Back to overview

Major milestone for SSEN's Fort Augustus-Skye network upgrade

13 Apr 2022

Plans to replace the existing Fort Augustus-Skye electricity transmission line have taken a major step forward following confirmation by the GB energy regulator, Ofgem, recognising the clear need for the project, paving the way to progress to the Final Needs Case stage of the regulatory approvals process.

Following fast on the heels of the UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy, the Skye reinforcement project will secure future electricity supplies in the area and enable the growth in renewables, supporting the transition to net zero emissions and helping secure the country’s future energy independence.

At an estimated cost of around £400m, the project is one of the most significant energy investments in the West Highlands since power was first brought to the area in the 1950’s.  This investment will unlock hundreds of skilled jobs throughout the construction phase and many more throughout the supply chain and wider economy, providing a major boost to local and national economies.

"We welcome Ofgem’s confirmation that the Skye reinforcement project is needed to help meet the future energy needs in the area.  We also welcome Ofgem’s commitment to allow flexibility in the timing of its final assessment of our proposals, allowing regulatory and planning processes to be undertaken in parallel to avoid unnecessary delays in delivery."

Rob McDonald Managing Director of SSEN Transmission

Rob continued: “The replacement of the Fort Augustus-Skye overhead line will be one of the most significant energy investments in the West Highlands since the original line was installed from the 1950’s onwards, unlocking hundreds of skilled jobs and providing a significant economic boost to local and national economies.  We are really excited to build on our heritage of powering the highlands and islands as we continue to deliver a network for net zero emissions and secure future electricity supplies across the north of Scotland.”

“We now look forward to working constructively with Ofgem and wider stakeholders as we progress with the Final Needs Case to take forward our proposed solution.”

The Final Needs Case remains on track to be submitted to Ofgem for regulatory approval in August which will then be followed by the Project Assessment, which will determine the level of investment requirement for the project.

SSEN Transmission’s investment in the Skye reinforcement project is part of SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme, which will see £12.5bn invested in the five years to 2026, or £7m every day. SSEN Transmission alone expects to invest around £4bn over this period as it delivers a network for net zero in the north of Scotland.