Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Argyll & Bute

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Caitlin Quinn
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Telephone: 07901 135 758
Address: 1 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6AY

Land Manager

Grace Campbell
Title: Land Manager
Address: Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Plc
Inveralmond House
200 Dunkeld Road
Status: Project Refinement

About the project 

Due to the projected increase in renewable energy generation in Argyll, a need has been identified for the upgrade and reinforcement of the electricity transmission network on the Argyll peninsula to ensure supply and support the transition to net zero emissions. 

As described during the development process for the Inveraray – Crossaig overhead line rebuild, the replacement overhead line is being built at a higher 275 kV voltage, initially operating at 132 kV between Inveraray and Crossaig.

As future renewable generation connects to the electricity network and the operating voltage is required to increase to 275 kV, substations along the route will also require to be replaced in order to accommodate this voltage increase.

We are therefore proposing to construct and operate four (4) new 275 kV electricity substations at the following locations: 

  • in the vicinity of the existing An Suidhe substation;
  • in the vicinity of the existing Crarae substation;
  • in the vicinity of Craig Murrail, north of Lochgilphead; and
  • in the vicinity of the existing Crossaig substation. 

Once the 275kV Substations are constructed, the existing 132kV An Suidhe, Crarae and Crossaig substations will be decommissioned.


Argyll and Kintyre 27kV Substations and Sheirdrim Wind Farm Connection Project Webinar

As part of our Winter 2021 project consultation we held a webinar on 14th December 2021,  inviting statutory consultees, community council members and local elected members to discuss our proposals ahead of our planning application process. Please see a recording of the webinar adjacent for more information.  

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Who is Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks?

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is the trading name of Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc and Southern Electric Power Distribution plc.

How are Transmission network upgrades paid for?

Investments in projects are made by SHE Transmission plc. Electricity transmission companies are authorised to recover the costs of such investments through 'use of system' charges which are levied by National Grid Electricity Transmission plc on generators and suppliers of electricity. Suppliers recover their costs from all electricity customers. In order to protect the interests of customers, the transmission companies have to demonstrate to the energy regulator, Ofgem (Office for Gas and Electricity Markets) that proposed investments are necessary, are efficient and are economical so that the charges which are ultimately levied on all electricity customers are justified.

This means SHE Transmission is subject to a funding mechanism established by Parliament and regulated by Ofgem. Cross subsidies between different businesses in the SSE group is not permitted.

How are proposals scrutinised?

The Scottish Ministers are responsible for determination of applications submitted under Section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989. Both statutory consultees and members of the public have the right to submit their representations on the application. All representations will be considered by Scottish Ministers in their determination of the application.
The Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), as the regulator, has to approve all investment so project proposals are developed under license conditions.
Preferred route corridors chosen will comply with revised ‘Holford Rules’ which are the recognised industry approach to routeing overhead lines amended to reflect Scottish circumstances.

How and to what extent are electricity consumers' interests considered?

SHE Transmission are regulated by the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the regulator responsible for representing consumers' interests. Electricity consumer interests are therefore one of our key drivers and this is enshrined in our statutory duties under the Electricity Act.

In particular we have a statutory duty to develop, maintain and operate an efficient, economic and co-ordinated transmission system. Since the costs of these projects will ultimately be paid for by electricity consumers, we have a responsibility to take cost into account with due weighting in a comparison against other important factors.

What is the transmission network?

It’s the highest voltage electricity network in the UK – the ‘motorway network’ of the energy world. It transmits large quantities of electricity over long distances via wires carried on a system of mainly metal towers (pylons) and large substations. Transmission voltages in Scotland are 132kV, 275kV and 400kV. Larger generation schemes usually connect to the Transmission system.

The lower voltage parts of the system are called distribution networks. In Scotland, these local networks operate below 132kV whereas in England the distribution network includes 132kV. 

Argyll and Bute Information Sharing Webinar 2022

Please click to view our 2022 Argyll and Bute regional webinar where some of the SSEN team have given an overview of ongoing and upcoming projects across the area.

Submission of our Initial Needs Case for the Argyll and Kintyre 275kV Strategy

We have submitted to the energy regulator, Ofgem, robust proposals to reinforce the Argyll transmission network from 132kV to 275kV operation. At an estimated cost of around £400m, this investment is being taken forward as part of the SSE Group’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme, which will see £12.5bn invested in the five years to 2026, or £7m every day. SSEN Transmission alone expects to invest around £4bn over this period as it delivers a network for net zero emissions. The Argyll 275kV strategy is required to support the connection of several new renewable electricity generation schemes across Argyll and to transport that power to areas of demand across Scotland and beyond. It will support the connection of at least 560MW of new renewable electricity generation, enough to power more than 500,000 homes.
Read more

Pre- Application Consultation Closed

Thank you to those who participated in our Winter 2021 online pre-application consultation and provided feedback on our proposals for the Argyll and Kintyre 275kV Substations project. Our consultation period closed on 10th January and all feedback received will be collated, reviewed and included in the Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) Report which will accompany the Planning Applications submission to Argyll and Bute Council in Spring 2022. As part of our consultation we held a webinar on 14th December 2021, inviting statutory consultees, community council members and local elected members to discuss our proposals ahead of our planning application process. Please see a recording of the webinar adjacent for more information.

Argyll and Bute Information Sharing Webinar

On Wednesday 17th March 2021, SSEN Transmission hosted an Argyll and Bute Information Sharing Webinar, to provide local stakeholders with an interest in future electricity network plans for Argyll and Bute the chance to join us to hear about our stakeholder-led plans for the future and receive an update on the current construction and operation activities in the region. For those who were unable to attend, we have uploaded a recording of the session which you can view by clicking on the adjacent video.

Project Documentation

Argyll and Kintyre 275kV Substations Pre-Application Consultation
File Type: pdf
Published: 26 Nov 2021
Report On Consultation October 2021
File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Oct 2021
Argyll 275kv Substations - Substation Site Selection - Consultation Document - June 2021
File Type: pdf
Published: 10 Jun 2021
Consultation Document - June 2021 - Appendix 1 - Figures 1-2
File Type: pdf
Published: 10 Jun 2021
Consultation Document - June 2021 - Appendix 1 - Figures 3-4
File Type: pdf
Published: 10 Jun 2021
Consultation Document - June 2021 - Appendix 1 - Figures 5-7
File Type: pdf
Published: 10 Jun 2021
Argyll and Kintyre 275kv Strategy - Consultation Poster - June 2021
File Type: pdf
Published: 30 Jun 2021
Argyll and Kintyre 275kV Strategy Consultation Brochure - July 2021
File Type: pdf
Published: 30 Jun 2021
Argyll and Bute Information Sharing Webinar - March 21 - Slide Deck
File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Mar 2021

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