Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is hosting a further round of consultation events as it continues to take forward its proposed transmission connection from Orkney to the Scottish mainland.
On Wednesday 11 July, SSEN is hosting a drop-in consultation event from 3pm to 7pm at The Firth Community Centre at Finstown to provide the local community and other interested stakeholders an update on the design, layout and visualisation of SSEN’s proposed substation at Finstown.
SSEN’s proposed substation design is based on a range of technical and environmental factors and seeks, where possible, to minimise the visual impact through detailed design and mitigation. Further refinement of the proposal will take place after the consultation period in advance of the final stage of public consultation in the autumn, when SSEN intends to present its final detailed design in advance of submitting formal planning applications later this year.
Peter Jordan, Project Manager for the substation element of the transmission reinforcement project, said:
“Engagement with the local community and other key stakeholders has already been instrumental in the development of the project to date, with local feedback already influencing key aspects of the project such as our decision not to use steel lattice towers.
“We recognise that a number of concerns have been raised locally about the visual impact of the substation and whilst there will inevitably be an impact due to the sheer scale of infrastructure required, we are committed to minimise the impact as far as possible through detailed design, landscape siting and post installation mitigation, such as screening through native planting.
“We would encourage all stakeholders with an interest the proposed substation at Finstown to come along to our consultation event on Wednesday to find out more about our proposed design and provide their feedback which will be carefully considered during the final detailed design stage.”
Proposed Alternative Approach Trial
SSEN is also holding a round of consultation events as part of its development of its proposed Alternative Approach trial to help unlock Orkney’s renewable energy potential. The trial would see capacity allocated on a ready to connect basis, whereby those developers who are ready to commit to their projects would be allocated capacity. The latest round of Alternative Approach consultation is seeking views on:
- Implementing a ‘ready to connect’ process which will allow allocation of capacity to those developers who are ready following the submission of their informative delivery plans.
- Adjusting financial securities faced by renewable developers for a period to align with the level of securities experienced by projects on the mainland. This will help reduce the initial barrier of connection for a defined period of time.
- St Magnus Centre in Kirkwall, from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday 11 July
- St Magnus Centre in Kirkwall, 10am to 12pm on Thursday 12 July
- The Doubletree by Hilton, Glasgow Central, from 1030am to 1230pm on Friday 13 July
- A webinar will take place on Tuesday 17 July from 10am to 12pm.
Registration is required for the Alternative Approach consultations via the following link: Solving Orkney’s Catch 22
Commenting on the Alternative Approach consultation events, Lauren Milligan, Commercial Policy Manager, said:
“As a customer-driven initiative, stakeholder engagement has shaped the Alternative Approach proposal to date.
“We want to ensure that we develop a solution that not only works for network companies but also the wider industry and other connection customers and would therefore encourage anyone with an interest in our proposed Alternative Approach trial to register for one of our consultation events.”
The final stage of consultation is planned to take place in Autumn on the various components of the transmission reinforcement project in advance of submitting planning applications to the relevant planning authorities, the Scottish Government, Marine Scotland and Orkney Islands Council.
The progression of the project is subject to all necessary planning consents and securing regulatory approval from industry regulator Ofgem, with the Alternative Approach trial also subject to regulatory approval.
For more information on the proposed Orkney transmission reinforcement, including links to both consultation documents, please visit: Orkney