Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Aberdeenshire

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

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

Land Manager

Tony Gill
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07775 812900
Address: 200 Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, AB16 5NY
Status: Construction Phase

About The Project

The two 30MVA 132/11kV grid transformers at St Fergus Gas Station substation form an important part of the SHE-Transmission system. The existing Transformers were manufactured in 1975, now 43 years old. Design life of the transformers is 40 years; hence these units are past their intended design life expectancy.

In addition to age related concerns, the extreme coastal environment seen at St Fergus has also had an effect on the plant’s deterioration. A condition-based assessment has been carried out, which found the transformers to be in poor external condition with corrosion present.

Due to changes in specifications, it is not possible to install the replacement transformers in the same location as those currently in use, this is mainly due to the transformers now having to be housed inside a building given their location within 2Km of the north east coast and increased fire safety requirements

A site selection report was subsequently commissioned to identify the most suitable option based on operational, technical, economic and environmental assessments. Based on the information detailed in the report, we propose to locate the new 132/11kV St Fergus Gas substation to the west of St Fergus Gas Station and the adjacent A90.

What are Transformers?

Transformers allow us to increase and decrease the voltage of electricity when required, this allows delivery of electricity across the transmission network to be much more manageable and efficient.

Transformers vary in size, and in some cases, can require specialist haulage equipment to transport them to site. Our Community Liaison Team will work alongside all local communities that may be affected by the delivery of a Transformer to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum.

Progress Gallery


A selection of photographs documenting the project construction progress.

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.

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 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.

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.

March 2021 Update

Despite the challenges we are all currently facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, both the substation and overhead line element of the St Fergus project have continued to progress, allowing us to continue our development of new critical infrastructure to enhance the GB electricity transmission. Welfare setup at our St Fergus Substation, including the construction of the Access road and Bell mouth work is now complete. Piledriving of the main Substation Platform along with the concrete foundation works of the first GT2 circuit is progressing. Over the next few months tower strengthening work and the construction of a new tower location will be carried out, as well as the installation of ADSS between St Fergus and St Fergus Gas substation. Critical protection and control improvements will be undertaking within the St Fergus gas terminal, and the existing St Fergus switching substation.

Public Road Improvements

Ahead of the main construction works commencing of our recently consented substation in St Fergus, there will be a series of public road improvement works which commenced on the 11th of January, close to the A90. These works will consist of welfare set up and access and are expected to last until the end of February. The main construction work is scheduled to commence on completion of the welfare set up works. SSEN Transmission apologises for any inconvenience and disruption that these may cause to the local community.

Section 37 Application

In October 2020 we submitted an application to Scottish Ministers for consent under section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989 relating to the over head line elements of our proposal. We have been working closely with the Energy Consents Unit to ensure that, during the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the UK and Scottish Governments, the application can be processed formally and in accordance with all relevant Regulations. Please see following link should you wish to view the documents contained within our Section 37 application in full please visit the following link.
Find out more here

Planning Consent

Following a full Aberdeenshire council meeting on Thursday 5th March, SSEN have been granted permission to proceed with our proposed substation at St Fergus. 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 following discharge of conditions as set out by the councils planners and will ensure we keep all stakeholders informed of timelines associated with the project as and when they become available.

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 at St Fergus. 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/2019/2300

Feedback Period Open

SSEN would like to thank all who took the time to attend our recent consultation event in St Fergus. 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 St Fergus Substation. Our deadline for feedback following these events is on the 31st May 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

SSEN Consultation Event

SSEN will be visiting St Fergus on Thursday 16th May to discuss our proposals for a new Substation with members of the public and local stakeholders. We will be in St Fergus Village Hall, 11 Hall Road, St Fergus, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire AB41 3QD between 14:00 and 19:00. We would love to meet with as many members of the local community as possible to discuss our proposals in more detail and to hear your thoughts and feedback on these. If you have any questions or queries on our event then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Community Liaison Manager, Gary Donlin at

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