Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Argyll & Bute

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Kelly Scott
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Mobile: 07443 772 946
Address: Networks
1 Waterloo Street
Glasgow
G2 6AY

Land Manager

Michael Forrest
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07384 454 039
Address: Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Plc
Inveralmond House
200 Dunkeld Road
Perth
PH1 3AQ
Status: Early Development

About the project

The North Argyll project aims to reinforce the existing transmission network in the region to enable renewable energy projects to connect to the network and to ensure security of supply.

The main elements of the project are

- Construction of a new 275/132kV Creag Dhubh substation (formerly referred to as North Argyll substation) in close proximity to the existing Inveraray to Taynuilt 132kV overhead line

- Construction of a new 275kV overhead line between the proposed North Argyll substation and the existing Dalmally substation

- Rebuild of the existing 132kV overhead line between Taynuilt and the proposed Creag Dhubh substation

- Decommissioning the existing 132Kv overhead line between Taynuilt and the proposed Creag Dhubh substation

 

Why is the project required?

A requirement for the projects has been established following analysis of the existing network. We have a statutory obligation to make sure the electricity transmission network is capable of safely connecting and transmitting the energy produced by generators.

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. 

Have Electric and Magnetic Fields been considered?

We are obliged as part of its licence obligations, to ensure that its assets operate within the guidance set by the UK Government.
Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) will be considered as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process to ensure that the Projects will be well within limits set by UK government guidance which in turn is based on the advice of the Government’s independent scientific advisers, the NRPB (now part of the Health Protection Agency), who ensures the appropriate level of protection for the public from these fields.

Further information on the guidance can be accessed on the UK government website, https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/electromagnetic-fields

The NRPB keeps the results of EMF health studies under constant review to ensure that the guidelines for limiting exposure are based on the best available scientific information.

Additional information on the research into a possible link between electromagnetic fields generated from electricity transmission infrastructure and human health is documented in the Energy Networks Association (2013) publication Electric and Magnetic Fields.

Will the Projects affect private water supplies?

Discussions will be held with landowners and surveys completed during development of the Projects to locate private water supplies. The outcome of these surveys and subsequent assessment will be documented in the Environmental Statements and supplied to the contractor to protect water supplies.

Will I get compensation if SHE Transmission plc infrastructure is on my land?

Compensation will be paid to landowners on whose land the line is to be erected on and that will be agreed on a case by case basis in line with statutory provisions.

Have tourism interests been considered?

We are always careful to minimise any impact on tourist attractions and early consultation will assist in identifying any concerns.
We will also look carefully at what impact construction might have during key events in local areas with the aim of minimising any inconvenience. Any potential impact on tourism interests will be assessed through the Environmental Impact Assessment and will be documented in the Environmental Statements.

July 2018 - Project Update

Following our most recent consultation events in March this year, we have been busy reviewing all feedback received from the community and other stakeholders, as we continue to take forward the North Argyll project. In early May, following the conclusion of the consultation, we issued a press release confirming our intention to further explore undergrounding in places of particular local sensitivity, where it can be demonstrated to be technically and environmentally feasible, as well as economic to GB bill payers who will ultimately pay for the proposed reinforcement through their electricity bills. We have recently been active in this area, carrying out further walkover surveys with our environmental consultant and internal engineers ahead of engaging a specialist design and build contractor to further develop these possibilities, focussing on the area between the road to the Duncan Ban monument and the Dalmally substation. We aim to conclude final technical solution proposals by quarter 1 of next year. Considering the above and the timescales required to complete this work, we have an amended timeline for the project, still retaining the required completion date of October 2023 but with a revised date for submission of a consent application in quarter one 2020. Whilst this will result in a more intense construction phase it will allow us to develop and consider the further design studies being undertaken. We have also been working to complete our Report on Consultation which we expect to publish on the project website within the next few weeks. The purpose of this report is to inform stakeholders of how comments made during the Alignment Consultation have been responded to by SHE Transmission, prior to a request to Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit for an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Scoping Opinion. Due to the main focus of the Alignment Consultation being the alignment of an overhead line, the Report on Consultation naturally references an overhead line solution. It is important to emphasise that underground cabling options are still being assessed and we have therefore not yet determined our proposed final solution. We will also shortly publish additional Frequently Asked Questions, providing answers to project specific questions posed to us during the consultation events. We remain committed to engaging openly and meaningfully with the local community, elected representatives and other stakeholders as we continue to take forward the project and would like to thank the community for their constructive engagement and feedback to date.

Further Underground Cable Feasability Study

In line with feedback recieved regarding the strong feeling in the Dalmally area about the potential for overhead transmission infrastructure, SSEN will be continuing to explore the feasability of undergrounding in areas of particular concern. To read more, please see the press release accessable via the following link: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/news-views/articles/2018/5/ssen-to-take-forward-further-undergrounding-studies-following-feedback-received-during-north-argyll-consultation/

Consultation Deferment

Local community members may be aware that Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks had intended to hold public consultation events commencing from Monday 15th January 2018. Whilst the requirements for the reinforcements still exist, due to uncertainty surrounding key drivers we have decided to review the proposed delivery timescales. We have therefore taken the decision to defer the consultation events that were due to take place next week whilst we undertake this review. We anticipate that the events will be rescheduled for the next few months and will be sure to inform the community as soon as new dates are confirmed.

October Consultation

We would like to extend thanks to all members of the public who took the time to attend our public consultation events or contributed feedback towards the proposals. The second set of events held in Kilchrenan, Portsonachan, Dalmally and Taynuilt between 24-27 October 2016, enabled our project team to showcase the further developments made on the proposals and receive comment on the preferred route. The closing date for feedback was 9 December 2016 and all responses received are currently being reviewed ahead of further refinement.

Document downloads

Consultation Booklet - March 2018

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Alignment Consultation Document - Creag Dhubh substation to Dalmally substation 275kV overhead line

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Alignment Consultation Document - Location Plan

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Alignment Consultation Document (Baseline Constraints South).

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Alignment Consultation Document (Baseline Constraints North).

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Alignment Consultation Document (Deviation 1 & Deviation 3)

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Alignment Consultation Document (Deviation 2).

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Alignment Consultation Document (Preferred Alignment)

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Creag Dhubh EIA Screening letter 09 03 2018

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Study Area and Existing Infrastructure

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
Creag Dhubh Substation Location Plan

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Mar 2018
March 2018 Consultation Events Poster

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 26 Feb 2018
January 2018 Cabling Update Presentation - G&I CC

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 12 Jan 2018
Advert for events - Sep 2017

Related Projects: Inveraray - Crossaig, North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Sep 2017
Argyll A5 handout - Sep 2017

Related Projects: Inveraray - Crossaig, North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Sep 2017
Overhead Line and Substation Options Maps

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 21 Nov 2016
North Argyll overhead line route options
Maps showing overhead line route options

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Nov 2016
North Argyll consultation booklet

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Nov 2016
North Argyll consultation boards

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 02 Nov 2016
Information Boards

Related Projects: North Argyll

File Type: pdf
Published: 06 Sep 2016

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