Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Highland

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Lisa Marchi
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Telephone: 01463 728072
Mobile: 07825 015507
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN

Land Manager

Ali MacLeod
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07500 912996
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN
Status: Early Development

Virtual Consultation 

Back in February this year, SSEN Transmission announced its plans to replace the existing electricity transmission powerline that runs from Fort Augustus to Ardmore in the north of Skye. The current line was constructed in three distinct sections between 1956 and 1989 and is now reaching the end of its operational life.  Its planned 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 Ardmore point.

Consultation on the proposal was originally planned to take place in March this year, with seven public engagement events planned in locations along the route for the replacement line. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic these events were cancelled. 

To continue engagement on the 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.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                

 

Flythrough Portal

 

We want to ensure that our stakeholders have as good an indication as possible of the position of the proposed route corridor. Therefore, we have created a portal which includes 6 3D videos covering the length of the route between Ardmore and Fort Augustus.

 

To access the portal please click here 

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 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. 

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

Skye Reinforcement Project Consultation Document March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Appendix 1 - Skye Overhead Line Reinforcement Strategy March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Appendix 2 - Approach to Route Selection March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Appendix 3 - Rag Ratings (Combined) March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Appendix 4 - Environmental Appraisal of Route Options March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 1 - Corridor and Route Options [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 2 - Route Options (Sections 0 - 6) [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 3 - Ecological Constraints (Sections 0 - 6) [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 4 - Geology, Hydrology and Hydrogeology (Sections 0 - 6) [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 5 - Cultural Heritage (Sections 0 - 6) [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 6 - Landscape and Visual Constraints (Sections 0 - 6) [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 7 - Land Use and Recreation (Sections 0 - 6) [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Figure 8 - Preferred Route [small] March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
Skye Reinforcement Booklet March 2020

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File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
SSEN - Skye Reinforcement Project - Overview March 2020

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File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
SSEN - Skye Reinforcement Project - Section 2.pdf

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 09 Jun 2020
SSEN - Skye Reinforcement Project - Section 0 March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
SSEN - Skye Reinforcement Project - Section 1 March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
SSEN - Skye Reinforcement Project - Section 3 March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
SSEN - Skye Reinforcement Project - Section 4 March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020
SSEN - Skye Reinforcement Project - Section 5&6 March 2020

Related Projects: Skye Reinforcement

File Type: pdf
Published: 18 May 2020

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