Following the publication of National Grid’s Networks Options Assessment report, which included a change to the recommendation for the proposed Beauly-Blackhillock-Kintore reinforcement from last year’s ‘delay’ to ‘do not proceed’, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has now concluded a period of engagement with stakeholders to agree how it takes forward the recommendations.
All work associated with the project is now drawing to a close and SSEN has taken the decision that should it return to the project in the future, it will review the options for reinforcement. It is hoped this commitment will provide a degree of closure for those communities who have opposed the reinforcement as currently proposed.
Commenting, David Gardner, Director of Transmission, said:
“As the NOA is an annual process a recommendation to stop in one year could change in future years and as part of our recent discussions with stakeholders, we have focussed on how we capture the significant development work that has been done to date, and the valuable stakeholder feedback received so far on this project.
“Whilst we remain confident in the robust approach we have taken in planning the reinforcement and the conclusions we have reached so far, we recognise the degree of opposition in the local community, particularly regarding the proposed route corridor. In recognition of this, as a responsible developer we have taken the decision to commit to review the options, initially in consultation with statutory stakeholders, if we return to the project in future years.
“We have always stated that the views of the local community are an important consideration in the development of our projects and remain committed to work openly and constructively with all parties who may be affected by our developments.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders for the valuable contributions they have made to date, which will be helpful to inform any future planning should we return to the project at a later date”.