A project to remove electricity lines from the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is a step closer following Ofgem provisionally approving a proposal from SSEN Transmission.
The proposed works will see the removal of 7.5k of overhead lines and 25 transmission towers from the Loch Lomond landscape, with electricity cables being put underground instead.
The plan comes as part of SSEN Transmission’s Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets (VISTA) project. SSEN said that the project combines the technical skills of its engineers with the ‘expertise’ of external stakeholders who have ‘extensive’ knowledge of the Scottish landscape. It added that the removal of the electricity cables is ‘central’ to the VISTA project.
The work is being able to be taken forward as part of a £500 million fund, administered by Ofgem, for GB electricity transmission owners to mitigate the impact of existing electricity infrastructure in nationally designated landscapes.
Project Manager, Euan Smith, said,“VISTA offers a unique opportunity to look again at our existing transmission assets and mitigate their impact in some of Scotland’s most precious landscapes.
“We have been working closely with the local community, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and local stakeholders on the project for the last three years. Their feedback has been pivotal in shaping the final project and we are delighted it has taken another significant step towards being approved.
“We would like to thank all of those who have inputted into the development process so far and look forward to their continued engagement.”
Final approval of the scheme is subject to the outcome of Ofgem’s consultation, which is open until 5 June 2020. The regulator will seek further views and support from stakeholders before making the final decision.