SSEN Transmission has today confirmed the appointment of design contractor, Balfour Beatty, to carry out further in-depth feasibility studies for the proposed North Argyll Transmission Reinforcement.
As the transmission owner for the north of Scotland, SSEN is responsible for providing connections and wider reinforcements to its network to meet the needs of electricity generators and large-scale demand users.
The North Argyll reinforcement is required to facilitate the connection of renewable electricity generators looking to connect to the transmission system from across the Argyll region. If the reinforcement proceeds, which ultimately remains subject to the progression of renewable generators, it will also strengthen the transmission system, improving network resilience for electricity users.
SSEN and Balfour Beatty’s initial focus will be to conduct further in-depth studies of the proposed cable alignment. This includes investigative ground survey works from the vicinity of the Duncan Ban monument to Dalmally switching station where undergrounding is being explored. The commitment to explore the feasibility of undergrounding follows feedback and consultation with local stakeholders on options for the proposed project’s design.
SSEN will also be progressing surveys and ground investigation works along the remaining section of the alignment to the proposed Creag Dhubh substation where it is progressing a proposed overhead solution.
The detailed ground investigation studies will begin within the next few weeks and SSEN has recently contacted all landowners to provide advance notification of these works.
The studies are expected to take place over the next five months and will help to inform design options for the proposed reinforcement should it proceed, alongside ongoing consultation with the local community. SSEN will be following up with respective landowners individually with concise dates for surveys on their land which shall each be of shorter duration within the overall timescale indicated above.
Commenting on the appointment of Balfour Beatty, Derek Hearns, Development Project Manager, said:
“As a responsible developer, we remain fully committed to exploring undergrounding options for Dalmally; directly responding to community and stakeholder feedback received during our consultation events last year. Balfour Beatty has a wealth of experience in the design and construction of both overhead power lines and underground power cable solutions and we welcome this valuable addition to the project.
“As this work progresses, we look forward to continued engagement and consultation with key stakeholders on the proposed North Argyll project.”