Ofgem provisionally approve vital overhead line replacement in the north of Scotland12 May 2023
- Critical upgrade of existing electricity transmission infrastructure key to enhance network reliability and security of supply in the region
- Replacement line will also support UK and Scottish Government renewable and net zero targets by enabling the connection of homegrown, low carbon electricity generation
- Development will support hundreds of skilled jobs throughout construction and unlock many more throughout the supply chain and wider economy
The GB electricity regulator Ofgem has provisionally approved SSEN Transmission’s proposed Fort Augustus to Skye overhead line replacement project.
In its minded-to approve decision on Final Needs Case, put forward by SSEN Transmission, as part of SSE plc, Ofgem has recognised the clear need for the project, which will secure future electricity supplies in the area and enable the connection of new renewable electricity generation along its route.
The project will also unlock hundreds of skilled jobs throughout the construction phase and provide a significant economic boost to local and national economies, all while playing a key role in supporting the transition to net zero emissions and helping secure the country’s future energy independence.
The existing Fort Augustus-Skye overhead line, in the north of Scotland is fast approaching the end of its operational life and is in urgent need of intervention, as demonstrated by a fault earlier this year which resulted in the temporary loss of power to over 20,000 customers along its route and in the Western Isles, which is supplied by two subsea cables from Ardmore Point in north Skye. Its planned replacement is therefore essential to maintain network reliability and security of supply to thousands of homes and businesses along its route, as well as to the Western Isles.
"Today’s minded-to decision is a hugely important milestone in taking forward this much needed reinforcement of the local electricity network, which will build on our proud 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."Rob McDonald, Managing Director of SSEN Transmission
“With the current Fort Augustus to Skye overhead line fast reaching the end of its operational life, alongside the need to connect new renewable electricity generation along its route, 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.
“We now look forward to Ofgem’s final decision and the Scottish Government’s determination of our Section 37 planning application 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.”
For more information on the Skye reinforcement project click here.
Ofgem’s minded-to decision and consultation on the Skye Final Needs Case can be found here.