SSEN Transmission has submitted a planning application under the Town and Country Planning Act to Orkney Islands Council for its proposed new substation at Finstown.
“The substation is a critical component of the proposed transmission reinforcement from Orkney to Dounreay on the north of Scotland mainland, which is required to support the growth of renewable electricity generators across Orkney looking to connect to the main GB transmission system.”Orkney Project
You can find a range of videos visualising the substation and the future works here:scroll down the link Orkney Projects
From the original proposals SSEN has made a number of changes after feedback.
- A decision not to use steel lattice towers to connect the substation to the subsea cable at Warbeth, which will instead be connected by an underground cable.
- Rather than site the substation in one large building it will instead be housed in a number of smaller buildings, in keeping with existing agricultural structures already existing in Orkney.
- These buildings will be of varying heights and shapes with colours in a selection of different natural tones to reflect a group of agricultural buildings.
- The connecting overhead line (OHL) to the north of the substation will be undergrounded for a distance of approximately 1km. This will avoid the OHL being sky-lined when viewed from the World Heritage Site monuments and reduce cumulative effects at the substation.
- From the south, the overhead line is being undergrounded for approximately 70m. Additional undergrounding here would be more detrimental to the habitat in the Heddle Local Nature Conservation Site, and views from the south are not considered as sensitive.
- To help minimise its visual impact, SSEN Transmission has lowered the platform height from that proposed in September 2018, using the additional excavated materials to increase the landscaping (landform) around the substation, reducing visibility of the site further.
Keith Inglis, Lead Project Manager, said:
“The submission of our planning application for Finstown substation follows significant engagement and consultation with local stakeholders which has helped inform the substations final design.
“We 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 project design.
“Whilst there are still a number of hurdles to overcome before we can provide the transmission infrastructure required to unlock Orkney’s renewables potential, this application is a critical milestone for the project and Orkney’s low carbon ambitions.”
Subject to regulatory approval of the scheme by Ofgem as well as the various statutory planning consents, SSEN Transmission now intends to start construction in spring 2020 with an energisation date of spring 2023.
“In the event of any archaeological discoveries of interest SSEN Transmission is committed to ensure these are fully documented, preserved if possible, and our findings shared with interested parties.”