SSEN Transmission welcomes Ofgem’s decision to approve funding to remove a total of 7.8 km of overhead line from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
The project which is part of SSEN Transmission’s VISTA (Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets) scheme, will see the removal of 7.8km of overhead line and 31 steel lattice towers, between Killin substation and Lix Toll, replacing it with underground electricity cables. The removed infrastructure will include the most prominent section above Killin and the Falls of Dochart.
The investment required to carry out this project totals £22.3m and is being funded as part of a £500m scheme administered by the energy regulator, Ofgem. The scheme allows the three GB electricity transmission owners to bid for funding to mitigate the impact of historic electricity infrastructure in National Parks and National Scenic Areas.
This is SSEN Transmission’s fourth VISTA project to be approved by Ofgem, completing its first project in Loch Tummel, improving the visual impact through a combination of tower painting, tree planting and landscaping of 7km of overhead line. In December 2020 work on the second project was completed, the removal of 12km of overhead line and 46 towers in The Cairngorm National Park and earlier this year work commenced on their most recent project to remove two sections of 132kv overhead line, undergrounding 4.5km of overhead line from Derrydaroch and Crianlarich near Glen Falloch, and 3km between Sloy Dam and Sloy Power Station.
Lead Project Manager, Peter Jordan said:
“We are delighted Ofgem has approved our funding request to remove an additional 31 transmission towers from the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
“Once complete, the removal of this infrastructure will leave a lasting legacy for those living in the area and for the thousands of tourists that normally visit the area each year, by improving the visual amenity within one of Scotland’s most precious landscapes.
“We would like to thank everyone who has given their time to share their views throughout the development process, the approval from Ofgem follows several years of close development work with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, the local community and a wide range of stakeholders, representing both statutory and non-statutory organisations.
“It was their wealth of experience and interest in the landscapes under consideration that helped identify these key areas, and the subsequent approval of the project.”
Work on the project is expected to commence in early summer 2021 with the work on the undergrounding expected to be completed by Jan 2023.