Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Dav Lynch
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Telephone: 07918 404443
Address: Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 3AQ

Land Manager

Robyn Taylor
Title: Land Manager
Telephone: 07778 380673
Address: 200 Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, AB16 5NY
Status: Early Development

About the project

North East 400kV Reinforcement Works 

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), operating as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc (SHET) under licence, has plans to reinforce the existing 275kV overhead line connecting the substations at Blackhillock, Keith, Kintore and Peterhead to enable operation at an increased voltage of 400kV. The reinforcement works would involve replacing the insulators and fittings on the existing towers, as well as reconfiguring a short section of the overhead line to divert it out of Keith substation. The works may also include replacing the existing conductors strung along the overhead line route, depending on the outcome of condition assessments which are currently underway. 

These reinforcement works are required to allow increased generation capacity to the transmission system, while keeping the network fully operable and compliant with all necessary technical standards.  Without these necessary reinforcements, required in conjunction with the Rothienorman, New Deer and Peterhead, the existing network cannot facilitate all required generation connections in the North East of Scotland.

North East and East Coast Information Brochure

Over the coming decade SSEN plan to undertake substantial efforts to maintain, reinforce and improve our Transmission Network in the North East and East Coast of Scotland. As part of this process we have created an information brochure to help paint the bigger picture of what we are planning, why we are doing so and when we intend carry out works in the local area. Please click here to view or download our brochure from the Project Documentation tab and get in touch with any questions or queries you may have.

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. 

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.

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.

Planning Application Determination

The application we submitted on 28 February 2019, under Section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989, has now been determined and we welcome the decision by Scottish Ministers to approve our application. We anticipate construction to commence in Spring 2021.

Virtual Consultation Feedback

The feedback period for providing comments following our virtual consultation that we held on the 14th and 15th of October has now closed. The project team would like to extend thanks to all members of the public who took the time to provide feedback on the project. The material presented via the virtual consultation portal can be downloaded in a booklet from the project documentation tab of this website.

Mailing Error

It has recently come to our attention that some of the letters we issued to local residents advising of the virtual consultation events and inviting people to join the sessions, were delivered after the dates of the live interactive sessions due to a third-party error. We would like to apologise and advise that if you were unable to join one of the events, all the content that was presented online can be found within the virtual consultation portal below, and any questions relating to this information can still be submitted to the Community Liaison Manager.

Virtual Consultation Events

In lieu of being able to hold face to face public consultations in the local area, we are hosting a virtual consultation exhibition to provide greater detail about this project. The virtual consultation event has been designed to be fully interactive, allowing for presentation of key project information and plans, as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions about the project. Visitors will be able to engage directly with the project team, via a live text chat function, where they can ask any questions they might have about the project and share their feedback on the current proposals. The interactive session will be hosted via a consultation portal, you can access the virtual consultation portal from the link on the project overview page of this website. This portal will host all of the information pertinent to the public consultation, however members of the project team will be available for a live instant messaging session via this portal on: Wednesday 14th October, between 10-12pm and 4-6pm and Thursday 15th October, between 5-7pm.

Virtual Consultation Events

The project team will be hosting a series of virtual consultation events to help provide an update on our plans to upgrade the overhead line network in the north east from 275kV to 400kV. in lieu of being able to hold face to face public consultations in the local area, we are hosting a number of virtual consultation exhibitions to provide greater detail about this project. The virtual consultation events have been designed to be as interactive as face to face events, allowing for presentation of key project information and plans, as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions about the project. Visitors will be able to engage directly with the project team, via a live chat function, where they can ask any questions they might have about the project and share their feedback on the current proposals.The virtual consultation event will be taking place on: Wednesday 14th October 2020 10:00 – 12:00 Wednesday 14th October 2020 16:00 – 18:00 Thursday 15th October 2020 17:00 – 19:00. Please revisit the website on the 14th October for further instructions on how to join our virtual event.

Section 37 Additional Information Submitted

SSEN has this week submitted additional supporting information supplementing our Section 37 planning application to the Scottish Governments Energy Consents Unit relating to our proposals to upgrade the existing Overhead Line network in the North East of Scotland from 275kV to 400kV. This additional information primarily relates to the operational noise impact associated with our proposals. Please visit the Project Documents tab of the project website to see all available documents and additional information submitted. Any representations to the application may be submitted via the Energy Consents Unit website at www.energyconsents.scot/Register.aspx; by email to the Scottish Government, Energy Consents Unit mailbox at representations@gov.scot; or by post to the Scottish Government, Energy Consents Unit, 4th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU, identifying the proposal and specifying the grounds for representation. Written or emailed representations should be dated, clearly stating the name (in block capitals), full return email and postal address of those making representations. Only representations sent by email to representations@gov.scot will receive acknowledgement. All representations should be received not later than Friday 13th March 2020, although Ministers may consider representations received after this date.

Planning Application Submitted

SSEN has this week submitted a Section 37 planning application to the Scottish Governments Energy Consents Unit relating to our proposals to upgrade the existing Overhead Line network in the North East of Scotland from 275kV to 400kV. Following on from our week of consultation events in November, we have now also completed an Environmental Impact Assessment for this proposed development – a non technical summary of this document is available within the Project Documentation Tab of the website. The full EIA can be accessed via the Energy Consents Unit website where any representations to the application may be also be submitted at www.energyconsents.scot/Register.aspx; by email to The Scottish Government, Energy Consents Unit mailbox at representations@gov.scot or by post, to The Scottish Government, Energy Consents Unit, 4th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU, identifying the proposal and specifying the grounds for representation.

Feedback Period Open

SSEN would like to thank all who took the time to attend our recent consultation events in Rothienorman, Keith, Peterhead and Kintore. It was fantastic to see such a great turn out from members of the local community and to hear their thoughts and concerns on our proposal for the North East Overhead Line upgrade from 275kV to 400kV and on our proposal for a new 400kV substation at Peterhead. Our deadline for feedback following these events is on the 7th of December and the project Community Liaison Manager will be discussing all submitted feedback with the project team over the coming weeks. Once we have done this we will be in touch with residents to provide a further update on the project, however in the meantime if you have any queries or issues then please do not hesitate to contact the project Community Liaison Manager, Gary Donlin, on 07384 798 101 or Gary.Donlin@sse.com

North East Consultation Events

SSEN will be visiting various local communities across the North East Region to discuss our plans for reinforcing and upgrading our current Over Head Line from 275kV to 400kV. We will be visiting the following locations; November 19th - Rothienorman Bowling Club, Greenview Centre (15:00 - 19:00) November 20th - Keith Sports and Community Centre (15:00 - 19:00) November 21st - Peterhead Rescue Hall (14:00 - 19:00) November 22nd - Kintore Parish Church Hall (15:00 - 19:00) We will make sure to advertise these events in local media outlets closer to the time, we look forward to meeting as many members of the local community there as possible

North East 400kV OHL Upgrade Consultation Booklet - October 2020

Related Projects: North East 400kV

File Type: pdf
Published: 23 Oct 2020
North East 400kV & Eastern Reinforcements (Nov 2019)

Related Projects: Alyth 275kV Substation & Reactive Compensation, East Coast 275kV OHL Upgrade, East Coast 400kV OHL Upgrade, Kintore 400kV Substation, North East 400kV, Peterhead Substation, New Deer Substation, Rothienorman Substation, Tealing Substation Extension

File Type: pdf
Published: 19 May 2020
North East 400kV Reinforcement Consultation Booklet - November 2018

Related Projects: North East 400kV

File Type: pdf
Published: 17 Jun 2020
North East 400kV Overhead Line Reinforcement Location Plan

Related Projects: North East 400kV

File Type: pdf
Published: 17 Jun 2020
Blackhillock/Keith/Macduff 132kV Reinforcement

Related Projects: North East 400kV

File Type: pdf
Published: 17 Jun 2020
Public Consultation Poster

Related Projects: North East 400kV

File Type: pdf
Published: 17 Jun 2020

Sign up for project updates

To keep informed of all that is happening on this project, please complete your details below and provide consent to enable us to send you updates via email

For information on how we collect and process your data, please see our privacy notice at www.ssen.co.uk/PrivacyNotice/. If you do not have access to our website, or would like to receive a hard copy, please contact us.