Energy firm unveils plans for power improvements
PLANS for improvements to Fort William’s electricity infrastructure were unveiled at a public meeting last week.
Details of the upgrade to the exisiting substation at Achintee Road were laid out by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) last Tuesday (July 12).
The project, to be carried out by Scottish Hydro Electric (SHE), involves replacing 45-year- old transformers with two new ones. This will enable new generation connections and improve the security of supply in the area.
The company will also be closing off the existing entrance to the substation, to avoid traffic congestion outside houses at the site, and opening a new one away from neighbouring houses.
One resident, who lives in the house directly across from the existing substation entrance, appeared unfazed by the work.
He said: ‘I have never been bothered by any traffic outside. The substation has been here longer than me, so I am used to it.’
SHE will be submitting a planning application to the Highland Council in August, and will be taking feedback it received from the meeting last week into consideration when putting its proposal together.
Jim Sandeman, project manager, said: ‘ We want to do what we can to improve things for residents on the limited budget we have. We are in detailed discussions with the landowner and the initial feedback is good.’
Work is due to start on April 1, 2017, and be finished by October 31, 2018.
Kelly Scott, community liaison manager, told The Oban
Times: ‘The new transmitters will be much quieter. In the next few weeks we will be carrying out noise surveys.’
The new transmitters will be bigger, by around half a metre, but Mr Sandeman said their carbon footprint would be the same.
Talking after the meeting Ms Scott said: ‘We wanted to come into the community to address any concerns there might be, and make sure we are keeping people as involved as possible.
‘People’s main concern is they are kept informed, so we want to continue this.’
With pedestrian access towards Ben Nevis nearby, Ms Scott said: ‘ We are not planning to block off any walking access to Ben Nevis during construction.’
Project manager Jim Sandeman with community liaison manager Kelly Scott and environmental project manager Simon Hall at the public meeting last week.
The Fort William substation on Achintee road that is to be upgraded.