SSEN Transmission in £400m Argyll upgrade plan

SSEN Transmission – the electricity transmission owner for the north of Scotland – has submitted to the energy regulator Ofgem £400 million proposals to reinforce the Argyll transmission network from 132kV to 275kV operation.

The investment is part of the SSE Group’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme which will see £12.5 billion invested in the five years to 2026, or £7 million every day.

SSEN Transmission alone expects to invest around £4 billion over this period as it delivers a network for net zero emissions.

The Argyll 275kV strategy is required to support the connection of several new renewable electricity generation schemes across Argyll and to transport that power to areas of demand across Scotland and beyond.

It will support the connection of at least 560MW of new renewable electricity generation, enough to power more than 500,000 homes.

The Argyll 275kV strategy consists of the following five main components:

  • A new substation at Creag Dhubh connecting to SP Transmission’s existing Dalmally-Windyhill transmission line via around 14km of new overhead transmission circuits
  • Around 10km of new overhead transmission circuits connecting Creag Dhubh substation to the existing Inveraray-Crossaig circuits
  • The replacement of existing substations at An Suidhe and Crarae along the route of the Inveraray-Crossaig line
  • Establishing a new substation at Craig Murrail and relocation of the Port Ann Grid Supply Point to this site
  • Establishing a new substation in the vicinity of the existing Crossaig substation

SSEN Transmission MD Rob McDonald said: “We now look forward to working constructively with Ofgem and our stakeholders to unlock the investment required in a timely manner.

“This investment will create hundreds of skilled jobs throughout the supply chain as well as boosting local and national economies, supporting a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Planning applications are due to be submitted in the coming months to Argyll and Bute Council for all substation works; and to the Scottish Government for all overhead transmission line works.

Subject to necessary regulatory and planning approvals, SSEN Transmission expects construction to be underway in 2024 with the scheme fully energised in April 2027.