In advance of next week’s public consultation events, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has today published its latest consultation on the Orkney transmission link and associated onshore infrastructure. The consultation sets out the latest designs for all elements of the transmission infrastructure project and the options still under consideration for the onshore element of the project.

SSEN had initially planned that this month’s consultation would be the final public consultation in advance of submitting planning applications to the relevant planning authorities for all elements of the transmission reinforcement.  Whilst this remains the case for the proposed substation at Finstown, the subsea cable and the underground land cable that will connect Finstown to the subsea cable, SSEN will now host a further round of consultation in Spring 2019 on the onshore infrastructure required to connect the various renewable projects looking to connect on Orkney to Finstown substation. 

The decision to hold a further round of consultation follows extensive interest in this part of the project from the local community and other key stakeholders and will provide those parties more opportunity to consider and influence the project’s final design. This will also allow SSEN to respond to potential changes to the generation background looking to connect on Orkney. Following extensive consultation with the local community throughout the past 18 months, SSEN has made a number of commitments and changes to its project design as a direct result of local feedback.  This includes:

  • A commitment not to use steel lattice transmission towers
  • Landscaping proposals to minimise visual impact of Finstown substation
  • A proposal to underground the onshore infrastructure around the fourth Churchill Barrier
  • Consideration of a new subsea cable from Hoy to the Orkney mainland as an alternative route to connect renewable generation looking to connect on Hoy

In line with its standard policy for new overhead infrastructure, SSEN is also committed to ensure no new overhead wooden poles and transmission lines are within 100m of residential properties.

Commenting on the next round of consultation, Peter Jordan, Project Manager for the proposed substation at Finstown, the subsea cable and the underground land cable from Warebeth to Finstown elements of the Orkney transmission reinforcement, said:

“Throughout the development of the project we have worked closely with the local community and where possible, have tried to factor in their feedback as we have refined our plans. “As this is the final round of public consultation we are planning to hold for these elements of the project, it is the last opportunity the local community to influence our final designs before we submit our planning applications.

“I would therefore encourage anyone with an interest to come along to our events and respond to our consultation.”

Commenting on the commitment to introduce a further stage of consultation on the onshore elements of the project to connect Orkney renewables, Duncan McCall, Project Manager for this part of the Orkney transmission reinforcement, said:

“As a responsible developer, throughout the development of the Orkney transmission project we have demonstrated our commitment to work closely with the local community and where possible, factor their feedback into our designs.

“By extending the development period of the onshore infrastructure part of the project we are providing the local community and other interested stakeholders the opportunity to help further shape and refine our proposals in advance of submitting our planning applications for this part of the project, which will now happen next year. “We would like to thank the local community for their constructive feedback to date and look forward to discussing our plans further with as many members of the community as possible next week.”

Next week’s consultation events will be held across the following locations and will include 3D modelling of the proposed infrastructure, providing a realistic visualisation of how the project will look against the local landscape:

  • Monday 24 September                 Stromness Community Centre, Stromness 14:00 – 18:00
  • Tuesday 25 September                 Cromarty Hall, St Margaret’s Hope 14:00 – 18:00
  • Wednesday 26 September          Flotta Community Centre, Flotta 09:30 – 13:30
  • Wednesday 26 September          NorthWalls Community School, Hoy 16:00 – 19:00
  • Thursday 27 September               Firth Community Centre, Finstown 14:00 - 18:00
  • Friday 28 September                     Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall 14:00 – 18:00

For more information on the project, including the latest consultation material, please visit: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/orkney/

 

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