Green light for £22.3m project to remove transmission towers from Loch Lomond

A total of 7.8km of overhead line is to be removed from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

The work will form part of SSEN Transmission’s latest visual impact of Scottish Transmission assets (VISTA) scheme, which has received backing of £22.3 million from Ofgem.

The project, which will also see 31 steel lattice towers removed between Killin substation and Lix Toll to be replaced by underground electricity cables, is being funded as part of a £500 million scheme administered by Ofgem.

It is SSEN Transmission’s fourth VISTA project to be approved by Ofgem, completing its first project in Loch Tummel, improving the visual impact through a combination of tower painting, tree planting and landscaping of 7km of overhead line. In December 2020 work on the second project was completed – the removal of 12km of overhead line and 46 towers in The Cairngorm National Park – and earlier this year work commenced on the most recent project to remove two sections of 132kv overhead line, undergrounding 4.5km of overhead line from Derrydaroch and Crianlarich near Glen Falloch, and 3km between Sloy Dam and Sloy Power Station.

Lead project manager, Peter Jordan, said,“We are delighted Ofgem has approved our funding request to remove an additional 31 transmission towers from the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Once complete, the removal of this infrastructure will leave a lasting legacy for those living in the area and for the thousands of tourists that normally visit the area each year, by improving the visual amenity within one of Scotland’s most precious landscapes.

“We would like to thank everyone who has given their time to share their views throughout the development process, the approval from Ofgem follows several years of close development work with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, the local community and a wide range of stakeholders, representing both statutory and non-statutory organisations. It was their wealth of experience and interest in the landscapes under consideration that helped identify these key areas, and the subsequent approval of the project.”

SSEN Transmission said work on the project is expected to commence in early summer 2021 with the work on the undergrounding expected to be completed by Jan 2023.