SSEN Transmission has today published the outcome of its recent consultation on three options to reinforce the transmission network in north Argyll.  The reinforcement is required to connect and transport renewable electricity from across the region to areas of demand, supporting the transition to net zero emissions.

The development of the Creag Dhubh – Dalmally project has been ongoing for a number of years and SSEN Transmission continues to work closely with the local community and other stakeholders to help shape is plans.  In its consultation, SSEN Transmission presented three options for consideration, of which the latter two have been developed in direct response to stakeholder feedback.  The three options consulted on were:

  1. Overhead line to the existing Dalmally substation (original proposal)
  2. A combination of overhead line and underground cable connection to the existing Dalmally substation
  3. An alternative overhead line connection location east of Dalmally and new substation, avoiding the need to connect to the existing Dalmally substation and existing overhead line.

Based on the feedback received through its consultation, in particular from statutory stakeholders, SSEN Transmission can confirm its preferred option is number three.  This option addresses a number of concerns that local community members had raised about the visual and cumulative impacts of connecting to the existing network infrastructure in Dalmally.  It also avoids the significant environmental challenges associated with the undergrounding option, which presented a significant risk of pollution to Loch Awe, due to the risk of local watercourses flooding in the area.

Commenting on the report on consultation, Project Manager, Paul McQuillan, said:

“As a responsible developer, we have been working closely with the local community throughout the development of this project and when we consulted back in 2018 the community gave us two clear asks; to explore undergrounding a section of the proposed overhead line and to look at an alternative route.

“Based on the feedback received throughout this and earlier consultations and engagement; supported by technical, environmental and engineering studies undertaken; we are progressing with option three.  This option reduces the impacts on local communities by bypassing the need to connect to the existing substation in Dalmally.

“We would like to thank everyone who participated in our consultation and look forward to continuing to engage constructively with our stakeholders as part of the ongoing development of the project.”

SSEN Transmission will now carry out detailed engineering and environmental studies to help establish a preferred route which we will consulted on in Spring 2021.

The Creag Dhubh–Dalmally project is part of a wider strategy to upgrade the main transmission network across Argyll to 275kW to support the growth in renewables across the region and the transition to net zero emissions, supporting UK and Scottish Government climate change targets.  To help inform the Argyll community and other stakeholders of this wider strategy, SSEN Transmission intends to host a regional stakeholder event before the end of the financial year to present its future plans.

View the full report on consultation here

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