Ofgem has provisionally approved the 275kV Argyll and Kintyre Strategy to unlock at least 970MW of new renewable electricity generation.
The original transmission network in Argyll and Bute was constructed over 60 years ago and is therefore ill equipped handle the increase in renewable generator connection applications the counties have received in the past 18 months.
To address this, SSEN Transmission’s Strategy pulls together three projects which include building roughly 13.3km of new overhead line in Dalmally, 9km of new 275kV overhead line constructed to replace the existing aged 132kV OHL asset and the construction of new 275kW substations south of Inveraray.
These connections will enable the connection of renewable energy, which can offer households access to cheaper electricity.
The project is also said to offer hundreds of skilled jobs throughout its construction phase.
“Ofgem’s minded-to decision is a hugely important milestone in taking forward this much needed project, which will play a major role in securing future electricity supplies across the north of Scotland and enabling the connection of new renewable energy generation in the region,” said Rob McDonald, managing director of SSEN Transmission.
“By enabling the growth in low carbon and affordable renewable electricity generation, this investment will also help support the country’s future energy security, reducing our dependence and price exposure to volatile global wholesale gas markets. The need for this project is beyond doubt and we welcome Ofgem’s clear acceptance of the need for this project following its assessment of our robust Final Needs Case.
“This investment will also create hundreds of skilled jobs throughout the supply chain as well as boosting local and national economies.
“We now look forward to Ofgem’s final decision and remain committed to work constructively with all stakeholders to ensure the timely delivery of this critical local and national infrastructure, which is essential to keep the lights on and support the transition to net zero.”
SSEN Transmission has seen a number of project approvals this summer as it looks to upgrade the Scottish transmission network. Earlier this month, Ofgem approved a Final Needs Case for an SSEN Transmission project to reinforce the high voltage electricity network between Ardmore on the Isle of Skye to Fort Augustus, addressing two “major faults” in recent months.