Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has today submitted an application to Ofgem for its first VISTA proposal, which aims to reduce the visual impact of existing transmission infrastructure at Loch Tummel in Perthshire.
The electricity and gas markets regulator, Ofgem, is responsible for administering a £500m fund for GB electricity transmission owners to mitigate the impact of existing electricity infrastructure in National Parks and National Scenic Areas. In response to Ofgem’s funding, SSEN is taking forward a number of engineering and landscaping proposals across its network region as part of its VISTA (Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets) project.
The submission to Ofgem outlines SSEN’s plans to reduce the visual impact of the existing transmission line in the Loch Tummel National Scenic Area through a combination of tower painting, tree planting and landscaping. The innovative proposal, which is subject to regulatory funding and landowner approval, has been developed in close consultation with stakeholders with a keen interest in improving the visual amenity within Tummel Valley, which can be viewed from the scenic Queens View landmark.
Commenting on the submission Euan Smith, who is leading SSEN’s Project VISTA, said:
“VISTA offers a unique opportunity to look again at our existing transmission assets and mitigate their impact in some of Scotland’s most precious landscapes.
“Following engagement with key stakeholders over the past two years, we have selected six projects to progress under our VISTA workstream, and the submission of our first application to Ofgem for the Loch Tummel proposals marks an important milestone in this process.
“We would like to thank all of those who have inputted into the development process so far and look forward to continued engagement as our VISTA projects progress.”
SSEN is also considering a further landscaping proposal for Loch Rannoch and is also taking forward two engineering proposals in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park as well as two further engineering proposals in Cairngorms National Park.
Proposals for Loch Rannoch and the Cairngorms National Park are expected to be submitted to Ofgem later this year.
To find out more about SSEN’s VISTA project please visit: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/sustainability-and-environment/vista/