Project Type: Windfarm connection
Location: Highland

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

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

Land Manager

Kenneth Morton
Title: Land Manager
Telephone: 01463 728381
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN
Status: Operational

About the project

The 108MW Bhlaraidh wind farm was successfully connected to the National Grid on 6 March 2017.

The project required the construction of a new substation located within the footprint of the wind farm then the construction of a 8.5km underground cable. The underground cable connected the wind farm substation to an existing overhead steel tower line which connects the Glenmoriston Hydro Power Station to Fort Augustus Substation. 

The project avoided the construction of any additional electrical infrastructure between Glenmoriston and Fort Augustus by upgrading an existing 132kV overhead steel tower line. The upgrade to the existing line involved replacing tower fixtures and fittings, the reinforcement of some foundations and the installation of a new and innovative electrical conductor (Monte Carlo - Aluminium Conductor Composite Core Conductor) that can operate at higher temperatures and carry an increased load.  


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 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?

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. 

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

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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