Kintore-Tealing 400kV Overhead Line Project: Proposed new substation at Fiddes moving to Fetteresso Forest as SSEN Transmission publishes Reports on Consultations

SSEN Transmission_The project is part of a wider upgrade of the electricity transmission network across Great Britain.jpg

  • Announcement part of wider series of updates from SSEN Transmission, including 400 new jobs across the north of Scotland over the next 12 months

  • Recruitment drive comes as SSEN Transmission unveils major changes from its first phase of consultation in response to community feedback

  • Following recent UK Government Community Benefit announcement, communities across the north of Scotland in line for over £100m of community benefit funding and money off bills for those located closest to new infrastructure.  This includes over £21m of community benefit funding for the Kintore-Tealing project

  • SSEN Transmission also sets out ambitious plans to contribute to the development of 200 properties across the north of Scotland, which following completion of the projects, will support local housing requirements

  • Biodiversity net gain, of at least 10%, to be delivered across all new projects

SSEN Transmission has today published Reports on Consultations for the proposed 400kV overhead line between Kintore and Tealing, which includes two new substations along its route.  This project is part of a wider upgrade of the electricity transmission network across Great Britain that is required to deliver UK and Scottish Government energy security and climate change targets.

The Reports on Consultations provides a summary of the extensive feedback received, how this has been considered and confirmation of which overhead line routes and proposed substation sites are now being taken forward to the next stage of development.

Following the first round of consultation which took place over the summer, SSEN Transmission is taking forward several changes to its initial proposals.  These include:

  • Moving the proposed new substation at Fiddes to a new site in Fetteresso Forest, in close proximity to SSEN Transmission’s existing Fetteresso substation.  This will also remove proposed overhead lines from the Fiddes area and follows significant feedback from the community, including concerns about impacts on famous Scottish author Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s childhood home.
  • As a result of the substation move, SSEN Transmission has identified alterations to the overhead line routes to allow this to connect to the proposed new site which will be consulted on as part of consultations in early 2024.
  • As the overhead line passes Forfar, an alternative route is now being taken forward which takes the line further away from Forfar, addressing community feedback and reduces interaction with the River South Esk to address concerns from SEPA about the impact of flooding.
  • In the northern section, between the River Dee and Kintore, an alternative route further to the west is now being progressed which will reduce impacts on Westhill, Peterculter and Loch Skene, again in direct response to stakeholder feedback.
  • All other route options and the proposed location for Tealing substation are being progressed in line with those options that were presented as ‘preferred’ when consulted on earlier this year.

In further recognition of community feedback, SSEN Transmission will seek to rationalise cumulative infrastructure impacts through the removal and undergrounding of existing transmission lines, where technically practical and appropriate, and subject to all necessary planning consents and landowner agreements.

Work to identify and assess potential sections of existing overhead line where their removal will reduce cumulative impacts is ongoing, with an update expected as part of the next round of public consultation on overhead line alignments and more detailed substation designs in early 2024.

Commenting on the publication of the Report on Consultation, Calum Grant, Senior Project Manager, said:

“We would once again like to thank all those stakeholders who took the time to constructively respond to our consultation, with this feedback instrumental in informing the changes to our proposals we are announcing today.

“The overhead line routes we are now taking forward to route alignment and our proposed substation locations seek to balance environmental and technical constraints alongside minimising community impacts.

“Recognising the strength of feeling amongst some individuals and communities, we have worked extremely hard to identify an alternative substation site to Fiddes, as well as several changes to our previously consulted on preferred overhead line routes, to help reduce community, environmental and cultural heritage impacts.

“We now look forward to further engagement with local communities and wider stakeholders in advance of our next round of public consultation in early 2024 and remain committed to work constructively with all stakeholders to help further inform the development of this critical national infrastructure.”

Community Benefit

Alongside last week’s Autumn Statement the UK Government published its draft Community Benefit guidance for electricity transmission infrastructure, which has proposed £200,000 per km of new overhead line and £200,000 per substation. 

Subject to the Government’s final decision and confirmation of funding arrangements by the energy regulator Ofgem, the Kintore-Tealing project is in line to deliver over £21m in Community Benefit Funding.  Proposals for direct payments to those most impacted by new electricity transmission infrastructure have also been set out by the UK Government, with more details expected in 2024.

Accommodation strategy

To ensure that the development of these critical infrastructure projects’ positively impact local people and places, SSEN Transmission is also announcing the first part of its accommodation strategy.

This includes a commitment to contribute to the development of at least 200 properties across the north of Scotland, which upon completion of the transmission infrastructure projects, will be handed to local organisations to provide accommodation for local people across the north of Scotland, delivering a lasting legacy for future generations.   

This is expected to include new and renovated homes, as well as fully serviced sites for temporary accommodation camps for workers, delivered to the standard required to support future housing and wider economic development activities.

To help inform its accommodation strategy SSEN Transmission has commenced engagement with Local Authorities and wider stakeholders to help identify local property needs in the location of projects, including to help address the rural housing crisis.


To see the reports on consultation for our Kintore-Fiddes-Tealing 400kV OHL Connection project, see our dedicated project page.