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SSEN announce transmission project changes

“Immediate changes” will be made to the Orkney transmission reinforcement project, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) have announced.

The height of the Finstown substation will be reduced by a metre and the height of the bunding which will screen the substation buildings will also be increased as the company attempts to reduce the visual impact of the build.

At Hoxa Head, SSEN have confirmed that proposals for overhead transmission poles have been scrapped.

The changes come as part of an initial review of consultation feedback, having seen 400 members of the Orkney community attend the five days of events in September, as well as receiving in excess of 400 written responses.

This decision has been taken due to a number of environmental and engineering factors, including the risk of collision with protected bird species, the visual impact on the Sands of Wright, the proximity to homes in the area and the exposed nature of the peninsula, and the risk that spray from the sea could result in damage to overhead transmission infrastructure.

Updated visualisation images of the proposed site have been published to highlight the changes to the proposed site, providing direct comparisons against the images SSEN consulted on in September and October.

Commenting on the consultation, Lesley Dow, communities manager for the Orkney transmission reinforcement project, said: “We would like to thank all members of the local community for their continued constructive input into the project design. We are pleased to confirm we have made some changes to the substation design at Finstown, which we hope will go some way to address concerns raised. We are also pleased to confirm that we will underground the proposed infrastructure at Hoxa Head.”

In the coming weeks, SSEN’s project team will continue to assess the responses received as it further refines the project design.

SSEN plans to submit its planning applications for the proposed substation at Finstown, the subsea cable and the underground land cable that will connect Finstown to the subsea cable later this year, while a final round of public consultation will be held in Spring 2019 on the onshore infrastructure required to connect the various renewable projects looking to connect on Orkney to Finstown substation.

For more information on the project, including the latest visualisations of the proposed substation at Finstown, please visit: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/orkney/


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