Green light to remove transmission lines from Cairngorms National Park

The current overhead line at Boat of Garten

The current overhead line at Boat of Garten

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN Transmission) welcomes Ofgem’s decision to approve funding to remove 12km of overhead transmission lines from the Cairngorms National Park.

The two sections of overhead lines, near the villages of Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge, will see 46 transmission towers removed from the Cairngorms landscape, with both circuits to be replaced with underground cabling.

The investment required to carry out both schemes totals £31.9m and is being funded as part of a £500m scheme administered by the energy regulator, Ofgem.  The scheme allows the three GB electricity transmission owners to bid for funding to mitigate the impact of historic electricity infrastructure in National Parks and National Scenic Areas. 

The two overhead lines to be removed are located in areas of the Cairngorms that attract some of the largest numbers of visitors to the National Park.  Once removed, the visual amenity within the Cairngorms will be further enhanced, building on the removal of over 300 towers, covering a distance of over 90km, as part of the Beauly Denny project.

Commenting on the positive funding decision, Euan Smith, who is leading SSEN Transmission’s VISTA project, said:

"We are delighted Ofgem has approved our funding request to remove an additional 46 transmission towers, covering a combined distance of 12km, from the Cairngorms National Park. 

“Once complete, the removal of this additional infrastructure will leave a lasting legacy for current and future generations by improving the visual amenity within one of Scotland’s most precious landscapes.

“We would like to thank all stakeholders who helped shape the development of our Cairngorm VISTA schemes and we now look forward to progressing with these works, which we expect to complete by around 2020.”

As well as the two Cairngorms schemes Ofgem has recently approved, SSEN Transmission is progressing several other engineering and landscaping proposals across its network region as part of its VISTA (Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets) project.  This includes schemes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch National Scenic Areas

For further information on SSEN Transmission’s VISTA schemes, please visit: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/sustainability-and-environment/vista/

A visualisation of what the landscape will look like once the overhead line at Boat of Garten is removed:

Boat Of Garten Predicted View

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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