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

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

 A selection of photographs 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.

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.

VISTA Community Open Evening

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 22 Oct 2019
Nethy Bridge Road Crossings

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 14 Oct 2019
19th - 28th August A95 to the east of the junction with Carrbridge – single lane closure under 2 way traffic lights

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 19 Aug 2019
19th - 28th August A95 to the east of the junction with Carrbridge – single lane closure under 2 way traffic lights

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 19 Aug 2019
22nd July - 26th July Deshar Road, Road Closure

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 04 Jul 2019
15th - 19th July Sawmills Road, Road Closure

Related Projects: VISTA - Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge

File Type: pdf
Published: 04 Jul 2019

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