Alignment Public Consultations 

Following virtual consultations that we held in June 2020 where we presented our preferred route for the replacement overhead line (OHL) that runs from Fort Augustus to Ardmore in the north of Skye, we are pleased to now be hosting the next round of consultations where we will present our proposed alignment.

Over the last 12 months following the feedback we received from the 2020 events, we have been carrying out detailed design work and engineering assessments to identify a suitable alignment for the replacement line.

In response to stakeholder feedback, we have been actively exploring potential mitigations, including assessing the potential for undergrounding as the line passes the Cuillin Hills and where it connects to Fort Augustus substation; and alternative routes as it passes Kylerhea.

With this work now complete, we are now presenting the findings of the engineering and assessment work and seeking feedback from the local community and all interested parties on our proposals.

In addition, we are also consulting on our proposed extensions to Broadford and Edinbane substations required as part of the wider OHL works.  A separate section of the consultation event will be dedicated to each substation, and we encourage feedback on these proposals.

These next round of public consultations are both face to face along with a virtual online consultation exhibition and we welcome community members and all interested parties to visit either one of the face to face events or attend one of our virtual online consultations to see how the project has developed and give feedback on our proposed alignment and ask any questions about the Skye Reinforcement Project.

The open-door drop-in face to face consultations will be held at the following locations:

Tuesday 28 September between 3-7pm at Dunvegan Hall, Dunvegan

Wednesday 29 September between 3-7pm at Broadford Village Hall, Broadford

Thursday 30 September between 3-7pm at Glenelg Community Hall, Glenelg

Monday 4 October between 3-7pm at Kyleakin Community Hall, Kyleakin

Tuesday 5 October between 3-7pm at Glengarry Community Hall, Invergarry

Wednesday 6 October between 3-7pm at Fort Augustus Village Hall,
Fort Augustus

If you are unable to attend any of the above dates, the virtual online consultation will be held on:

Wednesday 13 October between 1-3pm and 5-7pm

 

 

 

 

About the project

We are currently developing proposals to reinforce the high voltage electricity network, from Ardmore on the Isle of Skye, to Fort Augustus. The existing 132kV overhead transmission line from Fort Augustus to Ardmore is the sole connection from the mainland electricity transmission system to Skye and the Western Isles and is essential for maintaining security of supply in the area.

Recent studies into the condition of the existing infrastructure have indicated that the section of the overhead line between Quoich substation and Ardmore substation requires to be rebuilt and upon completion of construction of the new line, the existing line removed.

Furthermore, as a result of an increase in renewable energy projects requesting access to the electricity transmission network, there is a requirement to increase the capacity of the overhead line to allow renewable develoment to connect. 

Project Elements

To facilitate the known connection requirements, the main elements of the proposed development solution are required:

  • From Fort Augustus substation to Broadford substation, it is proposed to construct a new double circuit 132kV overhead line (OHL) comprising steel structures. The existing Fort Augustus to Skye Tee 132kV trident wood pole OHL, and the existing 132kV steel lattice OHL between Skye Tee and Broadford would be dismantled and removed once the new OHL is operational;
  • Between Broadford substation and Edinbane substation, the existing single circuit wood pole trident 132kV OHL would be replaced with a new double circuit 132kV OHL comprising steel structures. The existing OHL would be dismantled and removed once the new OHL is operational;
  • Between Edinbane substation and Ardmore substation, the existing single circuit wood pole trident 132kV OHL would be replaced with a new higher capacity132kV trident wood pole OHL. During construction, the existing OHL and its replacement would run in tandem but on energisation of the new OHL, the existing OHL would be dismantled and removed.

 

Why is the project required?

The need for the project is threefold:

Securing supply:

The current OHL was constructed between 1956 and 1989, and after a long service is now reaching the end of its operational capabilities. The replacement is essential to maintain security of supply to homes and businesses along its route, as well as to the Western Isles, which is supplied by two subsea cables from the north of Skye.

Connecting renewables:

There is demand to connect new renewable electricity generation on Skye, this requires an increase in capacity of the OHL.

Network for net zero:

SSEN Transmission intends to ‘future proof’ the replacement line to allow the connection of additional renewables to help meet Government ‘net zero’ climate change targets. Supporting the transition to ‘net zero’ emissions.

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. 

Alignment Public Consultations

Following virtual consultations that we held in June 2020 where we presented our preferred route for the replacement overhead line (OHL) that runs from Fort Augustus to Ardmore in the north of Skye, we are pleased to now be hosting the next round of consultations across dates in September and October where we will present our proposed alignment. To find out where the consultations are taking place and to complete a feedback form on our proposals please visit the project overview page by clicking on the link below.
Project overview

Virtual Consultation Events

To continue engagement on the Skye Reinforcement project, SSEN Transmission has developed an online consultation tool, to enable the local community to experience the full exhibition from home on a computer, tablet or mobile device. The online exhibition has been designed to look and feel like a real consultation in a community hall, with exhibition boards, maps, interactive videos and the opportunity to share views on the proposals. 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 events will be taking place as follows: 9 June 2020 14:00 - 16:00 10 June 2020 10:00 - 12:00 11 June 2020 18:00 - 20:00
See the homepage for the link to our virtual events

Public Consultation Events Postponed

In line with Government and medical advice regarding Covid-19, SSEN Transmission has taken the decision to limit external engagement activities. We therefore took the decision to postpone our planned engagement events for the Skye Reinforcement Project. The four events that were scheduled to take place in Skye on 16th to 19th March and those scheduled to take place in the Great Glen 24th -26th March will not go ahead. We would like to apologise for the postponement of our consultation events and will be in touch with information once they have been rearranged. Although we will not be holding the events all the materials from the planned events, presenting our proposals, is available to be downloaded from the project documentation section of this webpage . Consultation is central to the development of our projects, it is an opportunity to share our proposals with the community and hear their views. Without this valuable feedback, we would be unable to progress projects and reach a balanced proposal. We would like to reassure the local community that by postponing our planned events the opportunity to provide their feedback has not been missed. SSEN Transmission takes its responsibilities as a provider of a critical national infrastructure very seriously. The SSE group has taken steps to protect colleagues, key sites and to maintain the effectiveness of teams. We are keeping a watching brief and have a comprehensive structure firmly in place and key personnel meeting daily to reassess the situation. All of the measures we take will be guided by government advice, and our decisions will meet the overriding objective of maintaining our key operations, taking good care of our colleagues, stakeholders and the communities we serve. The consultation events in the following locations have been cancelled: • Dunvegan Hall, Dunvegan: Monday 16 March 2020, 3pm – 7pm • Aros Centre, Portree: Tuesday 17 March 2020, 3pm – 7pm • Broadford Village Hall, Broadford: Wednesday 18 March 2020, 3pm – 7pm • Kyleakin Community Hall, Kyleakin: Thursday 19 March 2020, 3pm – 7pm • Glengarry Community Hall, Glengarry: Tuesday 24 March 2020, 3pm – 7pm • Glenelg Community Hall, Glenelg: Wednesday 25 March 2020, 3pm – 7pm • Fort Augustus Village Hall, Fort Augustus: Thursday 26 March 2020, 3pm – 7pm

Public Consultation Events

SSEN Transmission is holding a series of Public Consultation Events across Skye and the Highlands to gain views and feedback on our proposals to reinforce the high voltage electricity network, from Ardmore on the Isle of Skye, to Fort Augustus. Come meet us on the following dates to hear more about the project and provide feedback: Dunvegan Hall, Dunvegan Monday 16 March 2020 3pm – 7pm Aros Centre, Portree Tuesday 17 March 2020 3pm – 7pm Broadford Village Hall, Broadford Wednesday 18 March 2020 3pm – 7pm Kyleakin Community Hall, Kyleakin Thursday 19 March 2020 3pm – 7pm Glengarry Community Hall, Glengarry Tuesday 24 March 2020 3pm – 7pm Glenelg Community Hall, Glenelg Wednesday 25 March 2020 3pm – 7pm Fort Augustus Village Hall, Fort Augustus Thursday 26 March 2020 3pm – 7pm

Document downloads

2021 Public Consultation Booklet

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Published: 15 Sep 2021
2021 Public Consultation Banners

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Published: 15 Sep 2021
Overview Map lm

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Published: 24 Sep 2021
Section 0 lm

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Published: 24 Sep 2021
Section1 lm

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Published: 24 Sep 2021
Section 2 lm

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Section 3 lm

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Section 4 lm

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Section 5 and 6 lm

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Published: 24 Sep 2021
Alignment Consultation Document - September 2021

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Published: 27 Sep 2021
Appendix 1 - Approach to Route and Alignment Selection

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Published: 27 Sep 2021
Appendix 2 - Summary of Route Options Stage

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Published: 27 Sep 2021
Appendix 3 - Comparative Alignment Tables

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Published: 27 Sep 2021
Appendix 4 - Preliminary Statutory Consultation Responses

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Published: 27 Sep 2021
Appendix 5 - Landscape and Visual Appraisal of Baseline OHL Alignment in Section 2

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Published: 27 Sep 2021
Figure 1 - Proposed - Preferred Route

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Published: 27 Sep 2021
Figure 2.0.1a to 2.0.3c - Section 0 - Baseline Alignment, Variants, Designations and Constraints

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Figure 2.1.1a to 2.1.3c - Section 1 - Baseline Alignment, Variants, Designations and Constraints

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Figure 2.2.1a to 2.2.3c - Section 2 - Baseline Alignment, Variants, Designations and Constraints

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Figure 2.3.1a to 2.3.3c - Section 3 - Baseline Alignment, Variants, Designations and Constraints

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Figure 2.4.1a to 2.4.3c - Section 4 - Baseline Alignment, Variants, Designations and Constraints

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Figure 2.5.1a to 2.5.3c - Section 5 - Baseline Alignment, Variants, Designations and Constraints

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Figure 2.6.1 to 2.6.3 - Section 6 - Baseline Alignment, Variants, Designations and Constraints

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Figure 3.0a-c - Preferred Alignment and Design Solution Section 0

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Figure 3.1a-b - Preferred Alignment and Design Solution Section 1

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Figure 3.2a-b - Preferred Alignment and Design Solution Section 2

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Figure 3.3a-b - Preferred Alignment and Design Solution Section 3

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Figure 3.4a-c - Preferred Alignment and Design Solution Section 4

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Figure 3.5a-c - Preferred Alignment and Design Solution Section 5

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Figure 3.6 - Preferred Alignment and Design Solution Section 6

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Figure 3.7a-g - Viewpoint Location Plans

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Figure 4.0.1a-c - VP1 Trumpan Church and Burial Ground

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Figure 4.0.2a-c - VP2 Trumpan

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Figure 4.0.3a-c - VP3 Dun Hallin Broch from Knockbreck School

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Figure 4.1.1a-c - VP5 Glen Vic Askill from Dun Arkaig Broch

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Figure 4.1.2a-c - VP6 Mugeary

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Figure 4.2.1a-d - VP7 A87 at Sligachan Camp Site

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Figure 4.2.2a-d - VP8 A87 in Gleann Torra-mhichaig

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Figure 4.2.3a-d - VP9 Moll Minor Road near Kinloch Ainort

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Figure 4.2.4a-d - VP10 A87 overlooking Loch Ainort

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Figure 4.3.1a-c - VP11 View from Near A851, Looking West

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Figure 4.3.2a-c - VP12 Donald Murchison’s Monument

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Figure 4.4.1a-c - VP13 Glen More

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Figure 4.4.2a-c - VP14 Gleandubhlochain - Looking NW

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Figure 4.4.3a-c - VP15 Road Above Kinloch Hourn

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Figure 4.4.4a-c - VP16 Loch Coire Shubh

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Figure 4.5.1a-c - VP17 Loch Quoich Dam

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Skye LOTI Initial Needs Case July 2021
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Published: 31 Aug 2021
Skye LOTI Initial Needs Case July 2021
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Published: 31 Aug 2021
119026-D-ROC1.0-1.6-0.1.0 Preferred Route_rfs

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Published: 16 Nov 2020
Appendix 1 - ECU Stakeholder letter 8 Oct 2020

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Published: 16 Nov 2020
Understanding Skye's Future Energy Ambitions - Seminar Slides - January 2021
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Published: 19 Jan 2021
Skye Reinforcement Project ROC Routeing Nov 2020 - Updated

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Published: 26 Nov 2020

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