Lat­est phase of up­grade to power lines com­plete

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS - BY RITA CAMP­BELL

A ma­jor sec­tion of the over­head lines that have con­nected Beauly to Doun­reay for more than 50 years have been re­placed with newer, more ef­fi­cient con­duc­tors.

The 91 steel tow­ers that have been in place be­tween Beauly and Loch Buidhe since the 1960s have been given a new lease of life fol­low­ing the in­stal­la­tion of new higher-ca­pac­ity con­duc­tors and fit­tings which have in­creased the ca­pac­ity of the lo­cal net­work by around 30% and en­abled re­new- able gen­er­a­tion to be trans­ported from the north of Scot­land.

Scot­tish and South­ern Elec­tric­ity Net­works (SSEN) lead project man­ager Daryn Lu­cas said: “The re­place­ment of th­ese lines has en­abled us to in­crease the amount of re­new­able en­ergy that can con­nect to our net­work with­out the need to build more tow­ers.

“The ru­ral lo­ca­tion of our as­sets means that we have to con­sider the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment and wildlife when do­ing any works.

“As a re­spon­si­ble devel­oper, we en­gaged with or­nithol­o­gists at an early stage to mon­i­tor nearby nest­ing ospreys to en­sure that our work did not cause any dis­tur­bance.”

Work has been un­der way since April 2016 to re­place three phases of the up­graded 275kV cir­cuit that each span a dis­tance of 62km by SSEN’s prin­ci­pal con­trac­tor Amec Fos­ter Wheeler and at its peak saw a work­force of more than 60 em­ployed on the project.

The con­clu­sion of this phase of the works means two-thirds of the Beauly to Doun­reay trans­mis­sion link is now up­graded with the fi­nal sec­tion of works planned for com­ple­tion in 2020.

“In­creased the ca­pac­ity of the lo­cal net­work by 30%”

POWER UP: The over­head lines have con­nected Beauly to Doun­reay for 50 years

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