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.

Enhancing designated landscapes

VISTA represents an opportunity to reassess the historic electricity infrastructure within, and in some instances in close proximity to, National Parks and National Scenic Areas (NSAs), and to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of these important Scottish landscapes.

By promoting this project we hope to ensure that the proposals taken forward not only represent SSEN and our stakeholders vision as to where the natural beauty of the landscape can be enhanced, but also give those that live, visit and work in and around the designated landscapes a voice in contributing to the assessment and selection of candidate projects that may be taken forward.

Working with stakeholders

Right from the beginning of the VISTA project, stakeholder involvement in helping to shape the development of proposals was viewed as a vital part of the process. To allow maximum benefit to be realised, the views of stakeholders and consumers needs to be at the heart of the decision making process.

To ensure that our decisions were reflective of stakeholders’ views, we sought to involve as many relevant parties as possible. Through engagement with stakeholders and other relevant interest groups, we aimed to provide an opportunity for these stakeholders to contribute to the identification and selection of VISTA proposals.

 

Current proposals

Informed by the stakeholder engagement and consultation conducted to date, a number of proposals have been considered by our engineering and environment teams.

Detailed technical analysis of the proposed schemes has concluded and the following proposals have been identified as offering the best opportunity for delivering visual impact enhancement, while meeting with the other core principles of VISTA, namely to limit negative socioeconomic and environmental impacts and offer best value for money.

These schemes have also been deemed technically suitable from a networks operation perspective, ensuring that network reliability and security of supply will not be constrained if the schemes are successful in obtaining regulatory funding from Ofgem.

Current proposals

Policy documents

VISTA annual review document 2016/17
File Type: pdf
Published: 14 Jun 2017
VISTA policy document
File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Sep 2016
VISTA policy annex
File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Sep 2016
VISTA project map
A map of our infrastructure in the areas mentioned above.
File Type: pdf
Published: 15 Sep 2016