Project Type: VISTA
Location: Argyll & Bute, Stirling

Contact Details

Gary Donlin
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Mobile: 07384 624 777
Address: 1 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6AY
Status: Project Refinement

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.

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 Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park as an area where mitigation of the visualisation of transmission infrastructure was warranted.

SHE Transmission’s two Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National park schemes will see approximately 7.5km of overhead line (OHL) and 25 existing transmission towers near the Sloy and Glen Falloch areas of the National Park.

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 at Sloy and Glen Falloch.

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.

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 the fund be used to rationalise distribution infrastructure?

Ofgem has set up a separate initiative for mitigating visual impacts with regards to distribution infrastructure. This initiative is being run in parallel and were applicable we will seek to work closely with our Distribution company to ensure that stakeholders will receive best value and our, projects and proposals are coordinated.

Please visit the following for information on the Distribution initiative: www.ssen.co.uk/undergrounding/north/

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.

Ofgem Funding Approved

We are delighted to confirm that our industry regulator Ofgem have confirmed to fund our VISTA submissions at Sloy and Glen Falloch in full. This brings an end to a three year consultation and development process and we would like to thank all our stakeholders who have played a key role in helping us achieve funding for this project.

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