Project Type: VISTA
Location: Highland

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Louise Anderson
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Telephone: 07384 454233
Address: Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 3AQ

Land Manager

Alistair Nicolson
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07741 127786
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Longman Industrial Estate, Inverness, IV1 1SN
Status: Construction Phase

Project Video

The adjacent video, which has been designed by HCVF, allows viewers to see the delivery of the 132kV cable drums that started arriving to site in January and showcases the innovative system for trenchless cable laying that was used for the 33kV cable from Boat of Garten substation to the RSPB reserve that commenced in February.

Progress Gallery

 A selection of photographs taken from along the route documenting the project construction progress.

About the Project

 

To play a part in conserving Scotland’s designated landscapes, SHE Transmission sought to access a proportion of a £500m fund that is administered by the electricity industry regulator Ofgem. The Ofgem fund is only available to mitigate the visual impacts of transmission infrastructure in National Parks and National Scenic Areas (NSAs). SHE Transmission identified the Cairngorms National Park as an area where mitigation of the visualisation of transmission infrastructure was warranted.

SHE Transmission’s two Cairngorms National Park schemes would see 12km of overhead line (OHL) and 46 existing transmission towers near the villages of Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge replaced with underground cabling.

As part of the SHE Transmission’s VISTA (Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets) initiative, we will be installing a 132kV twin cable section of the existing 132kV double overhead line (OHL) circuit between Beauly and Boat of Garten 

What is VISTA?

The electricity and gas markets regulator, Ofgem, is responsible for administering a £500m fund for GB electricity transmission owners to mitigate the impact of existing electricity infrastructure on the visual amenity of nationally designated landscapes. This is part of the RIIO-T1 Price Controls that incentives and regulates how transmission owners operate, covering the eight year period from April 2013 to March 2021.

The primary objective of VISTA is to use the Ofgem funding to deliver the maximum benefit for nationally designated landscapes in the north of Scotland transmission network. This will be achieved by delivering projects that offer significant reductions in visual impact, while avoiding unwanted economic and environmental impacts.

Boat of Garten

The Boat of Garten section will look to remove overhead line infrastructure north of Boat of Garten by installing underground cables in place of the current 132kV overhead line.  The exact length of underground cable will be approximately 4km between Docharn and the substation east of Boat of Garten.  The project will require the identification of a cable route and sites for sealing-ends where the line will pass from overhead to underground, in the vicinity of Docharn.

Nethy Bridge

The Nethy Bridge section will look to remove overhead line infrastructure to the north of Nethey bridge by installing underground cables in place of the current 132kV overhead line.  The exact length of the underground cable is likely to extend approximately 7km between the substation east of Boat of Garten to the edge of the forestry near Castle Roy, north east of Nethy Bridge.  The project will require the identification of a cable route and sites for sealing ends to the east where the line will pass from overhead to underground.

Progress Gallery Videos

 A selection of short videos taken from along the route documenting the project construction progress.

Our Approach

Throughout the life of our projects, we aim to work positively with local communities and keep people informed about what we are doing. This is particularly important when we are developing a proposal and we want to understand what local people think about our plans.

We endeavour to take the time to discuss proposals with local community councils, encourage engagement from the wider community and listen to the feedback we receive.

We will do our best to answer any questions and address issues or concerns that are raised with us.

When our project progresses into construction, we will continue working closely with the local community to ensure that our work has as little impact on the lives of those living and working in the area and as many long term positive effects as possible.

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.

Can funding for projects be asked for on a per kilometre basis relative to the length of line within each Transmission Operators region?

Ofgem have made no link between the proportion of assets within National Parks and National Scenic Areas (NSA’s) within each Transmission Operator’s operational area, and the amount of funding available to them.

Can alternative tower designs be used as a potential mitigation method?

All financially and technically feasible mitigation options that fall within the scope of our Vista policy are open for consideration for project development.

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.

Tower Dismantling Commences

The VISTA project reached a major milestone this week as the first tower was successfully toppled. To view a short video showing the tower being toppled, please click on the adjacent image.

New Progress Video

Back in December last year we shared a video to show the great progress both SSEN Transmission and our Principal Contractor, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure’s site based project teams had made in the first 5 months of the project being in construction, we are now sharing a new video showing the works that were undertaken during the first half of this year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a pause in construction works in March to review the new Government guidance on COVID-19, and implement new work methods and procedures, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure have continued the great progress on the VISTA Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge project. New measures were implemented to ensure the team were able to maintain social distancing on site, whilst continuing to work safely. All but essential construction workers remained on site, with those who could work from home, working remotely. Changes were made to the layout of the canteen such as removal of seats and split break times were put in place. Split start/finish times were also introduced along with a 1 person to 1 vehicle rule unless the vehicle was large enough to keep the 2 metre distance, welfare vans/crew cabs being the only vehicles that could maintain this, this was all facilitated by a reduced number of workers on site. This new video that covers activities on site over January and February this year, shows the delivery of the 132kV cable drums that started arriving to site in January. Before the delivery of these drums could go ahead we liaised with The Highland Council and BEAR Scotland in order to work out the best route to get the cables to their initial delivery sites and then subsequently to the required pulling positions so that the impact to the local community was limited as much as possible. The video also showcases the innovative system for trenchless cable laying that was used for the 33kV cable from Boat of Garten substation to the RSPB reserve that commenced in February. To view the short video showing the progress of the project from the start of this year please click on the adjacent image. We hope you enjoy our update video.

Speyside Way

On Tuesday the 12th of May 2020, our Principal Contractor; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure will be carrying out works which will cross the Speyside Way near Balliemore Farm, just north of the River Alt Mor. These works are expected to last for one day and we apologise for any inconvenience these works may cause. There will be signage and fencing in place and diversion routes where possible.

Road Crossings

In July 2019 SSEN Transmission postponed planned road closures of the B970 between Loch Garten and Duack Beck junction, Station Road in Nethy Bridge and the B970 between Nethy Bridge and the junction with the A95 and in October 2019 we advised we’d carried out further investigations on how the necessary road crossings could be undertaken by SSEN Transmission and our Principal Contractor; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, and that we would be pursuing an alternative method that no longer required the need for road closures. These road crossings will now be undertaken by Horizonal Directional Drilling (HDD) and works are expected to start w/c 6 April 2020. The works will have minimal disturbance to the local community but there may be some additional vehicle movements to transport plant and materials to the drilling locations. The works are planned to last until the end of May 2020, dependant on ground conditions encountered and any new Government updates surrounding COVID-19.

132kV Cable Delivery Information

We will soon be receiving delivery of the 132kV cable that will be installed under the ground and replace part of the current overhead line. These deliveries have been agreed in partnership with The Highland Council and BEAR Scotland. The cable drums will be delivered to two main delivery points within Boat of Garten in four blocks over the course of a number of dates. We would like to apologise in advance for any disruption these deliveries may cause and we would like to thank the local residents for their patience and support. To see the delivery locations, the routes taken and the dates these deliveries will be undertaken on, please download the relevant document from the project documentation tab.

Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge VISTA project makes great progress

The Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge VISTA project has made great progress in its first 5 months. Working with our Principal Contractor Morgan Sindall Infrastructure work started in July, since then the project team has been working on the first phase of the project, excavating cable trenches, installing protective ducting, ready to install the new underground cable in the New Year. To view a short video showing the progress made please click on the image.

Boat of Garten Substation Planning Decision

The application under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997; 16/04121/FUL, for the extension to the Boat of Garten substation has now been determined and we welcome the decision by The Highland Council (THC) to approve our application. Works on the extension are currently underway and we anticipate these to be complete by October 2020.

Community Evening Thanks

SHE Transmission and our Principal Contractor; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure would like to give thanks to the members of both, Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge communities that were able to join us at our site compound near Mains of Garten for the community open evening on Wednesday the 13th of November. It was a great success and we hope those that attended found it very useful to meet the site based project teams and have any questions on the project works answered.

Community Open Evening

SHE Transmission are hosting along with our Principal Contractor; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure a community open evening to allow members of the public and interested parties to meet with members of the project teams and to have any questions on the works that are being undertaken in the area answered. We look forward to welcoming all those that can attend. Details on the evening are available to be downloaded from the project documentation tab.

Nethy Bridge Road Closures

In July SHE Transmission postponed planned road closures of the B970 between Loch Garten and Duack Beck junction, Station Road in Nethy Bridge and the B970 between Nethy Bridge and the junction with the A95. Following further investigations undertaken by SHE Transmission and our Principal Contractor; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, the road closures will now not go ahead and we will be pursuing the alternative method of moling whereby we do not have to cut open the road. As yet we don’t have dates for when the moling works are to be carried out, however this method of installing the cable ducts across the roads will mean there will be no disruption to stagecoach bus services or school buses and will mean minimal disturbance to the local community. There may be some additional vehicle movements to transport plant and materials to the locations where the cable ducts are to be installed. Maps showing the locations of where the moling will take place are available to download from the project documentation tab.

Boat of Garten Substation Planning Application

SHE Transmission have recently submitted to The Highland Council a planning application to extend the Boat of Garten substation which can be viewed under reference 19/04121/FUL. The reason we need to extend the substation is because the overhead line currently feeds into the substation via overhead gantries which receive the line from towers that lie outside the substation. The nature of underground cables means that the cables will be underground until they are within the substation. In order to provide ongoing access for operations and maintenance the operational area must be increased. The existing palisade fence will be moved out and re-used to form the new boundary down the eastern edge of the substation. The substation fence is proposed to be installed 7.8 metres to the North East of the existing fence location along the length of the substation.

Horizontal Directional Drilling

As part of the VISTA underground cable project, our Principal Contractor; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure are undertaking Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) works to install ducts under three registered watercourses and the Strathspey Steam Railway. These works are beginning w/c 23rd of September 2019 and have been planned at this time to minimise disturbance to the fish spawning season in the River Nethy and River Alt Mor, as well as the operation of the steam railway when works will be carried out during their quieter period in the year. This trenchless method of installation is required to reduce the risk of disturbance to the three rivers as they are part of the River Spey Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and regular discussions have taken place with SEPA and the Spey Fisheries Board to coordinate the works. The works will have minimal disturbance to the local community but there may be some additional vehicle movements to transport plant and materials to the drilling locations. The works are planned to last until the end of December, dependant on ground conditions encountered, with drill lengths of up to 170 metres under the River Spey. The installation of the ducts will form a significant milestone in the project and will allow the electrical cables to be pulled through later in the year to enable the removal of the existing overhead line equipment.

Road Closures

There will be various road closures in both the Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge area between the 15th of July and the 28th of August. Maps of each of the closures and diversions can be downloaded from the project documentation tab.

Boat of Garten Programme of Works

The programme of works for the Docharn to Boat of Garten section from now until the end of 2020 will consist of: Compound Residency • July 2019 – December 2020. Cable Route Fencing & Access Works • May – July 2019. Trench and Duct Installation • July – November 2019. Cable Installation • July 2019 – April 2020. Reinstatement and Dismantling of OHL • January – May 2020. These dates may change and if there are any significant changes that will impact local residents, we will write to those affected. The activity will not be everyday within the stipulated window periods, but the dates provided highlights periods of time where there will be activity in the area.

Site Compound Set Up

Our Principal Contractor; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure have begun setting up their site compound in order to commence the start of construction on the Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge VISTA project. The site will be situated at Mains of Garten off of the B970.

Nethy Bridge Road Crossing Maps

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
132kV Cable Drum Delivery Information

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
Project Information Leaflet

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
Community Night Details

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
A95 single lane closure with traffic lights_Phase 2

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
A95 single lane closure with traffic lights_Phase 1

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
Sawmill Road, Road Closure Map

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
Deshar Road, Road Closure Map

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
Boat of Garten Route Map

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020
Nethy Bridge Route Map

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 20 Oct 2020

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