Project Type: Windfarm connection
Location: Highland

Contact Details

Neil Anderson
Title: Community Team Manager
Telephone: 01738 516529
Mobile: 07500 912506
Address: Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 3AQ
Status: Operational


About the project

The aim of the project is to develop and construct a transmission connection to connect Beinneun wind farm to existing grid infrastructure.

The proposed Beinneun project comprises of two key elements:

• The proposed development and construction of a transmission connection between Beinneun wind farm and Auchterawe substation, Fort Augustus
• To work in coordination with the Bhlaraidh Transmission Connection Project in identifying a shared transmission connection

In coordinating efforts with the Bhlaraidh Transmission Connection project, we hope to reduce the overall visual impact of overhead electrical infrastructure between Torgyle, Glen Moriston and Auchterawe Substation, Fort Augustus.

Why is the project required?

As the transmission licence holder in the north of Scotland we have a duty under Section 9 of the Electricity Act 1989 to facilitate competition in the generation and supply of electricity. We have obligations to offer non-discriminatory terms for connection to the transmission system, both for new generation and for new sources of electricity demand.
The aim of the project is to enable renewable energy to connect to our transmission network. Under our Network Operators Licence this connection should be efficient, co-ordinated and economic, whilst having the least possible impact on the environment.

The data in this map is provided for indicative purposes only and may be subject to change. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc do not accept responsibility for its accuracy, completeness or validity. The data should not be copied, reproduced or utilised externally without permission.

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 our 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.

What are The Holford Rules?

The Holford Rules originated in 1959 as the result of work by Lord Holford, a part-time member of the Central Electricity Generating Board (National Grid's predecessor). The Holford Rules have been augmented by both National Grid and SHE Transmission plc to reflect environmental legislation and best practice in recent years. We have continued to use them as a valuable set of guidelines for reducing the impact of our assets on landscapes.
The guidance recommends appropriate application of the Holford Rules to inform routeing. These rules advocate the application of a hierarchical approach to routeing which first avoids major areas of highest amenity, then smaller areas of high amenity, and finally considers factors such as backdrop, woodland and orientation. The Holford Rules apply the term ‘amenity’ to refer to environmental designations and classifications such as Natura 2000 sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, National Parks.
The guidance also recognises that the key effect of overhead lines is visual and it advises that the routeing of overhead lines should consider the types of mitigation (screening) that could offset any visual effects.
In their National Policy Statement EN-5, the Government has stated that the Holford Rules “should be followed by developers when designing their proposals.” Their use is therefore Government policy, rather than a voluntary choice of SHE Transmission plc.

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

We 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. 

Dundreggan Dam gantry install_complete.jpg

Installation of cable gantry completed

The team from the Bhlaraidh and Beinneun Connection projects celebrated another milestone this week when the installation of the cable gantry to the 63 year old Dundreggan Dam was completed. Lead Project Manager, Archie Munro, said: “I am pleased to confirm the successful installation of a new cable gantry to the Dundreggan Dam. The cable gantry is a relatively small but critical part of the project which will support an underground cable connection from the Bhlaraidh windfarm in to Glenmoriston Substation. Our 132kV cables will be secured and protected within this purpose built gantry structure which sits on the concrete pillars that form part of the existing dam structure." The cables are within a fully ducted system inside the gantry structure, providing additional protection. There is also a fibre optic cable that runs the full length of the cable system to enable end to end communications and protection signals. The project has now moved on to the next phase of the works which will focus on the restringing of the overhead circuit from Fort Augustus to Ceannacroc and in parallel the team are considering their plans for the final connection works for the two windfarms.

Overhead line energised between Fort Augustus and Glemoriston substations

A significant project milestone was achieved on the Bhlaraidh and Beinneun wind farm connection project when engineers sucessfully energised an overhead line between Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Substations. The project remains on programe to have both wind farms connected to the grid by 31 March 2017

Document downloads

Pre-application consultation report

Related Projects: Beinneun wind farm connection

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Information boards

Related Projects: Beinneun wind farm connection

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016
Exhibition boards

Related Projects: Beinneun wind farm connection

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 Aug 2016

Local People

Neil Anderson
  • Title: Community Team Manager
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 01738 516529
  • Mobile: 07500 912506
  • Address: Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 3AQ

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