Power firm to hold upgrading consultation

SP Energy Networks is to hold a series of public consultation events in June to discuss their initial proposals for upgrades to the electricity network in the south of Scotland.

The Dumfries and Galloway Strategic Reinforcement Project aims to modernise the electricity network, making it more resilient for homes and businesses, as well as increasing capacity. Much of the existing 132,000 volt (132kV) system is coming towards the end of its operational life, and the project proposes a new a high voltage overhead line of up to 400,000 volts (400kV) between Auchencrosh in South Ayrshire and Harker in Cumbria.

In other locations the company has plans to replace old 132kV power lines with new ones at the same voltage and, in certain locations, remove old power lines altogether. As part of the upgrade plans four new substations are also being proposed at Auchencrosh, Newton Stewart, Glenlee and Dumfries.

The initial consultation stage will seek views on a broad corridor of land that has been identified between Auchencrosh and Harker where potential routes for a new overhead line could be situated. Broad siting areas have also been identified where the substations could be built.

The following public consultation exhibitions have been arranged: Tuesday June 9, 2pm-8pm at Barrhill Memorial Hall; Wednesday June 10, 2pm-8pm at New Galloway Town Hall; Thursday June 11, 2-8pm at the McMillan Hall, Netwon Stewart and Thursday June 18, 2pm-8pm at Kirkcudbright Community Centre.

Copies of the project documents will also be available to view at a number of information points across South Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway and Cumbria from June 1st.

The project website provides details on the information points, and all of the ways that residents can comment on the plans www.spendgsr.co.uk

The responses received from the consultation process will help to inform SP Energy Networks’ plans, and help to determine the areas that will be progressed to the next stage of the routeing process. Further studies will then also be undertaken, which will allow the company to identify the preferred line routes and substation sites for the project.

A second round of consultation on the preferred line routes and substation sites will be carried out within the next year.