SSEN Transmission is conducting a final round of consultation to present its proposed design for Finstown substation in advance of submitting a planning application for the development.
A consultation event will take place at the Ayre Hotel in Kirkwall on Wednesday 6 February from 2pm to 7pm to provide the local community the opportunity to view the proposed design.
This will include a 3D model allowing anyone interested to view the proposed substation from any location on Orkney where it will be visible. SSEN has also published a number of animations and visualisations to show how the substation will look against the Orkney landscape.
Based on the current design of the substation, SSEN no longer believes there is a significant flood risk at the site due to mitigation measures introduced, such as the diversion of a nearby water course.
Any further reduction of the platform height would come at a significant cost, which would risk the economic viability of the project due to the impact on the costs that generators would have to pay to connect and the regulatory business case.
Keith Inglis, Lead Project Manager, said:
“Throughout the development of the project we have worked hard to factor into the substation’s design the feedback received from both statutory and non-statutory consultees and the local community.
“Whilst it has not been possible to respond positively to all feedback, such as those calling for the platform height to be further reduced, we firmly believe we have worked hard to balance the visual impact of the substation against the various engineering, environmental and economic considerations that we have to factor in to our design.
“We look forward to presenting our final design to the Orkney community and hope they will agree that its overall visual impact is acceptable, particularly when viewed from the World Heritage Site Monuments.”
Subject to planning and regulatory approvals, SSEN now intends to start construction in April 2020 with an energisation date of spring 2023. This will be subject to regulatory approval of the scheme by Ofgem as well as the various statutory consents.
As well as the substation element of the proposed reinforcement, SSEN is also developing the onshore infrastructure required to connect the various proposed renewable developers across Orkney to Finstown substation. This part of the overall reinforcement project is still in development with the next round of consultation currently planned for summer 2019, at which point there should be greater certainty over the generation background. Currently around 25% of this infrastructure will be undergrounded, which when coupled with SSEN’s commitment to underground the main cable from Finstown to Warebeth, brings the total infrastructure to be undergrounded to 33%.
For more information on the Orkney transmission reinforcement project, including animations and visualisation of the proposed substation, please visit:https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/orkney/