Consultation on Stronelairg Wind Farm Grid Connection

Stronelairg grid connection plans have been refined following feedback from Consultees.

SHE Transmission has listened to stakeholders and amended grid connection proposals for connecting the Stronelairg wind farm. Between 12 February and 10 April 2015, community opinion on these changes is invited. The two main aspects of this potential new connection to the National Grid involve a new transmission connection and a new substation. The latest proposals will focus investigations on an underground cable connection from the wind farm to a Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) substation, located by Garva Bridge, near Laggan.

The preference for these proposals follows review of technical investigations and also from review of correspondence from members of the public.

Joyce Wilson, Design Project Manager for the substation explains:

“We held public consultation in October 2014 to present viable options on how to connect the wind farm to the Transmission network. The consultation successfully attracted varied and detailed responses from members of the public and associated stakeholders. The comments have helped us to shape designs, to find the most balanced option to present to the Highland Council Planning Authorities.”

“The current proposals focus on a ‘GIS substation’ design which is significantly smaller than a traditional ‘Air Insulated Switchgear’ (AIS) substation. We expect the substation footprint to be about 2.3ha – although we would require additional ground to screen the site.”

“The second key suggestion is to pursue permission for an underground cable as opposed to an overhead line to connect the wind farm. We are presently investigating a viable route for this underground connection and are working to overcome design challenges associated with the terrain. Undergrounding the cable would largely be made feasible following confirmation from the National Grid that the developer would be prepared to underwrite the additional cost of installing an underground cable.”

An open doors event will be held in Laggan Village Hall on 12 February 2015. Members of the public are encouraged to attend at any point from 14.00 – 19.30. Project teams will be on hand to answer questions and display plans for the proposed electrical connection between the Stronelairg wind farm and existing Transmission infrastructure, near Melgarve just west of Laggan, Newtonmore.

Details of the proposals will also be on the project website:

http://www.ssepd.co.uk/Stronelairgwindfarmconnection/

SHE Transmission welcomes feedback on the proposals before any planning applications are submitted. Comments should be provided by Friday 10 April 2015.

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