso South Substation.

The replacement of the overhead line is an important element of the Caithness-Moray transmission reinforcement as a whole, enabling power to flow to the Convertor Station that is currently being built at Spittal. From there, it will be transmitted using High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology to the coast and beneath the Moray Firth.

Lead Project Manager Ian Clark said:

“The successful energisation of the new elements of Dounreay Substation is an important first step in the phased commissioning of the new transmission line in Caithness, which will continue over the coming months.

“Once the new overhead line and substations are playing their role in the network, our team will be able to begin removing the old 132 kilovolt line between Dounreay, Thurso and Spittal. Our team will continue to work closely with landowners to complete this work, as well as the removal of access tracks and other reinstatement activities.

“It has taken a huge team effort over the past two years with our contractor Balfour Beatty to bring a very complex project to this important milestone on schedule. Even more people were involved in the preparations over the preceding years. Local communities and farmers have played an important part at every stage and I would particularly like to thank them for their understanding while work has been under way.”

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