SSEN Transmission has submitted a Section 37 planning application to the Scottish Government to upgrade the existing transmission line that runs between Kintore, North West of Aberdeen and Blairingone, East of Stirling.  

The upgrade of the existing overhead transmission line is required to increase its capacity to 400kV, thereby facilitating the growth of renewable energy in the fight against climate change. The application covers all aspects of the overhead line works, including tower extensions, tower and foundation repairs, replacement of insulators and conductors, and provision of access tracks to enable these works.

The upgrade of the network will help support the connection of new renewable generation in the north of Scotland to the grid, enabling clean energy to be taken from where it is generated to where it is needed. Once completed the project will help play a key role in supporting the transition to net zero emissions.

The East Coast 400kV Upgrade is the second part of a two phased onshore reinforcement of the East Coast transmission network. Phase one, the East Coast Onshore 275kV Upgrade is scheduled to start in April this year and will involve the re-profiling of 185km of the existing 275kV overhead line between Kintore and Fetteresso and the 275kV overhead line between Tealing and Alyth. The re-profiling works will include tightening and adjusting of the wires (conductors), re-insulation works and re-conductoring, as well as a programme of vegetation clearance to ensure that a safe distance is maintained between the conductors and the surrounding terrain.

Since September 2020 when it held its first public consultation, SSEN Transmission has been working closely with the local community, landowners, elected members, statutory authorities and specialist consultants to develop its proposals for the East Coast 400kV Upgrade, which will largely utilise the existing steel tower structures, helping minimise the environmental and visual impacts of the works.

SSEN Transmission’s Lead Project Manager, Paul Higginbotham, explains more:

"This upgrade is essential to support the growth in renewables across the north of Scotland as we continue to decarbonise our energy system and build a network for net zero emissions. 

“By largely utilising and upgrading the existing overhead line infrastructure we are able to greatly minimise any additional environmental and visual impacts associated with the required increase in network capacity.

"As a responsible developer, we believe that it is essential to seek public opinion on our proposals and where possible, take that feedback into consideration when developing our projects. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the development of the project to date.”

Further information regarding the East Coast 400kV Upgrade project can be obtained from the dedicated project webpage: 

Any representations regarding the overhead line Section 37 application should be submitted via the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit ; by email to or by post, to The Scottish Government, Energy Consents Unit, 4th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU, identifying the proposal and specifying the grounds for representation.

Related Articles