The European Investment Bank has put in £500 million to fund a new Caithness-Moray link which will improve connections between Scottish wind, wave and tidal renewable energy schemes and the national grid.
The new power link will help secure the supply of electricity in the Highlands and beyond for generations to come and once operational the new transmission link will supply equivalent electricity to meet the needs of around two million residents.
It is the largest investment in the electricity network in the north of Scotland for 60 years and includes a new 1200 megawatt subsea cable between Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray.
The laying of the subsea cable and associated onshore infrastructure works are expected to support 600 jobs during the construction phase and boost SSE’s apprentice, trainee engineer and graduate programmes.
The European Investment Bank loan will support nearly £1.2 billion of overall investment in the electricity transmission network in the north of Scotland by SSE subsidiary Scottish Hydro.
Jonathan Taylor, Vice-President, European Investment Bank, said: “Investment in energy infrastructure across the UK is essential to harness the full potential of new and future renewable energy schemes
“This investment will ensure more efficient transmission of green energy, enable increased use of renewable power in Scotland and secure energy supply to the Highlands and Scotland’s cities.”
A spokesman for Scottish Hydro added: “This project represents the largest investment in electricity network in the north of Scotland since the post-war hydro development era of the 1950s and we are proud to be part of it.”