From 9 – 11 June, SSEN Transmission will host its first ever online consultation events to engage with the local community on plans to upgrade Skye’s transmission network.
Back in February this year, SSEN Transmission announced its plans to replace the existing electricity transmission powerline that runs from Fort Augustus to Ardmore in the north of Skye. The current line was constructed in three distinct sections between 1956 and 1989 and is now reaching the end of its operational life. Its planned replacement is essential to maintain security of supply to homes and businesses along its route, as well as to the Western Isles, which is supplied by two subsea cables from Ardmore point.
In addition to keeping the lights on and improving network reliability, the replacement line will also deliver greater network capacity to enable the connection of new renewable energy generation to the transmission network, supporting the transition to a net zero emissions target.
Consultation on the proposal was originally planned to take place in March this year, with seven public engagement events planned in locations along the route for the replacement line. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic these events were cancelled.
To continue engagement on the project SSEN Transmission has developed an online consultation tool, to enable the local community to experience the full exhibition from home on a computer, tablet or mobile device. The online exhibition has been designed to look and feel like a real consultation in a community hall, with exhibition boards, maps, interactive videos and the opportunity to share views on the proposals.
Project Manager, Euan Smith, said: “The replacement of the Fort Augustus to Skye line is an essential project, representing a major investment in the area which is critical to maintain security of supply and support the transition to net zero emissions. As a responsible developer, we are committed to working closely with the local community as we develop our plans, despite current travel and social distancing challenges, and this means adapting how we engage following Scottish Government advice for safe consultation.
“Alongside the online consultation events, which can be accessed from our website at any time, we will also be holding scheduled interactive sessions with the project team to allow members of the public to ask questions directly. We welcome anyone who is interested in the future of Skye’s transmission network to participate in the events, share their views and help shape the development of the project”
The online consultation events have been designed to be as interactive as face to face events, allowing for presentation of key project information and plans, as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions about the project. Visitors will be able to engage directly with the project team, via a live chat function, where they can ask any questions they might have about the project and share their feedback on the current proposals.
The virtual consultation events will be taking place as follows:
To join the virtual consultation please visit the project page here