A project to remove electricity lines from the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is one step closer with Ofgem provisionally approving SSEN Transmission’s proposal.
SSEN Transmission plans to remove 7.5k of overhead lines and 25 transmission towers from the Loch Lomond landscape, with electricity cables being put underground instead.
SSEN Transmission’s Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets (VISTA) project offers an alternative approach to project development – combining the technical skills of its engineers with the expertise of external stakeholders who have extensive knowledge of the Scottish landscape. This collaboration has been central to the development of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs VISTA project.
Working closely with the National Park and a wide range of stakeholders, representing both statutory and non-statutory organisations, the wealth of experience and interests of these stakeholders in the landscapes under consideration has helped identify the finally selected key areas for the proposal.
The project is being taken forward and funded as part of a £500m fund, administered by the energy regulator Ofgem, for GB electricity transmission owners to mitigate the impact of existing electricity infrastructure in nationally designated landscapes. SSEN Transmission has applied to the fund to mitigate the impact of historic electricity infrastructure in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
Project Manager, Euan Smith 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.
“We have been working closely with the local community, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and local stakeholders on the project for the last three years. Their feedback has been pivotal in shaping the final project and we are delighted it has taken another significant step towards being approved.
“We would like to thank all of those who have inputted into the development process so far and look forward to their continued engagement.”
The final approval of the scheme is subject to the outcome of Ofgem’s consultation, open until 5 June 2020, as the regulator seeks further views and support from stakeholders before making a final decision on whether to approve funding for the plans.
SSEN Transmission encourages those who are interested in the scheme to submit their feedback to Ofgem.