A series of public consultation events will take place later this month seeking views on a new power line that connects Skye with Fort Augustus.
Scottish and Southern Electricity want to upgrade the network by introducing a second overhead line between Fort Augustus and Broadford substations and to replace the existing overhead line running between substations at Broadford and Edinbane.
The power giants say the upgrades will increase capacity – allowing renewable projects like the wind farms in the north of the island to export more power.
Network resilience and increased security of supply during bad weather will also be improved, SSE say.
The existing 91 kilometre, 132 kilovolt single circuit overhead line was built in the late 1970s and is supported by steel lattice towers from Fort Augustus to Broadford, via Glengarry, Glenquoich and Glenelg where it crosses the Kylerhea Narrows. North of Broadford, a 54km line is supported by wooden poles running to Edinbane and Dunvegan. From Dunvegan, the line also connects the existing 33kV submarine cable that serves the Western Isles.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ initial proposal is to make use of trident wood ‘H poles’ for both stages of the project to help minimise the visual impact.
The consultation events will explain the need for the work and seek initial views on the preferred route option before more detailed design work and environmental studies get under way.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Project Manager Mark Baxter said: “Our team is in the early stages of developing a new connection between Fort Augustus, Broadford and Edinbane substations. We will be presenting a preferred route and are keen to gain the views of local communities and specialist organisations ahead of future development and refinement.
“We are fully committed to engaging openly and constructively with local communities and interested parties throughout the development of our projects and where possible, we will do all we can to factor in feedback received and adapt our plans accordingly.
“I would encourage anyone with an interest in our plans to come along to one of our events to meet our team and discuss any issues or concerns.”
The open consultation drop-in events will be held on:
- Tuesday 20 September at Fort Augustus Village Hall from 2pm to 7:30pm;
- Wednesday 21 September at Glenelg Community Hall from 2pm to 7:30pm;
- Thursday 22 September at Broadford Village Hall from 2pm to 7:30pm;
- Tuesday 27 September at Portree Community Centre from 2pm to 7:30pm; and
- Wednesday 28 September at Dunvegan Community Hall from 2pm to 7:30pm.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks operates under licence as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc.