Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has successfully energised its 132kV gas-insulated equipment at its Blackhillock Substation site, near Keith which will enable the connection of renewable generation in Moray.

Once complete, Blackhillock Substation will be the largest substation in the UK and the second largest in northern Europe. It is being constructed as part of the £1.1billion investment project by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks to connect Caithness to Moray.

The Keith-based project is made up of five main elements; a 400kV gas-insulated (GIS) substation, a 132kV GIS substation, a 275kV air-insulated (AIS) substation, a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) convertor and an underground HVDC electricity cable from Blackhillock to Portgordon.

SSEN Lead Project Manager, Gary Callaghan, said: “The energisation of the 132kV component of Blackhillock substation is a significant milestone for the project as this will enable renewable generation to connect to the site immediately.

“We are making major progress on site now that all major deliveries are complete. We have fully installed and pre-commissioned two of six of the 275/400kV super grid transformers and are on track for energisation to commence in August with the project due to be complete by the end of this financial year.”

Blackhillock substation is part of the £1.1bn Caithness-Moray project which represents the largest investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s and is the largest capital investment project undertaken by the SSE Group to date. It is also the largest Living Wage contract ever awarded in the UK, demonstrating SSEN’s strong commitment to ensure all employees working on its sites get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

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