Following a comprehensive review of the proposed Dumfries and Galloway Strategic Reinforcement project, SP Energy Networks has submitted revised proposals to Ofgem, ahead of plans for another round of public consultation in the autumn.
The updated submission has determined that a ‘Reduced Scheme’ consisting of new 132kV transmission infrastructure between Kendoon and Tongland is now the most favourable option, after the detailed review determined that the full 400kV Auchencrosh to Harker proposal is now not cost effective.
The proposed corridors for the new infrastructure will consist of approximately 46km of new towers, with a height of around 30m. As part of the proposals, 89km of existing 132kV towers with a height of around 25m will be permanently removed.
The submission follows an extensive consultation exercise in 2015 that involved some 1600 responses. SP Energy Networks then undertook a further review of its proposals, which included analysing the impact of UK Government changes to subsidy arrangements for onshore windfarms.
This review also considered the future mix of power generation in Scotland and plans for the development of the wider electricity transmission network.
There remains a need to modernise the existing transmission network and connect new generation. Currently there is 339MW of embedded renewable generation connected to the system in Dumfries and Galloway with another 205MW contracted to connect in the future. The revised submission to Ofgem takes account of input from local communities and extensive technical assessments, as well as the economic modelling.
Pearse Murray, SP Energy Networks’ Transmission Director said, “The future of electricity generation in Scotland differs now in comparison to what was forecast when we first started planning this upgrade. We don’t want to overbuild, but it is vital that the transmission electricity network in the South West of Scotland is modern, reliable and capable of supporting growth.
“Our revised proposal will ensure that only the appropriate level of infrastructure will be built at this time. The design will allow flexibility to adopt further upgrades if there are significant changes to energy policy, or changes to the operational requirements of the transmission network, in the years ahead.”
SP Energy Networks will also publish a consultation report with responses to feedback received on the route corridors within the Reduced Scheme, and the company plans to undertake another round of public consultation in the autumn of this year. Full details of the consultation will be published in advance.