Wooden poles to make way for underground cables as part of SSEN project in Cairngorms

Preparatory work is now under way on a project which will see Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) put 4.5km of its power lines and wooden poles in the Ballater and Braemar area underground, following a successful consultation with local residents and community stakeholders.

This work is part of a £15m investment programme by SSEN to underground 90km of overhead distribution lines in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks and National Scenic Areas in the north of Scotland and central southern England.

The electricity network operator is working with local communities to target the sections of its network which will provide the greatest visual improvement to the natural landscape and, after a successful public consultation exercise last Autumn, this work in the Glen Muick area of the Cairngorms National Park will be completed by the end of October.

Michael Hilferty, Head of SSEN’s North Caledonia Region, said:

“Overhead power lines on our network are a secure and cost-effective way of safely distributing electricity to our customers, however, we also understand that in some officially designated beauty spots, some people may feel the lines have a detrimental impact on the natural environment.

“Ballater is the one of the most popular routes to the Cairngorms National Park and it was really encouraging to see the local communities here taking part and showing an interest in last autumn’s consultation process. By understanding what matters to those living in and visiting the area, we can ensure we’re investing in the right places where we know it will make a real difference.”

SSEN teams are currently busy with their preparation works in and around Glen Muick, ahead of the dismantling of the overhead lines and new connections to the underground cable network which will take place between 15-19 October.

To learn more about the AONB undergrounding initiative, please click here.

The image above shows a section of SSEN’s overhead network near Glen Muick which will be going underground.

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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