SSEN Transmission has welcomed energy regulator Ofgem’s decision to approve funding to remove a total of 7.8km of overhead line from the area as part of the Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets (Vista) scheme. The project will see the removal of the overhead line and 31 steel lattice towers between Killin substation and Lix Toll, replacing the infrastructure with underground electricity cables.
The investment required to carry out the project totals £22.3m and is being funded as part of a £500m scheme administered by 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.
This is SSEN Transmission’s fourth Vista project to be approved by Ofgem. Its first project in Loch Tummel involved 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, with the removal of 12km of overhead line and 46 towers in the Cairngorm National Park. Earlier this year work began on the most recent project, which entails the removal of two sections of 132kv overhead line and putting 4.5km of overhead line underground 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.
Work on the project is expected to begin in early summer and putting the cables underground is expected to be completed by January 2023.