Scottish Hydro Electric announces transmission line completion


Scottish Hydro Electric announces transmission line completion

Scottish Hydro Electric (SHE) Transmission energised its final section of the Beauly-Denny project on 15 July.

Work to connect Tummel Bridge to Braco, near Dunblane was the last section of SHE Transmission’s 200km overhead line section to be connected and the overall project is still on target to be fully energised in November 2015.

Beauly-Denny is vital to the future of Scotland’s, and the UK’s, energy network. It will play a crucial role in helping meet energy targets as it will be the main artery for the transmission of renewable energy generated in the north of Scotland to the rest of the country. The project has contributed more than £100m to the Scottish economy and supported the full time equivalent of 1,500 jobs, including direct employment within local communities. 

SHE Transmission has energised the replacement line between Beauly and Braco substations and now rely on Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) to construct the last 20km of the overhead line section from the Wharry Burn to Denny. The project will reach completion when the entire line between Beauly and Denny is energised in November 2015.

David Gardner, Director of Transmission, said: “This has been the first major upgrade to this transmission line since its original construction during the early 1950s, its completion is one of the most important steps in securing the future of Scotland’s electricity network and meeting national renewable energy targets. 

“The replacement line was designed and tested by our principal contractor Balfour Beatty to stand up to the challenging Scottish elements. And it has already ‘passed the test’ having been battered by hurricane force winds along with snow and ice during the past two winters with no structural issues.

“The project has included the construction of two new substations at Braco and Tummel Bridge and the redevelopment of existing substations at Beauly, Fasnakyle and Fort Augustus. This work will strengthen the network and strengthen the electricity supply to communities throughout the north of Scotland.’’

Alastair Brand, Beauly-Denny Project Director added:

“The construction of the Beauly-Denny line has seen the team work through harsh weather in challenging conditions and has been a real feat of engineering and construction.

“Although the replacement line has been erected and is undergoing final quality checks ahead of full energisation later in 2015, we will remain active in communities to complete a number of requirements. This includes the dismantling of the original line and reinstatement of land used in the construction, which we aim to complete during 2016. 

“Beauly-Denny was a highly technical project delivered by Balfour Beatty and the team has been professional, dedicated and when faced with problems innovative towards reaching solutions.”

Ian Currie, Balfour Beatty Operations Director – Scotland, commented: “It has been a great privilege to support SHE Transmission with the delivery of such a critical infrastructure project.  Our group-wide capability enabled us to deliver the full scope of the project as we combined our civil engineering and transmission and distribution experience to complete all substation and overhead line activities successfully. 

“Balfour Beatty hopes to build on our strong relationship with SHE Transmission to help them provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to communities we serve across Scotland in the future.”

The entire Beauly-Denny 400kV (220km) overhead line is programmed to be fully energised during November 2015. 

The overhead line has been constructed using an incredible amount of materials, including:

  • Over 20,000 tonnes of steel
  • 2,600km of aluminium conductor – enough to run from Perth to Rome;
  • 67,000 cubic meters of concrete – enough to fill 27 Olympic swimming pools;
  • More than 4 million nuts and bolts – a million more than the number of rivets on the Eiffel Tower;
  • Installation and removal of 250km of access tracks – equivalent of three times the length of the M8 motorway; and 
  • The construction of the transmission tower with the highest elevation in the UK, built at 2526ft above sea level on the Corrieyairack Pass.

Works to dismantle and remove the original 132kV overhead line within SHE Transmissions area are well progressed with over approximately 140km having been removed. Removal and the reinstatement of land of the 733 original 132kV towers is programmed to be completed in 2016.

As the licensed owner of the Transmission network in the north of Scotland, SHE Transmission has a statutory obligation to provide a connection to the network to anyone who needs and applies for one. Through consultation with a number of parties, including communities and statutory bodies, we aim to find the best solution for any requested grid connection. 

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