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