The final plans for the proposed Finstown Electricity Substation were on show to the public on Wednesday 6th of February. The SSEN event at the Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall was open from 2 – 7pm so that people could come along and ask questions of the staff on hand.
There have been changes made to the planned substation. This mainly involves lowering the platform level by 1m to make it less visually intrusive.
The substation is required if Orkney is to take advantage of future generation from its renewables. A new substation is also proposed across the Firth at Dounreay. A subsea cable will link Mainland to the Scottish mainland.
The area selected in Finstown is quite large (33 Hectares) to accommodate not just the substation but the access road. A temporary area has also been laid aside where contractors can leave materials during construction.
The substation buildings will be set into the side of the hill with an earthen bund built up on the sides more easily seen from the main road. After construction it is proposed to plant native trees. There will be security fencing which SSEN have proposed to locate behind the landscaping ‘as far as possible’.
You can still provide feedback on the proposals by visiting the SSEN project website: Orkney The page also contains the visualisations of how the construction will develop.
What happens now?
There is still time to share your views, however, the proposals on view yesterday, 6th of February, are the ones which will now go forward into a planning application. An environmental impact assessment which is not yet published will also be required. The planning application is expected to be submitted to Orkney Islands Council by the middle of March 2019.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame