Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Aberdeenshire

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Gary Donlin
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Mobile: 07384 624 777
Address: 1 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6AY

Land Manager

George Leggat
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07785 474512
Status: Construction Phase

About the project

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), operating as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc (SHET) under licence has plans to construct a new 400/275kV substation adjacent to an existing transmission line, west of the Wood of Middleton approximately two miles west of the village of Rothienorman. The substation was first granted planning permission in February 2012, however due to changing network requirements and to accommodate overhead line tie ins with the substation, there have been minor changes to the proposed site layout resulting in SSEN taking the decision to submit a new planning application taking account of these changes.

These works are required to allow increased generation capacity access to the transmission system, while keeping the network fully operable and compliant with all necessary technical standards. Without these necessary reinforcements, the network cannot facilitate all generation connections.

Establishing a substation at Rothienorman addresses this issue and in effect increases the networks efficiency and capability. Power sharing across these circuits becomes more important as generation load increases on the system.


3D Visualisation of the proposed substation

Progress Gallery

A selection of photographs documenting the project construction progress.

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. 

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 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.

Black Burn Bridge Planning Permission Withdrawn

Following ongoing consultation and discussion with both Aberdeenshire Roads Authority and specialist load hauliers, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks have taken the decision to withdraw a current planning application for bridge improvement works at the Black Burn Bridge on the C46 Road to the West of the village of Rothienorman It has been confirmed that the current bridge does meet the requirements that the Rothienorman Substation project currently requires, therefore there is no need to improve the current bridge and cause unnecessary local disruption. Should there be a need in the future for upgrades to the current Black Burn bridge then the formal planning process will begin again and local residents will be kept informed.

Good progress at our Rothienorman site

Work on the construction of SSEN Transmission’s new substation at Rothienorman is making good progress, with the substation platform and visual screening bunds now at an advanced stage. The ‘earthworks’ stage of the project is expected to continue into 2020, with construction of the control building scheduled to start taking shape towards the end of this month. Craig Taylor, Assistant Site Project Manager, is pleased with the progress that is being made and says that the recent spells of good weather have been a contributory factor: “The dry weather we had in June and at the start of July was a great bonus for everyone working here, as it made the job of excavating and moving all of the material on site so much easier ahead of the start of the actual substation construction.” To see some of the excavation and earth work that is currently taking place, please click on the image

Temporary Road Closures

Following discussions with Aberdeenshire Council’s Local Roads Authority, we have decided to follow their guidance and close access to certain roads leading into the Rothienorman substation site during the public road improvement works programme. These temporary restrictions are necessary in the interests of public safety owing to road widening works. The image under 'Project overview' clearly identifies the temporary closures affecting the B992 and C46(S) roads. Whilst these closures are in place, access for local property owners living within a road closure perimeter and emergency vehicles will be accommodated. Road closures will be in effect from the following dates; Closure 1 = 22/04/19 to 10/05/19 Closure 2 = 10/05/19 to 02/09/19 Whilst we would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, these actions are being taken to ensure that both public and staff safety is given the highest priority.

Planning Consent

Following a full Aberdeenshire council meeting on Thursday 17th January, SSEN have been granted permission to proceed with our proposed substation near Rothienorman. We welcome this decision from Aberdeenshire Council and as a responsible developer, we will continue to engage with the local community before, during and after the construction of the substation, which is a critical piece of network infrastructure and will play an important part in the move to a low carbon economy. We intend to begin construction on site in March 2019 and will ensure we keep all stakeholders informed of timelines associated with the project as and when they become available.

Construction Timelines

Our application to build a new substation near Rothienorman will go to a full Aberdeenshire Council meeting on the 17th January. We wanted to take this opportunity to provide information on our timelines, should the council approve our planning proposal. Start of public road improvement works – February 2019 Start of substation construction – March 2019 Should this project be granted permission it is also our intention to hold a ‘Meet The Buyer’ event in Rothienorman. This is an informal event where local businesses and contractors can chat with our primary contractor to discuss various avenues and opportunities for work relating to the project. We intend to host this event in March and will provide more information once details are finalised. We will ensure that we update all local residents with official dates for work to begin once we have these, should you have any questions or concerns about the specific nature of planned work, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Gary Donlin, our Community Liaison Manager, on 07384 798 101 or at

Planning Application Submitted

SSEN would like to confirm that we have recently submitted our planning application to Aberdeenshire Council regarding our proposals to build a new Substation east of Rothienorman village. This application, which includes the results of various reports, surveys and feedback of local members of the community can be accessed at the following link SSEN welcome all feedback on our proposals, please do not hesitate to contact Community Liaison Manager - Gary Donlin - should you wish to discuss our proposals in further detail The reference number for the application is APP/2018/2175

Pre-Application Feedback Closed

SSEN would like to thank all who took the time to attend our recent pre application consultation event at Rothienorman Village Hall on 11.7.18. 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 Rothienorman Substation Project. Our deadline for feedback following this event has now passed (27.7.18) 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

Project Documentation

North East 400kV & Eastern Reinforcement

Related Projects: North East 400kV

File Type: pdf
Published: 29 Apr 2019
Rothienorman Consultation Event Poster - 11th July 2018

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 21 Jun 2018
Indicative Substation Layout Model
File Type: pdf
Published: 04 Jul 2018
Substation Location Map (with existing overhead lines)

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 04 Jul 2018
Rothienorman Consultation Event Information Boards

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 04 Jul 2018
Viewpoint 2 - Baseline Photograph

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Jul 2018
Viewpoint 2 - Without landscape mitigation planting

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Jul 2018
Viewpoint 2 - With landscape mitigation planting

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Jul 2018
Viewpoint 1 - Baseline Photograph
File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Jul 2018
Viewpoint 1 - Without landscape mitigation planting

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Jul 2018
Viewpoint 1 - With landscape mitigation planning

Related Projects: Rothienorman Substation

File Type: pdf
Published: 13 Jul 2018

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