Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Highland, Moray

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Lisa Marchi
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Telephone: 01463 728072
Mobile: 07825 015507
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN

Land Manager

Tony Gill
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07775 812900
Address: 200 Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, AB16 5NY
Status: Operational

About the project

The overhead steel tower line which runs between Beauly and Keith was constructed in 1955 and forms an integral part of the transmission system. The 132kV line between Inverness and Keith substations is a double circuit construction with a total route length of 92km, 29km between Inverness and Nairn and 63km between Nairn, Elgin and Keith. The Beauly – Inverness section of the line was re-conductored and re-insulated in 1992.

We are now investing in the network to fully refurbish many of the towers and replace the existing wires (conductors) starting from Beauly substation in 2018 and finishing at Keith substation in 2021. The new wires will be capable of carrying increased amounts of electricity whilst ensuring the security of demand.

There are some very challenging aspects along the route including major road crossings (A82,A862,A96 and the A9), numerous railway crossings, crossing of the River Ness and Caledonian Canal. The overhead line also crosses through the residential area of Holm as well as historic sites such as Culloden battlefield.


Project activities

Some of the project activities to be undertaken are as follows: 

  • Some tree cutting along the route shall be required (locations to be confirmed)
  • A number of tower foundation upgrades will be required along the route
  • Tower steel strengthening
  • Access tracks are to be created into tower locations (the number of tracks and their locations is still to be confirmed)
  • Re conducting works (replacing existing conductors and fittings with new)  

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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.

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. 

Project Completion

The Beauly-Inverness-Keith project team and our delivery partner Balfour Beatty celebrate a job well done as the final section of the Beauly to Keith overhead line upgrade project is completed, bringing to a close 3 years of hard work.
Hear from the project manager

Hamilton Garden Housing Development

Essential works are being carried out in Elgin at the Hamilton Garden Housing Development. To view a short video from the project's Community Liaison Manager explaining the works, please click on the image.

SSEN Transmission teams have successfully completed the works between Beauly and Nairn

SSEN Transmission teams have successfully completed the works between Beauly and Nairn, which saw 40km of new overhead line installed over a 10-month period. Mike Cowie, SSEN Transmission’s Project Manager, said, “I’d like to thank the local communities for their patience as our teams have gone about their work, especially those who have been impacted by the various road closures and traffic management which have been in place along the route. “This phase of the project has been particularly challenging due to periods of bad weather we experienced, which meant that we had to re-schedule certain parts of the work plan, and so I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and commitment which has seen the work completed on time. “

Temporary road closure

Temporary road closure starting on 9 July of a short section of Essich Road in the city during the hours of 09:00 -16:00 Monday to Friday. Works are expected to last approximately four weeks.

Balfour Beatty awarded Beauly to Keith overhead line and cabling works worth c. £43.5 million

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has been awarded two contracts worth c. £43.5 million for the Beauly to Keith 132kV modernisation programme. Both contracts have been awarded by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, part of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), through the existing F2 Overhead Line General Works Framework and the 132kV Underground Cable Works Framework. Read more at:

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